The discussion among some of Europe’s opinion leaders is like a boomerang. It keeps on coming back: “The U.S. has gone west. It’s China and India, not Europe. The U.S. – European relationship needs mending, or at the very least, much more tending.” Such debate keeps Europeans and Americans talking and that’s not all bad, but seriously, where and what is the beef? The relationship has never been stronger or more grafic; never more tangible.
In Afghanistan, a greatly enlarged NATO is fighting extremism together. U.S. missile defense plans in Europe get modified, improved and, in consultation with allies, made into an Alliance plan. Throughout NATO territory, forces exercise interoperability extensively. Off the coast of Africa the Alliance knocks out pirating and secures global sea lanes. A new treaty is signed between the U.S. and Russia on reducing strategic nuclear weapons and President Obama invites top level engagement with Eastern and Central European leaders to discuss security issues. Our President also announces the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review that reaffirms protecting us and our allies from the most dangerous global threats.
The EU and U.S. are each other’s main trading partners. Transatlantic flows of trade and investment amount to about $2.5 billion per day. More than half of all U.S. investment abroad is in Europe and over 65% of foreign investment in the U.S. comes from Europe. Through the Transatlantic Economic Council, the U.S. and EU have closer high-level cooperation on regulatory, investment, IPR, innovation, secure trade, and financial market issues than they do with any other trading partner. More American students choose to study in Europe than in any other region. The U.S. remains a major study destination for European students persuing their education outside Europe.
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
I am sure that smart heads can find fault with any or all of these indicators of what is the world’s most intimate and mutually supportive partnership. But smart heads are not always right and this time they would be wrong.
I don’t even dispute the intellectual fun of throwing the boomerang, but seriously folks!