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Saturday, January 1

America is not the maid

"Pundita, how can you say that the US didn't use military force during the Clinton era? However, I think America should adopt the West European model, which has moved beyond using military force to back up foreign policy aims."
[Signed] Not Born Yesterday"

Dear NBY:

Pundita never wrote that military force wasn't used during the Clinton era. If you seriously believe West Europe has moved beyond the use of military force as a foreign policy tool, please read the following:

"The leaders of France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg met in Brussels on April 29 [2003] for a mini-summit on European defense coordination. In a joint statement following the meeting, the leaders endorsed a list of proposals designed to enhance European defense coordination and capabilities, including the creation of a defense headquarters in Brussels and the establishment of a joint rapid reaction capability formed around a Franco-German core.

"Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt called the meeting in mid-March, purportedly to jump-start Europe's flagging hopes to create a common foreign policy. A day before the meeting, Verhofstadt said that without a viable European defense tool, "a European Union foreign policy is not credible."

That from a Stratfor report, quoted on April 30, 2003 by the
Belmont Club Blogger .

Not even the French are arrogant enough to believe that a workable foreign policy can be divorced from the threat of military force.

One of the biggest myths about Bush is that under his leadership America's posture toward the rest of the world is arrogant. What was arrogant was the Clinton policy of using American military force and NATO to leapfrog the foundation on which diplomacy rests, which is national security.

Under the Clinton White House, American military force was ostensibly used to right wrongs in the world. However, there was not an objective standard by which to measure what Clinton perceived to be wrongs; thus, atrocities in Yugoslavia raised Clinton's outrage but not genocide in Rwanda.

You just never knew what kind of situation would strike Clinton's advisors as needing US military application; it was a One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest defense policy. This said, it was possible to discern a method to the madness. This was provided you knew:

(a) During the Clinton era, the State Department ran US defense policy; and

(b) George Soros and the most influential EU leaders ran State.

To put this another way, the real European Union Eurozone army during Clinton's era was the US military.

To boil it down to the essence, during the Clinton era US defense policy was run from a post box in Brussels. This had a profound influence on what State considered to be a situation needing redress by the US military.

After 9/11 Bush put the threat of US military force back where it belongs--as a component of a foreign policy that is tightly moored to US defense concerns.

That's one reason why Germany, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg were bent out of shape by Bush's shift from Clinton policy; the shift meant that US foreign policy under Bush reads, "America is not the maid."

That meant the EU would need to do it themselves in future--at least as long as Bush remained in office. In turn that would mean the EU would need to spend serious money, if they wanted more than a toy army to enforce their foreign policy. That would be contingent on EU members agreeing on anything long enough to develop a common foreign policy.

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