THE WAR ON IRAQ: A TRANSATLANTIC DILEMMA
By Max Larrain
The first year of George W. Bush presidency was characterized by a rather uncertain and hesitant agenda on America's priorities on international action. But then came 11 September, which in few hours gave President Bush a foreign policy that can be summed up in three words: War on terrorism. The idea was as simple and universal as the one of containment of communism and it concerted the unanimous support of both the American people and the world public opinion. Moreover, it was in the line of George W. Bush's instincts and the ideas of his closest and most influential advisers. Taking apart the trauma and horror that the event caused to the Americans, one could say that it was a stroke of luck for a President whose legitimacy was tarnished by a troublesome electoral process.
'We have found a mission', George Bush declared.
The reaction of Europe was one of solidarity and support to this declared 'crusade' against the 'axis of evil' of terrorism and the 'rogue' states that support them.
The intervention in Afghanistan that followed counted with the approval and cooperation of the international community in order to overthrow the Taliban regime that gave sanctuary to the Al-Qaeda movement and his leader Osama bin Laden, a former CIA collaborator in the war against the occupying soviet forces. Up to this point, there was full agreement between Americans and Europeans in their fight against terrorism.
However, the American strategy drifted towards a new concept which implied the doctrine of preventive war against potential threats. Thus, under this doctrine, the United States has unilaterally syndicated Saddam Hussein's Iraq as part of the 'axis of evil'. It has been said that, for several reasons including some historical ties with the country, both France and Germany have expressed their opposition to a unilateral military intervention by Americans.
In the present paper we would like to investigate the deeper roots that eventually underlie the Franco-German stance, which, as we understand, it has to do with long-term planning in the development of the European Union.
The position of the German government, then, has to be understood as part of its full commitment to the present and future interests of the European Union.
2. THE AMERICAN POLICY ON TERRORISM
2.1 All the President's Men
The members of the advisory group that surrounds the President 'are neither particularly religious nor especially populist but are strongly pro-Israel and distrustful of Arabs and Europeans, and, in particular, are reacting against the widespread relativist, tolerant, liberal, humanist, permissive, individualist, egalitarian and compassionate culture of the Clinton years, and against modernity in general. Several of the most brilliant of that group were advisers who had the ear of the Defense Secretary and the Vice-President, and they understood immediately that 11 September presented a unique opportunity for them to put forward their ideas at the expense of the prudent Secretary of State [Colin Powell], with his concern for international collaboration'.
The conservative columnist of the Washington Post, Robert Novak, described this group as a "nest of hawks" which will bring the government of George W. Bush more to the right, not only of Bush senior's government, but of Ronald Reagan's too.
Richard Perle, chief advisor at the Pentagon, has a long record within the Republican Party. During the seventies, he was dismissed from Senator Henry Jackson's office, after the National Security Agency (NSA) denounced him for passing confidential information to the Israeli representation in Washington. He was advisor to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense is considered the mastermind behind Washington policy towards Iraq. Already in year 2000 he sent a letter to President Clinton urging him to attack Iraq in order to topple Saddam Hussein. He is known to have close ties with the Israeli Army.
Lewis Libby, chief of staff of Vice-president Dick Cheney, worked together with Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld in a publication, appeared before the election, in which they argued for the idea of a military intervention in Iraq.
Elliot Abrams, chief of the National Security Council's Middle East office, is the main advisor in Middle East affairs of the NSC. At the end of the eighties he was associated to the Iran-Contra case and in 1990 he acknowledged that he lied before a Senate Committee. He was convicted but later on he was amnestied by President George H. Bush.
Bernard Lewis, a Princeton University academic, is one of the most distinguished scholars specialized in Middle East history. He was the first to suggest that the United States should attack Iraq. In a conference on Middle East in October 2002, he declared that 'whatever we do, those [Arabs] countries will be governed by corrupt tyrants. Therefore our objective in foreign policy should be to assure tyrants that are friends of ours rather than hostile to US interests'.
Another suggestive feature of some of the members of this group is that many of them have been connected with the oil business. Apart from the President himself and his father, Bush senior, Condoleezza Rice, the National Security Advisor, was director of Chevron-Texaco, Vice-president Dick Cheney is a former executive of oil company Halliburton and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is a former director of Occidental Petroleum.
2.2 The American Strategy
The following is a summary by Harvey Sicherman, director of the Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute, of the concept now dominating American Strategy:
" The enemy is terrorism. It is his use of terrorism, defined as the deliberate targeting of civilians, and not his ideology or religion, that identifies the enemy.
" Terrorism is international, not simply transnational. Terrorist have links with specific states that have aided or employed them. In Bush's words, 'if you harbour or help a terrorist, you are a terrorist'.
" The front is everywhere. Not only foreign policy but also domestic policy is concerned, including the question of immigrants, financial controls and civil liberties long taken for granted.
" All states will be obliged to make a strategic choice. States antagonistic to the United States or even those on its list of terrorist states will be allowed to switch sides if they renounce their former policies and pay their dues on a sliding scale of contributions to the war effort as specified by Washington.
From the beginning, Washington has defined the war on terrorism as a worldwide
undertaking, whose course was not known and whose outcome was uncertain. President
Bush's speech to Congress on 24 September, in which he indicated that 'there
are thousands of these terrorists in more than 60 countries', includes some
disturbing comments: 'Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists, and every
government that supports them. Our war on terror begins with Al-Qaeda, but it
does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach
has been found, stopped and defeated'.
In many respects, a 'perpetual war' has been declared.
Thus, from the American strategy outlined in some of President Bush's speeches, one can deduce the existence of three kind of war: war against terrorism, war against states that support terrorism and finally, preventive war against states that have ongoing weapons of mass destruction program, a rather new doctrine made explicit by President Bush in his speech at West Point on 1 June 2002.
3. THE SITUATION OF IRAQ
3.1 An awkward position in the international community
Since 1991, the international community and Iraq have been in a cease-fire
situation that has been broken on several occasions by limited military operations
connected with Iraq's refusal to disarm as required by United Nations Security
Council Resolution 687.
On 17 September 2002, under concerted pressure from the United States, the Security Council, and the Arab countries, Saddam Hussein announced that he accepted the unconditional return of UN weapon inspectors. In the end he was obliged to accept Security Council Resolution 1441, which was adopted unanimously on 8 November 2002.
Resolution 687 authorized military action and Resolution 1441 made a cease fire conditional on Iraq's disarming, the process of which had been interrupted since December 1998. In other words, if a discussion at the Security Council is vital, it is not, on the other hand, legally necessary to obtain a new Security Council resolution to attack Iraq, which is the intention of the United States in view of the fact that the team of weapon inspectors headed by Hans Blix has so far failed to proof Saddam Hussein's not compliance with the Security Council resolutions.
A new requirement which imply the destruction of the surface-to-surface missiles Al Samoud-2 is also been complied by Iraq in these days, in spite of the allegations made by this country that the missiles are within the 150 kilometers of range as demanded by the Resolution 1441.
3.2 The economic situation
The eight-year war with Iran left Iraq with great economic losses, shortages of labor and supplies, severe damage to its infrastructure, and a large foreign debt. The economic embargo that followed the invasion of Kuwait has further reduced production, imports, and exports, and has contributed to a sharp rise in prices.
As the humanitarian situation in Iraq worsened during the nineties, a UN oil-for-food programme was established to soften the impact of the economic sanctions by allowing Iraq to sell limited amounts of oil in order to buy food, medicine and other necessities approved by the UN. The recent UN Security Council resolution 1409, adopted on 14 May 2002, has now introduced a new sanctions regime ("smart sanctions"), which will allow Iraq to import with little scrutiny all goods for civilian use, excepted military products and those listed by the Security Council as having military use (dual use goods). The UN will keep control of Iraqi oil revenues, but trade will flow without particular obstacles.
The general economic situation has worsened over the past two years. Oil exports suffered from the ongoing battle between the UN and the Iraqi government over the price: the UN has decided to fix the Iraqi oil price retroactively, so as to prevent the regime in Baghdad from making a direct profit by keeping a percentage of the revenue from oil sales. As a result, oil exports registered a dramatic slow-down, which had a direct impact on the growth rate of the Iraqi economy.
3.3 Trade relations with the EC
EC-Iraq trade was virtually non-existent from 1991 to 1996, but grew considerably in 1997 after the start of the implementation of the UN oil-for-food programme. In 2001, EU imports (99% oil products) from Iraq amounted to 3,494 million euro, about 50% higher than they were before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the EU thus making up about 25% of the Iraqi export markets.
Export volumes from the EU to Iraq have not increased as fast. Thus, the value of 1,931 million euro for 2001 is still below the level of 1990 and corresponds to 40% of the levels registered in the 1980's. EU exports to Iraq include four groups of products: machinery (over 50%), transport material, chemical products, and agricultural products. The total EU share of Iraqi imports is less than 20%.
3.4 Some basic data on Iraq
Official name Republic of Iraq
Head of state President Saddam Hussein (since 1979)
Last National Assembly election 23 March 2000
Population 23.6 million (2001)
Average life expectancy 58.7 (2001)
Surface area 438,000 sq.km
Currency Iraqi Dinar
Illiteracy among adults 42% (1998)
GDP growth -0.6% (2001)
GDP per capita US$ 593 per annum (1999)
External debt US$ 62.2 billion (2001)
Current account balance US$ -1,031.4 million (2001)
Oil production 2.36 million barrel/day (2001)
Oil reserve 112,000 million barrels
4. THE POSITION OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
4.1 Eurasia as the centre of world power
It seems that Europe is shifting eastwards, whereas the United States is looking to the west. With enlargement, the heart of Europe will be in Berlin. Meanwhile, with the end of the Cold War, American's attention is diverted from Europe to Asia. This twofold geo-strategic reality, which is separating the two sides of the Atlantic, plays a significant part in the evolution of US-European relations.
There is a legitimate concern among Europeans about the United States waging a war that may destabilize the whole region so close to their borders. It is a fact that the European Union is a successful story of integration comprising more than 350 millions inhabitants today, and, with enlargement programmed to 2004, it will become an economic giant of nearly 450 millions people. Just in the border of Eurasia.
According to a study presented to the US Council on Foreign Relations by Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Carter, Eurasia has been and is nowadays the centre of world power. It accounts for 75-per cent of the world's population, 60-per cent of the world's GNP and three-fourths of the world's known energy resources. Brzezinski notes how the world's energy consumption keeps increasing ; hence, who controls Caspian oil/gas will control the world economy.
It is in connection with these facts that Europeans, and most specially Germans and French, are becoming worried by the militarization of the United States foreign policy, in general and the American military build-up in the Middle East, in particular.
Thus, the prospect of military action against Iraq has lead to deep division between Americans and Europeans. President Jacques Chirac and Chancellor Gerhard Schröder are the leaders of the group of EU member states that oppose a military intervention in Iraq demanding for the compliance of the Resolution 1441 and asking for sufficient time for the UN weapon inspectors in order to fulfill their mission.
In the short run, Europeans are also afraid of a military operation whose international legitimacy is insufficient. They believe that the probability of Saddam Hussein using weapons of mass destruction increases if Washington, whose main objective is regime change, offers no exit strategy to the Iraqi leader.
In a recent interview by a German newspaper, Federal Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer declared: 'When I weigh up the risks of a war - in the short term the humanitarian risks, in the medium term the risk of destabilizing the whole region- against the danger today emanating from Iraq, I come to a different conclusion from the one drawn by various people in the US'.
Chancellor Schröder declared that the 'Middle East needed a new peace, not a new war', and that to attack Iraq could 'destroy the international coalition against terrorism'.
4.2 European urgent need to integrate the Muslim population
Causing a great deal of misunderstanding between Europe and the United States
is the presence in Europe of fifteen million Muslims, whether North Africans
in France, Pakistanis in the United Kingdom, Indonesians in the Netherlands
or Turks in Germany. Washington is quick to conclude that it is the presence
of this population that leads to a 'timid' reaction to terrorism in Europe,
overlooking the fact that European governments must prevent a radicalization
of this immigrant population, which is often far less well integrated in European
societies than Muslims in the United States. In terms of numbers, moreover,
the present situation, far from becoming stable, is likely to become more acute
in the coming years, with a greater percentage of the population as a result
of both demographic decline in Europe and development difficulties in the non-European
countries of the Mediterranean. A European Commission report published in 2002
predicts that, in the best of cases, the growth of the population in Europe
to 2015 will be nil; at this point, one European in three will be over fifty
years old. Immigration is already responsible for 70 per cent of population
growth in Europe. A Europe that is 'fortified' against illegal immigration is
not a realistic solution. All the projections to 2015 concerning the development
of North African and Middle Eastern societies are pessimistic: they will be
more populous, poorer and more urban, with limited employment prospects.
Under pressure from populist movements in Europe, the temptation to adopt more and more restrictive immigration policies is great, but it is hard to see how they would address the problem of European demographics and development difficulties in Muslim societies.
4.3 Conclusions of the European Council on 17 February 2003
A group of 8 European states that included among others Great Britain, Italy, Spain and Denmark have recently expressed a close position to that of George W. Bush provoking a rift in the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. Nevertheless, on 17 February 2003 the European Council held an extraordinary meeting to discuss the crisis over Iraq coming forward with a common declaration whose text is reproduced here:
"The way the unfolding of the situation in Iraq will be handled will have an important impact on the world in the next decades. In particular, we are determined to deal effectively with the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
We are committed to the United Nations remaining at the centre of the international order. We recognize that the primary responsibility for dealing with Iraqi disarmament lies with the Security Council. We pledge our full support to the Council in discharging its responsibilities.
The Union's objective for Iraq remains full and effective disarmament in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions, in particular Resolution 1441. We want to achieve this peacefully. It is clear that this is what the people of Europe want.
War is not inevitable. Force should be used only as a last resort. It is for the Iraqi regime to end this crisis by complying with the demands of the Security Council.
We reiterate our full support for the ongoing work of the UN inspectors. They must be given the time and resources that the UN Security Council believes they need. However, inspections cannot continue indefinitely in the absence of full Iraqi cooperation. This must include the provision of all the additional and specific information on the issues that have been raised in the inspectors' reports.
Baghdad should have no illusions: it must disarm and cooperate immediately and fully. Iraq has a final opportunity to resolve the crisis peacefully. The Iraqi regime alone will be responsible for the consequences if it continues to flout the will of the international community and does not take this last chance.
We recognize that the unity and firmness of the international community, as expressed in the unanimous adoption of Resolution 1441, and the military build-up have been essential in obtaining the return of the inspectors. These factors will remain essential if we are to achieve the full cooperation we seek.
We will work with the Arab countries and The League of Arab Nations. We will encourage them, separately and jointly, to bring home to Saddam Hussein the extreme danger of miscalculation of the situation and the need for full compliance with resolution 1441. We support Turkey's regional initiatives with the neighbors of Iraq and Egypt.
In this regional context, the European Union reiterates its firm belief in the need to invigorate the peace process in the Middle East and to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We continue to support early implementation of the roadmap endorsed by the Quartet. Terror and violence must end. So must settlement activity. Palestinian reforms must be speeded up and, in this respect, President Arafat's statement that he will appoint a Prime Minister is a welcome step in the right direction.
The unity of the international community is vital in dealing with these problems. We are committed to working with all our partners, especially the United States, for the disarmament of Iraq, for peace and stability in the region and for a decent future for all its people".
5. GERMAN POLICY ON TERRORISM
5.1 Foreign Policy of the united Germany
In general, the foreign policy of Germany after the reunification has been
characterized by a mixture of continuity and change in which the country has
reaffirmed its commitment to act within the framework of the European Union,
the United Nations and the Atlantic Pact.
As elements of continuity in foreign policy can be named defense policy and the integration of Europe, while the elements of change are represented by a radical improvement in the relation with the Eastern European countries. This aspect can be explained by the interest of Germany to build stability in that region through the promotion of democracy and economic prosperity, which in turn will contribute to the expansion of economic markets.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, instead of a peace treaty Germany preferred to proceed with the so called 2 + 4 negotiations which involved the two German states and the until then four occupying powers, namely the United States, the Soviet Union, France and Britain. The plan was masterminded and brilliantly executed by the Chancellor Helmut Kohl which conduced to a swift unification without having to resort to a modification of the Treaty of Rome but by reference to the Basic Law of the Federal Republic.
For the first time it was possible to define what the nation and the state of Germany was and for the first time too there were accepted borders by all parties involved, including the Polish borders.
The acceptance by Germany not to produce ABC armaments was ratified and, at the same time, the condition of not to be forcefully bounded to an Alliance but adherence by free election instead.
The objectives of the German Foreign Policy can be resumed in the following points:
(1) The strengthening of the European Union
(2) The safeguard of peace, democracy and development in Europe
(3) The strengthening of the OECD
(4) A future development of the Atlantic Alliance
(5) The strengthening of the international organizations within the framework of the United Nations
(6) The promotion of respect for Human Rights all over the world
(7) The development of a policy of cooperation with the African countries of the Sub-Saharian region.
5.2 German policy in the fight of terrorism
On 11 October 2001, a policy statement was made by the Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to the German Bundestag. On that occasion he declared that 'the United States of America began military action against the infrastructure of the terrorist network of Osama bin Laden and the facilities of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. In this situation, active solidarity and responsible action are expected of Germany - and they will indeed be forthcoming. Our solidarity must be more than mere lip-service. And we must pursue a policy which is in keeping with Germany's responsibility in the world, as well as the Federal Government's responsibility for people in Germany'.
Regarding the contribution asked of Germany in the fight against terrorism
and the risks taken in the process, the Chancellor replied unambiguously:
'We are in the midst of a decisive and probably lengthy fight against international terrorism. We did not ask for this conflict - it has been forced upon us by the barbaric attacks. However, we will take up the fight against terrorism- and we will win. We are not waging war against individual states or peoples - and certainly not against the Islamic world as a whole'.
'The citizens of Germany may rest assured that their safety is a matter of prime importance to the Federal Government'.
'Only ten years ago no-one would have expected more from Germany than secondary assistance, i.e. infrastructure or funds, in the international efforts to safeguard freedom, justice and stability. As I pointed out immediately after 11 September, this era of German post-war politics is over once and for all'. 'Let there be no mistake: this expressly includes participation in military operations to defend freedom and human rights and to establish stability and security'.
Further statements were made by the Chancellor in his speech to the Bundestag
on 12 December 2001:
'The Federal Government is willing to participate, under European auspices and on the basis of a clear mandate from the UN Security Council, in a multinational peacekeeping force for Afghanistan. As we understand Germany's political ethos, that means there must be agreement among our European Union partners on any future engagement in Afghanistan'.
'Strengthening the United Nations is one of the key objectives of our common European foreign policy; this is crucial not only for the fight against terrorism - which is clearly far from over- but also to help resolve other conflicts'.
In Germany, in which three of the eleven terrorists, including Mohamed Atta, had resided for several years (in Hamburg), the biggest police investigation in German history was launched following 11 September, with over 600 police officers. A dozen or so Islamists were arrested, including some close to Mohamed Atta, and the authorities quickly realized that the scale of the threat was much greater than they had previously suspected. The danger had not been completely overlooked, however: in December 2000, a faction was thwarted in Frankfurt while it prepared attacks on Strasbourg. It was also the German authorities who had unearthed plans to attack the World Trade Center dating from 1999. Lastly, in September 2002 a plan to attack a US military base at Heidelberg was foiled.
Germany has taken a number of significant measures to avoid having terrorist organizations benefiting from the considerable freedoms enjoyed by religious associations since the end of the Second World War. For some months now there has been a fairly marked reluctance on the part of the German people and firms to participate in the implementation of new measures, especially those that would help the police to build up files on suspects. Such measures bring back memories that the great majority of Germans have for long tried to erase.
5.3 German policy on Middle East
On Israeli-Palestinian conflict Chancellor Gerhard Schröder declared:
'Israel right to live in peace and security must be the basis of any conflict settlement, as in equal measure must be the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to establish their own state'.
In a recent intervention by Federal Foreign Minister Fischer in the Bundestag on 13 February 2003, he declared:
'Our policy is thus a policy of peace in an unstable world. (1) We want to continue contributing to the fight against terrorism, and, where there are no alternative ways of destroying terrorist structures, [we] are prepared to accept the use of force by the military, police and secret services. (2) We want to resolve regional conflicts. I believe doing so is absolutely necessary. This is true not only of the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians, but also of the most dangerous conflict of all between the nuclear powers of Pakistan and India over Kashmir. The Caucasus too gives us grave cause for concern. These are all regional conflicts which could threaten our security tomorrow .'this all means that we must pursue a long-term approach, particularly in this, a region that so closely neighbors us. (3) At the same time we must ensure that weapons of mass destruction are disposed of and prevent them from falling into the hands of tyrants. For this we need an effective international control and disarmament regime with teeth and bite'.
On 24 February, Chancellor Schröder and President Chirac appeared in Berlin and spoke against a new resolution to endorse American military intervention in Iraq.
"We do not see any reason to modify our position", Schröder said. "We believe that a peaceful disarmament of Iraq is possible on the basis of the existing resolution, 1441". Chirac agreed and said a Security Council majority stood behind their position.
6. CONCLUSIVE REFLECTIONS
In the present paper we have described some of the general characteristics of the advisors and policy makers that surround President George W. Bush. We have briefly reviewed the American strategy in its struggle against terrorism followed by a short recount of the Iraqi case at the present time. An evaluation of the European Union's position regarding the conflict in Iraq and the geo-strategic projection of an American military intervention was made. The uncertain consequences of this intervention may be at the center of Europeans' concern for the stability of the Eurasian region. The text of the conclusions of the European Council held on 17 February 2003 was inserted. We made a resume of the foreign policy of Germany since its reunification followed by a presentation of the German policy on terrorism and German policy on Middle East based on recent interventions in the Bundestag by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Federal Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer.
We agree with Pierre Hassner when he observes that the tendencies of the Bush presidency are not simply passing aberrations but correspond to the conjunction of deep-seated and quasi-permanent American traditions (exceptionalism, manicheanism, unilateralism) and certain defining facts of present-day international life: the enormous difference in technological and military power between the United States and all its allies, adversaries or potential rivals, and the radical nature of the terrorist threat. That conjunction could not but lead to both an imperial situation and a temptation to behave imperially that are all the more frustrating for the United States and the others precisely because they are bound to be thwarted.
On how to cope with terrorism
The nature of terrorism is such that it can produce a psychological and material damage far beyond the costs of the means employed. In other words, the cost/effective ratio of terrorism as instrument of war might render the most sophisticated conventional military power to obsolescence. The present era is one of asymmetric conflict between great technological powers and terrorists or insurgents whose strength lies in their power to disrupt and their capacity for sacrifice. There is a temptation for the Americans, and to a certain extent the other developed countries, to reduce the asymmetry by resorting to the same method as their adversaries. Descending from the abstract world of technology into the harsh one of guerrilla warfare and counter-intelligence, would be a dangerous reaction if it did not also preserve the essential difference between liberal societies and the rest. The case of the past Latin-American dictatorships and their 'dirty wars' is paradigmatic.
The blurred frontier between domestic and external security can also tempt governments to employ the military instrument in internal affairs, with the high risk of politicizing it, at the same time that a more restrictive legislation on civil rights and liberties can weaken the basic fundaments of democratic societies. This would be a scenario that nobody in its right mind would tolerate. Therefore it is convenient to combat terrorism through highly trained special police forces and qualified intelligence services as has successfully been done in Europe for decades.
The diverging American and European Weltanschaung
The Franco-German stance on the problem of Iraq and their opposition to accept a unilateral military intervention by the United States in that country has to be seen under the context of the long-term interests of the European Union. As we have mentioned, the European Union will emerge as an economic giant comprising 24 countries with a population of nearly 450 million by 2004.
With the prospect of a dramatic increase of the world's energy consumption and the strategic will of the United States in order to exercise control over the Caspian oil/gas reserves through its presence in Afghanistan and the military occupation of Iraq, which possesses the second largest oil reserves in the world, it is understandable that the Europeans are concerned about a future dependence on energy resources fully controlled by the United States.
The German foreign policy on terrorism and on the problem of Middle East is completely in line with the declared German intention to proceed in accordance with the international order, through multilateral institutionalism and in the spirit of its European vocation.
Finally, in the words of Robert Kagan: '[Americans and Europeans] do not share the same broad view of how the world should be governed, about the role of international institutions and international law, about the proper balance between the use of force and the use of diplomacy in international affairs'.
European interests point to building a world where military strength and hard power matter less than economic and soft power, an international order where international law and international institutions matter more than the power of individual nations, where unilateral action by powerful states is forbidden, where all nations regardless of their strength have equal rights and are equally protected by commonly agreed-upon international rules of behavior.