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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Europe facts of the day

For my sabbatical, I'm supposed to be working on the longevity of the "western security community." Will America and Europe continue their relatively friendly relations, despite apparently differing views of threats and global responsibilities? Will real or perceived American unilateralism and militarism threaten transatlantic ties?

Mostly, I've been looking at whether European states worry enough about terrorism and "weapons of mass destruction" to support the Bush administration's doctrine of "preemptive" military action, which resembles preventive war. The recent European Security Strategy document certainly takes these threats seriously and I've occasionally blogged about how other states view the so-called Bush Doctrine.

In any case, I've been reading articles about Europe that I might have filed away before the sabbatical began.

Earlier this week, I read an interesting book review of T.R. Reid's The United States of Europe: The New Superpower and the End of American Supremacy by Princeton's Andrew Moravcsik (who was at Harvard until last year).

Moravcsik mentioned a couple of facts worth noting:
European countries provide 70 percent of the world’s foreign aid, which helps explain why the United Nations Security Council tends to vote their way. They also field 10 times more peacekeepers than the United States -- the Pentagon being averse to such tasks -- and have sustained more casualties than the United States, not just in the Balkans but also in Afghanistan.
As Johnny Carson used to say, "I did not know that."

Well, I generally knew about their Balkans work...and their high levels of aid giving.

But casualties in Afghanistan? No.

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