Saturday, January 31, 2009

With Subtly Changed Goals And Tactics, Barack Obama Woos A Reluctant Europe

Barack Obama gave a speech in Berlin in front of 200,000 cheering Europeans as part of a trip intended to prove he's a man of the world - and one who's capable of leading it. (New York Daily News)

From Times Online:

There was a decisive shift inside the Obama Administration this week when it came to Afghanistan. It was a reflection of how perilous the mission has become and was also triggered by the realisation that getting European allies to send significantly more troops could be beyond even the new President’s powers of persuasion.

Mr Obama has long made clear that on Afghanistan – his top foreign policy priority – he expects much from his European allies. Yet as he discovered last week, after a disappointingly lukewarm response from the EU to help him to close the Guantánamo Bay prison camp, his request for thousands more European troops in Afghanistan is already running into resistance. No formal request of Britain has yet been made but Mr Obama will press Gordon Brown for additional troops, perhaps as many as 5,000. British military officials say that a deployment on that scale is out of the question. It will ultimately be Mr Brown’s call and Mr Obama will exert considerable pressure in the months ahead.

Read more ....

My Comment: He is not going to succeed. He will ask Europe to invest more in Afghanistan .... this is not going to happen. He is going to ask Europe to become more involved in Third World conflicts and in helping failed states .... this is not going to happen. Limiting trade with countries like Iran and with organizations like Hamas may make some headway, but it will fall far short of what is expected.

The big sore points between the U.S. and Europe will be trade, energy dependence, and financial/monetary policy. The passage by the U.S. Congress that prohibits the purchase of non-U.S. steel is already raising the threat of trade protectionism and tariffs. High unemployment, out of control government spending .... all of these factors are going to make U.S. and European relations chilly ... with everyone looking at their self interests first.

No comments: