PHILIP H. GORDON: Good morning. Let me welcome you all, ladies and gentlemen, to the second session. I’m Phil Gordon. I’m a senior fellow a The Brookings Institution in Washington. And again, welcome to what will now be a discussion of the impact of the Iraq war on our alliances with Europe and with Asia. You’re familiar with the format, which we’ll keep the same. There won’t be speeches, but we’ll begin by me asking the speakers a couple of questions to start off the discussion, and I’ll engage with them for 30 minutes or so before opening the floor to your participation, comments and questions. I think it’s my duty to remind you to turn off your cell phones and also to remind you that this session is on the record.
You have the bios of the two speakers, so I won’t take any undue time in introducing them. To my left is Dana Allin, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. To my right is Phil Saunders, who’s a senior research fellow at the National Defense University. We’ve got Europe to the left and Asia to the right.
And lets begin, if I may, Dana, with you and with Europe. I think the opening question is obvious, which is we’ve all read—we’ve all followed this over the past few years. We read the latest opinion polls, the Pew Polls, the German Marshall Fund Polls, and they all tell us that the rift with Europeans, at least public, is deep and still deep. If you look at the favorable views of the United States, for all of our traditional allies, including Britain, but Germany, France, Turkey, they’ve fallen from the 70s and 80s a few years ago, just before the Iraq war, to the 30s, 20s and in the case of Turkey, the 12s. So it looks like—you know, if the correlation is right, the Iraq war itself has deeply damaged this relationship, again at least with the public.
And what I’d like to invite you to comment on from the start is: How permanent do you think that rift is? I mean, it seems to be deep, even though our specific differences over what to do in Iraq perhaps have narrowed. So not only how permanent it is, but how Iraq-driven is it? Is this a phenomenon of the Iraq war, and somehow maybe if Iraq gets a bit better, the relationship gets better? Or is there something structural about it, and this relationship is really deeply troubled and was troubled even before Iraq?
DANA ALLIN: Well, I mean, the answer to this, Phil, I think is complicated, and therefore, I’m going to contradict myself. Just the—the evidence you just provided, I think, shows fairly strongly that it is almost totally Iraq driven. I mean, this was an argument about Iraq. Now what is clearly true is that there was something transformational in the end of the Cold War that made the alliance a lot more vulnerable. We—you know, we had structurally—and almost by definition we had a lot of friends on our side because we—(inaudible)—protects them. That kind of—that kind of loyalty, I mean, to put it bluntly, now has to be earned rather than assumed now. And it is assumed in a certain sense or it’s assumed in much of the world that because we have virtue on our side, we’re bound to have democracies on our side. Well, it doesn’t—you know, it doesn’t really work that way.
The argument about Iraq, I think, has to be seen fundamentally as an argument about Iraq. Some people thought it was a good idea; some people thought it was a bad idea. A lot of the people who thought it was a bad idea happen to be in Europe and particularly in certain countries in Europe. So you know what that suggests, I think, is that there’s nothing culturally determined about this. I mean, I don’t really buy the idea that Americans and Europeans live on different planets. They do—you know, there are clearly different tendencies at work on both sides of the Atlantic, and one has to be—one has to take these into account.
But if there’s nothing culturally determined, nonetheless the damage has been huge. The public opinion is very, very sour. You know, I think the best way of putting this is we’ve lost the benefit of the doubt, and everything we do is going to be judged on its own merits. And of course, it’s not really in the instincts of the United States to—and I’m not necessarily saying it should be, although that’s another complicated question—to craft our policies based on how they’re going to play in Europe. So it’s going to be very difficult to recover.
GORDON: So you’re saying in some ways it’s partly structural, the end of the Cold War, so we’re not as natural allies as we were before, but it’s also partly Iraq because Iraq was a huge difference between us.
What does that lead you to conclude? I know part of this—in this project they’re looking at Iraq scenarios. Iraq could actually get better, and Iraq could also even get worse. How do those scenarios play out with the relationship with Europe? In other words, if it gets worse, does it continue to drive the rift between us, and can you actually imagine that if we somehow stabilized Iraq, the relationship would also stabilize?
ALLIN: You know, as a first principle, I think if it gets worse, if it continues to get worse, that’s going to be bad for the relationship. It’s going to be bad for American self-confidence, it’s going to be bad for America’s reputation. You know, if we could somehow pull a rabbit out of a hat, that would have a largely positive effect on the relationship. There is also the fact that the Europeans—obviously they feel very, very vulnerable to what’s going on in the Middle East, and if it continues to have knock-on effects in Europe and in Europe’s relations with its own Islamic communities, there’s going to be a—I won’t say understandable, but an inevitable tendency to blame us.
But this is a slightly hypothetical question because I suspect what’s going to happen, as we were suggesting this morning, is things are going to more or less continue the way they’re continuing for a couple of years. I mean, there’s another element of this question, that somehow that you have Schadenfreude that drives this, and that also certain—elites in certain countries may actually not be altogether displeased to see us humbled this way. There’s probably a degree of truth to that. I mean, it’s only natural. I mean, I don’t—not to be glib about this, but if I, in marriage, say to my wife, “I think this is a bad idea,” and she goes ahead and does it anyway, I kind of recognize that it’s probably not in my best interest to glory in the defeat.
GORDON: I think I’ll leave that one there—(laughter)—and shift to another aspect of this. (Laughter.) I’m not going to touch that analogy with a 10-foot pole.
PHILLIP SAUNDERS: I’m happy with the baseball analogy! (Laughs.)
GORDON: Yeah, exactly.
It’s sometimes said that, you know, only an outside actor, an outside threat can bring Europeans together. Europeans are obviously clearly deeply divided over the Iraq war—at least European governments were. To what degree—and we know that, you know, an outside threat—the Soviet Union—helped bring Europeans together to a certain degree in cooperation. It’s sometimes said that, you know, an obnoxious United States can also help bring them together.
What is the impact of the Iraq war on European unity? Is the difficulty with the United States enough to lead more and more of them to follow what you might call a Franco-German view: We can’t rely on the United States; we differ from them, and therefore, we need more autonomous forces, foreign policy, and so on. Or are the Europeans just hopelessly divided for historical, cultural and other reasons, and no matter how badly we screw up Iraq, they’re going to be divided anyway?
ALLIN: You know, the funny thing is that—the premise of your question is absolutely right; the Iraq war was tremendously divisive in transatlantic terms, and is tremendously divisive in transatlantic terms. It was also very, very divisive in intra-European terms.
The irony here, I think, is that Europeans—we have this image—I think there’s a widespread image in the United States and, frankly, from Europe as well, of a continent hopelessly divided, divided by Iraq, divided among so many issues, unable to get its act together on so many fronts. In practical terms, there’s a certain degree of truth to that. But ideologically—and that’s probably not the right word—but philosophically, Europeans are very, very united on some of the basic issues that have been kind of the hot button issues in our relationship. And when I say united, I’m talking about Brits, Poles, Italians, French—everybody—on issues of the role of the United Nations, on issues of things like the International Criminal Court; on global warming, on Kyoto; on Israel-Palestine.
GORDON: So you think Iraq was more the exception?
ALLIN: No. What I think is that the one thing that is very divisive is how to deal with the United States. There are deep differences within Europe that obviously do divide the British from the French, to take the two strongest examples. And what you see is that in electoral terms in Britain, where I live, you’ll see someone like David Cameron, the Tory leader, who realizes that it’s in his political interest, in the political interest of what you would assume to be the most pro-Bush party in Europe, to come on September 11 th, I believe it was, and, you know, insist that our definition of loyalty is not slavishness. That was a rather striking word he used. And that’s—I think that’s based on a very canny calculation of how this kind of thing plays in British domestic politics.
I don’t think, though, that that means that Britain’s, you know, sort of raison d’etat kind of view that it has to be on the side of the United States is necessarily going to change under a Brown government, under a Cameron government, because this is central to the way that Britain sees its role in the world, is being closer to the U.S.
So I guess the bottom line is that if we considered it in our interest to divide Europe, as some of our leaders seemed to do during the Iraq war, we could probably still do it. I don’t think it is in our interest.
GORDON: Let me second one point you made and ask you a final question before I turn to Phil. I think that this is important—we may come back to it—about the difference over Iraq was really a difference over America in Europe. And broadly, I think most Europeans agreed it was a bad idea, but some thought that despite it being a bad idea, their interest was in supporting the United States, and others thought that since it’s a bad idea, they should oppose the United States. And that’s what this was about, more than Europeans differences over Iraq.
But since you mentioned David Cameron and Gordon Brown, let me just ask you one last thing about them and others. I mean, it’s quite possible that in six months, nine months, a year, we’re no longer dealing with the Europe that we dealt with over the Iraq war. I mean, already Aznar and Berlusconi, two deeply pro-American leaders, are out. Already Merkel, who is more pro-American than Schroeder, is in, but we could soon have in Britain Brown or Cameron, and Sarkozy in France. If we do get a new line-up, do you see any potential for putting this Iraq dispute behind us, a whole set of new leaders—Sarkozy, Merkel, Brown—you just said that Brown might be—you know, stick to the relationship with the United States. Do you see any hope in that scenario or things to worry about in that scenario?
ALLIN: Well, I think a change in personalities can only help. You know, this was—this is the first point, that there’s a lot of personal bitterness at the highest level.
Secondly, all of Europe’s leaders, including Chirac, have, after looking into the abyss, after hoping for the defeat of President Bush in 2004, when that didn’t happen, they—I think he’s—you know, this was palpable in their statements and in their policies—they thought, in the interest of their country, to repair relations with the United States. No one—no European leader, I think, thinks it’s good for him to have bad relations with the United States, for more or less obvious reasons.
But they have a lot less room for maneuver, and this goes back to your original question. Public opinion—not just public opinion broadly, but what we might call elite policy opinion is very soured when you go down very far. And you know, everything depends on how the United States—well, now, with—you know, a good question is, is all this blamed on the United States? And we can talk about that.
But I don’t think that, to give you an example, a kind of solipsistic view of American foreign policy as revolving around something called a war on terrorism is something that is going to win hearts and minds in Europe, much less any place else. And as long as we’re on that course, I think it’s going to be very difficult to repair the damage in broader social terms.
GORDON: And one of the ironies of our support for democracy is that the more democracies there are, the more public opinion matters, because they have leaders who have to respond to public opinion. That’s a sort of frustration in U.S. foreign policy. (Laughter.)
Let’s turn to—let’s turn to Phil and Asia a bit. And I guess the place to start is—the place to start is in Europe. But in Europe, you know, we had NATO, which felt like a deep, deep rift. In Asia, at least among the allies, the governments again supported it, supported us. What—how—what’s analogous and what’s different with the Asian allies? And how much damage did the Iraq war do to those strategic relationships?
SAUNDERS: Well, first I have to say that I’m speaking in my own personal capacity, as they say on “Mission: Impossible.” The secretary will disavow all knowledge of anything I have to say here, so I have to put that out.
I think one of the differences is that Asia’s a little bit more removed from—removed geographically and less exposed to contagion than Europe is—and so with the exception of Indonesia, there hasn’t been this direct spread of terrorism that’s been aggravated so directly by the Iraq war—and second, that the U.S. plays a very different security role in Asia.
We have alliances with Japan and South Korea and Australia that are very important to those countries’ security, and one of their priorities, even when they disagreed with what we were doing in Iraq or wanted us to do it in a different way—in Japan’s case, wanting U.N. authorization—nevertheless, they had looked firmly at what their security interests are, and it’s in maintaining the alliances. And that really has changed the tone of the government response, even when it was very unpopular for Japan or South Korea to send troops to Iraq. They did it because—for the sake of the alliances, primarily.
So that’s one way that it plays out very differently. Even though they don’t think it was a good idea, they felt they had to go along and support it.
The China case is a little bit different. They thought it was a bad idea. They thought it’s wrong to do these things without U.N. sanctions, which they were not going to see the U.N. provide. And this kind of confirmed some of their fears and concerns about a United States that is the sole superpower and that goes around the world making things worse, yet at the same time they’ve made a strategic decision, they’re not going to confront the Bush administration over this. And I’m told they were approached by the Europeans to take the lead, and they said, “No, thanks. That’s not a role we want to play,” and at a different level are not sorry to see the United States preoccupied in Iraq and not focused on what China is doing and have the security debate in the United States focused on the Middle East and not on China. I think I’m going to leave it at that.
GORDON: Mm-hmm. Let me—we’ll come to China, but let me clarify one thing on the allies, especially those who sent forces.
In Europe, we said that in many cases it was largely because they wanted a good relationship with the United States rather than because they thought it was a good idea, although Blair might be an exception to that rule, and we can talk about that. How would you assess Japan, Korea, Australia? Did they support it at least in part because they thought it was a good idea or simply because they had strategic relationships, they need us in Asia, and they wanted to keep the Bush administration happy?
SAUNDERS: In Japan, there was concern about Iraq and WMD. I think in Australia to some degree. So it was a mix of motives. There were some real concerns about global security interests of those countries and energy from the Middle East, and that was part of the motivation. But preserving the alliance was also part. In Japan’s case, it was also a way of expanding the legitimacy of Japan’s military role. The forces they sent to Iraq—it was significant that it was a deployment outside the Asia region.
In South Korea’s case, it’s almost purely about the alliance.
GORDON: Let me follow up on what you said about China, which seems to me, at least, of a different view.
But the China debate has been significantly displaced by the Iraq debate. Iraq and the Middle East in general and Islam and terrorism suck so much energy out of our foreign—we can only debate a few things at once.
GORDON: And interestingly, when the Bush administration was elected, it wasn’t to deal with the Middle East. I would say that, you know, missile defense and China were at the top of the list of the issues that we were going to be dealing with.
But now we’re not really talking about that, and I wonder what—you know, how that matters. Is—I mean, I could even ask you, is that a good thing? Because if it wasn’t for the Middle East, we’d be having a discussion here about China and how to contain it, and the Chinese would notice that and it might cause all sorts of problems. What’s the impact of not talking about China?
SAUNDERS: Well, I guess it’s a couple of things. I tend to see a degree of continuity in U.S. policy toward China that—it’s a hedging policy. On the one hand, we’re engaging it, trying to shape it in a favorable direction, trying to shape how it thinks about its global interests in ways compatible with ours; and on the other hand, we are trying to preserve and build the military capabilities and alliances necessary if China turns out badly, and that’s basically, I think, been our policy since 1995-1996 with a little bit of difference in tone between the administrations. And some of that infrastructure work on the military side is still happening. If you look at the QDR, if you look at the transformation of U.S. alliances, we’re doing a lot of things that improve our military capabilities and ability to project—(audio break)—in Asia, and some of that is with the notion that there might be a contingency against China at some point in the future. And that part of the military planning, I think, has gone forward, even if the broader Washington policy debate has been distracted a little bit from China.
From China’s point of view, it doesn’t want to be the focus of U.S. attention or the focus of a debate about whether or not they are our next enemy. They’re happy to be off the op ed pages for a while.
GORDON: Mm-hmm. We talked a bit about the domestic politics and the leaders in Europe. I’d like to do that in Asia. Have any leaders paid a political price for their support for the United States? And obviously in Japan, they just elected a leader who seems on the contrary to be even more pro-American, so it doesn’t seem to have happened there.
You mention Australia. Howard’s been reelected. Is there any sense that this is affecting their domestic politics, or are they somehow distant enough to be immune so that this isn’t the main issue in their elections?
SAUNDERS: It’s not the main issue in the elections, but, you know, it’s clear that the Iraq war has done damage to the U.S. image throughout Asia. You look at the polling number’s and it’s down pretty much everywhere somewhat. And the leaders that have sent troops have done so against the public opinion of their publics, and so they pay a little bit of a political price for that, but they’ve been able to justify it in the importance of maintaining alliance relationships, and so the damage has been minimal and hasn’t really been a confrontational political issue that makes them vulnerable to domestic opposition.
GORDON: Maybe one more geopolitical thing before we open it to further questioning, which is, the United States is bogged down in Iraq. We have 147,000 soldiers there. We don’t have a lot for other contingencies. At the same time, we are the hegemon in East Asia. We provide stability, security and so on. Countries in the region count on that, and therefore they forego some of their own military spending or nuclear weapons and so on because we’re the power.
Especially with China rising, to what degree have our difficulties in Iraq and the fact that our army is occupied raised questions about the future of U.S. reliability as an East Asian stabilizer? Are Japan, Korea and others, Taiwan, wondering if we’re going to be as ready to fight a war in Asia now as we might have been three years ago?
SAUNDERS: There’s a little bit of a concern but not a lot, as things stand, partly because Asia is a theater where if we fight, we will fight, to the maximum extent possible, with air and naval power. So it’s the princess bride principle, don’t fight a land war in Asia. And we’ve really kind of taken that to heart. And while our army and our ground forces are deeply committed in Iraq, our air and naval power are still there in the Pacific, and indeed some of the things we’re doing are enhancing that power. So I don’t think there’s a perception that there’s a window of opportunity for North Korea or China to really take adventurous action.
Over the longer term there is concern about what’s the long-term impact going to be on the U.S. military; are we going to break the Army? But the bigger point that I hear in the region is, what’s the impact going to be on the U.S. will to remain actively engaged in the region? Is there going to be a Vietnam syndrome, where the U.S. is less supportive of alliances, overseas commitment, and pulls back from that?
GORDON: And the analogy of China as the Soviet Union, which took advantage of an inward-focused U.S.—(inaudible)—Africa and Latin America, now China’s interested in the Middle East.
SAUNDERS: That’s one of the countervailing factors, is that there is a sense in the region that we are distracted from Asia. Some of that would have happened inevitably with 9/11 and the focus on counterterrorism independently of what happened in Iraq, so that is a message one hears consistently, but their response is to try to encourage the United States to become more actively engaged, to welcome us into an expanded role in the region, and that’s the way they hope to deal with it.
GORDON: Good. You’ve both put a lot of good and big and clear ideas on the table, ad we’ll open it up now to the room.
The first gentleman to catch my eye is over here. I’ll call on you. And please wait for a microphone to appear. And stand up, please, and tell us who you are and ask your question.
QUESTIONER: Thank you. David Speedie, Carnegie Corporation. Mr. Allin, you talked about Europe’s sense of vulnerability to the situation in the Middle East, but of course Europe has a much more complementary vulnerability, and that is to the roilings within its own Muslim populations, Madrid and London only being the most dramatic examples. And certainly Europe does not have any concerted sort of policy or view as to how best to deal with this, from the French “laicite” is very different from Britain’s accommodation policies, the Netherlands and so on and so forth.
So do you see this, first of all, as simply another manifestation or symptom of what is going on in the Middle East, that this is what Europe can write this off as, as it were?
And second of all, to follow up Mr. Gordon, the moderator’s question, as the political landscape’s changing—for example, Sarkozy has been pretty unpleasant in some of his comments about the Muslim population.
How do you see this playing out in a changing European political landscape?
ALLIN: Well, you know, I mean, I think the first thing to say is that European, as you—(audio break)—there’s a variety of experience dealing with Muslim populations. It’s arguably the biggest issue facing Europe. No one’s been successful yet as far as we can see. And there’s—you know, I think what I suggested is there might be a tendency to use the United States’ policies as a scapegoat, which is a way of not getting to grips with their own problem, which is really completely an internal problem. But at the same time, it’s fair enough that if the United States—you know, I mean, this is one reason—I think it has been well argued, and I think it’s fairly obvious—this is one reason why the concept of an all-front war against global terrorism or islamofascism, lumping everything together—Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran—is just not something that the Europeans are going to have the stomach for because there are problems—it’s not exclusively internal. I mean, they face external problems—terrorist problems too, but it has an internal dimension that we haven’t so far seen in the United States.
And the dimension is precisely the dimension of this, you know, this really bad sort of metaphor, but it’s the best I can come up with. (Audio break)—ideology. You cannot declare war and then decide, well—(audio break)—Muslim population—(audio break)—vulnerable to this infection—whether—I’m stumbling a little bit over the political question about what the answer’s going to be because I really haven’t—I mean, I guess the best way to put it is I haven’t seen anybody in the upcoming emerging crop of European leaders who really has a good answer to the problem.
Sarkozy on some level takes a tougher position; on other levels, he seems to be more—(audio break)—dealing with France’s Islamic communities. It’s striking that, you know, I think from our point of view—this may not be quite accurate—but from our point of view, we would probably think Britain more or less gets it right. I mean, we—you know, it sort of seems there’s a degree of ghettoization going on, but there’s a—but Britain strikingly—and maybe it’s just a coincidence—(audio break)—almost the epicenter of the terrorist issue—(audio break). There’s France which seems to do everything wrong in terms of community relations so far at least doesn’t seem to have the same degree of—(audio break).
Well, how to explain—I was talking to Dan Benjamin about this before. I mean, he came up with some pretty good answers. One of which I think is simply that France has been on a longer learning curve about this problem since the 1990s. Secondly, there’s the Pakistani connection, which I think is a very crucial element in Britain.
But you know, again, in answer to your question, I don’t think anyone has given very convincing answers. I am a great defender of France in a lot of ways—(audio break) – in the country I come from and the country I live in it’s an unpopular position. But the one thing that the French, I think, really are dogmatic about is this niche of Republican equality and refusal to look at issues of affirmative action and so forth.
GORDON: I just arrived from Paris, but that’s one thing that’s popular—(audio break). It’s true he’s tough on immigration and tracking down on crime and expelling illegal immigrants, but at the same time, he’s one of the rare ones who supports affirmative action and has reached out to create structural relationships with the Islamic community. So it’s a bit more complicated than he’s tough on Islam. Let’s go right here in the first row.
QUESTIONER: Jeff Schaffer (sp). I really wanted to ask the same question about Asia. You have Indonesia, which is the largest Muslim country in the world, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore with large Muslim minorities.
How has the war in Iraq and the changing perception of the U.S. affected both the internal political dynamics in those countries and the U.S. relationship with them?
SAUNDERS: Do you want to—go ahead.
ALLIN: No, go ahead. Go ahead.
Well, it has strengthened the decline in the U.S. image in those countries, so there is—that’s sort of one thing that comes out very clearly in the polling data, that the U.S. image in most of those countries is down significantly.
Less so in the Philippines, where the U.S. is actively engaged in counterterrorism and has helped on a variety of natural disaster responses, the tsunami relief operations in Indonesia and kind of the ongoing efforts on the U.S. government side to repair and expand cooperation with Indonesia, has had a positive effect on government-to-government relations, a lot less effect on popular views. It kind of—it went up a little bit after the tsunami relief and now has declined a little bit.
In Thailand, it’s a little tough to say because we’ve had the military coup there. Thaksin took a pretty tough line on Muslim groups in Thailand’s south and sometimes a heavy-handed and ineffective policy that stirred a lot of resentment there. I think it remains to be seen what direction the new government is going to go in.
And it’s—but I guess another point to make there is there’s some differentiation between the post-9/11 view of the terrorist threat in Southeast Asia and the Iraq war, and to some degree it’s hard intellectually, but you need to disentangle those a little bit because the governments realize they did have a problem. And certainly the Indonesian government knows that with the bombings in Bali and in Jakarta, and that has increased their willingness to cooperate with the United States on counterterrorism issues. It’s—(audio break)—relationship. They have some concerns about our approach and things like access to terrorists that the U.S. have captured. But the net result has been it’s a problem they take more seriously, and security cooperation with the U.S. is seen as an important way of managing that. And to date, the governments have been able to strike that balance between their popular concerns about the United States and the reality that security cooperation with the U.S. is helpful to them, the governments, in maintaining power.
GORDON: Thanks. Steve Simon—I know there are a lot of questions building, and we will—I’ll—if you ask short questions, I will promise to ensure short answers, so—Steve, though, you can ask a longer question, as you’re in charge—
SIMON: Thanks. Looking down the road—and this is a question for both Dana Allin and you, Phil Gordon, since you did write a book at one point about Europe and the Middle East. An impression I got from the book at that time—it was from an earlier era—you were a young man then—(soft laughter)—I got the impression that the Europeans were fundamentally divided on their approach to the Middle East, and I’m sure you have some thoughts on this. The gist of the question is, as the U.S. remains bogged down in Iraq, as Phil Saunders put it, will the Europeans take any initiatives? I mean, will they try and pick up the gauntlet from the United States? Or will they continue with their pattern of what some might call passive-aggressiveness and Schadenfreude? Do they see an opportunity now to act?
ALLIN: Well, they certainly—you know, I think that was a large part of the—they—a large part of the—(audio break)—that got them so energized about the Iran nuclear issue. I mean, there happens to be a reasonable degree of unity in Europe between at least France and Britain—with Germany maybe a little bit less committed—to the idea that a nuclear Iran—first of all, that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons and secondly that this would be a very, very, very, very, very bad thing, which is not the same word we would use here, which is “intolerable.” But a very, very, very bad thing is bad enough. This was, you know, picking up the gauntlet to a certain extent almost by default because the United States was sort of waiting around, was suddenly willing to do anything now that the policies have been more coordinated between the U.S. and the EU-3, which we—you know, all good-thinking people think they should be. They’re, of course, on the verge of failure. So this is not—I don’t know what more you would want the Europeans to have done so far, but it doesn’t always bring success.
Where else? Well, not in Iraq, first of all. I don’t—but, you know, we didn’t—you know, you guys this morning didn’t exactly provide the clearest blueprint about what should be done anyway, so I’m not sure—(laughter) --
MR. : Particularly your fault. It’s obvious what should be done, and you just failed to identify it.
ALLIN: I’m not sure they have any better ideas in Europe.
SIMON: What we provided was—(off mike)—(Laughter.)
ALLIN: Israel-Palestine, I guess is the other place you would be interested in. Well, you know, the Europeans are in a very kind of reactive mode about everything. And just a small footnote, it’s arguable—you know, Tony Blair was headed for a fall at some point anyway, but it’s arguable that it was the Lebanon war that finally did it for him. There was a lot of anger in the Labor Party about when Britain was going to call for a cease-fire. And this was seen as almost the last straw, in a sense, in terms of, you know: You’re really going with Bush again on this, when it’s so obvious to all of us that we want a cease-fire right away?
But you know, again, Steve, that’s reactive. I mean, it’s not—what they want is for the United States to do a better job, I mean there’s no question about that! (Laughter.) So they don’t—either for reasons of well-deserved modesty or realism, they don’t see them having the clout to really drive a solution. And they’re right, because of us and Israel, I mean we have the leverage.
GORDON: Steve, let me just—I’ll give you my two cents, since you referred to work I did as a young man. This is one of those glass half full, half empty things. We could take the next hour and talk about all of the ways in which Europeans are divided and pathetic and not doing anything, and caveats in Afghanistan, and divisions in Iraq.
But the half-full part is actually what is worth noticing. And I think the answer to your question is yes. First of all, the premise that they’re deeply divided I don’t think is right. We said that before in Iraq. They weren’t actually deeply divided on Iraq, they were deeply divided on the United States. They broadly all thought that it was a bad idea, unnecessary and shouldn’t be done; if it was done, it should have had the U.N. Security Council backing. That was a pretty much consensus on that.
On Iran, they’re quite unified. I mean, they came up with this new mechanism of the EU-3. The three are taking the lead; the others are broadly supporting them. They have the same view on Iran. And they’re pretty much prepared to step up to the plate. We don’t have many better answers either. And they have both the same view and are prepared to do something, their leadership, on Iran.
In Afghanistan, just today they took over the international force there. They have more than 20,000 troops there that we badly need; 13,000 Americans are now serving under them. If they weren’t there, I don’t know who would be there because we don’t have any spare troops.
They did the same thing in Lebanon. The only way to get a cease-fire between Hezbollah and Israel was an international force. Even if that was a sort of pretense, because it wasn’t going to do anything, we still needed it in order to give the two sides an excuse to back down. And we weren’t going to send any forces there, so the Europeans did it.
So, you know, again, we can talk about all of the divisions and the incapacities or whatever, but I think that the moment is actually—the degree to which we need them, and we should be happy that they’re doing what they’re doing, rather than just continuing to say, well, you know, it’s too bad Europe won’t step up.
The gentleman over here in the third row.
QUESTIONER: I’m Mike Laupinheimer (sp) at NYU. This is an extension of Steven’s question. A number of states in both regions, particularly in Europe, share a clear interest in avoiding the worst-case scenario, which was so much present in the conversation earlier today. And clearly, they’re not prepared to help President Bush out of this morass that he created. But fast-forward to 2008, with a new president from either party, but much less invested in current policies, and prepared, for example, to commit to ultimate American withdrawal from Iraq, and/or reengage in Middle East peace negotiations, and/or a variety of other policies that have proven during the last eight years to be ineffective, can you imagine a Europe prepared to, in effect, act on those common interests and avoid this worst-case scenario in Iraq, which is deepening civil war, and spreading civil war throughout the region, and so forth, and what might that U.S.-European policy consensus look like, and what if we could reach that consensus with European participation in that effort to avoid worst-case scenarios look like?
GORDON: Okay. Dana?
ALLIN: Well, as I said in answer to Payne’s (sp) question, I mean, if you think the—and Toby has spoken about the multilateralization of—the need for a multilateralization of the Iraq response. I’m not entirely sure what that means. If you think it means European troops, then we’re obviously—(pauses)—
SAUNDERS: Nuts. There’s an expression for that. (Laughter.)
ALLIN: Yeah, there are the expressions. I couldn’t think of any more.
Yeah. I suppose the one thing—and I’ll give a lame, practical answer, but there’s a deeper philosophical point behind it, from a European point of view. The lame, practical answer is what—an idea that people in this room have been kicking around of really trying to create the kind of regional and transatlantic and even P-5 contact group that is aimed towards trying to, you know, make deals with Iraq’s neighbors, so to stabilize the situation there or at least not make it worse. It includes countries like Iran and Syria, obviously.
I think if the Europeans thought that this was something that the United States was really interested in, because we had no other option, and was willing to—in other words, it wasn’t just a fig leaf for the United States to continue to do what—you know, a multilateral fig leaf to continue to do what we wanted to do, there might be interest in engagement on that front. But that’s not primarily, you know, European thing anyway. I mean, you know, we can talk to the French about it. We’ve got to talk to the Iranians about it.
Philosophically, I mean, I—you know, to borrow from Jim Dobbins, you know, the fundamental conflict here is—the fundamental dilemma is trying to stabilize Iraq while you’re still trying to destabilize its neighbors. I mean, you know, you can do one or the other, but it’s very difficult to do both. And that’s something that, because of the whole layers of conservatism that, you know, we can—(off mike)—for a long time, is really something that the Europeans get and see as a problem in U.S. policy. So—well, I guess that’s—let me—
GORDON: Toby, are you on this point, since your name was evoked for multilateralism?
QUESTIONER: (Off mike.)
GORDON: Then I’ll come to the gentleman here. But go ahead.
So I think if there’s a multilateral plan for Iraq, people would want to hear it.
QUESTIONER: Yeah, I—two—yeah. Troops, I’ve just been informed, are “nuts,” so I’ll put that in the bin. But as I travel to rooms like this and travel to rooms with people in government in Washington, the word “defeat,” “withdrawal,” “failure” is banging about. But when one travels through Brussels and especially Paris, as Steve—the word “Schadenfreude” and “It’s your problem” is bandied about much more often. So to Dana and to you, where’s the tipping point in Paris, in that sense? This is a huge problem.
And secondly, would there be—certainly there isn’t at the moment now—the taste for it in Washington, let alone Brussels or Paris, but could—what would lead to a contact group, to at least a diplomatic multilateral—(off mike)?
GORDON: Let me just pick up the—I completely disagree that there is Schadenfreude in Paris and other European capitals now. I think in the first year, there was concern that America would have a brilliant victory, the neocons would be triumphant, we would then go on to attack Iran and Syria and the rest, and they were worried about that. And so they did worry about too much American success.
Let me say that the concern about two much American success—(chuckles)—has dissipated. Problem solved. (Scattered laughter.) That one has been taken care of. (Scattered laughter.)
And I don’t know, you know, how you draw the chart, but somewhere pretty quickly, it went from concern that we would be even more arrogant and unilateral to concern that we were going to screw it up really badly, and it would revive concerns about their Muslim population, and Iraq would break up, and Turkey would come in, and Iran. And we are way into that camp now. (Chuckles.)
So I don’t know anyone in Paris who thinks this is great and just hope it goes on, to keep America weak. That part of it is taken care of. And they have—they share the concern.
Now, does that mean that, you know, they’re prepared to send troops to help us out in Iraq? No. And they won’t be, which why I raised the point about multilateralism in my answer to Steve’s question about the other places they’re helping. Let’s focus on that. If we can get European support in Afghanistan and Lebanon and Iran, let’s just be pleased with that, cooperate there, and not recreate an Iraq problem by trying to get Europeans to do in Iraq what they’re not going to do, and then that’s just one more source of friction, it seems to me.
I promised to come to this gentleman, and then I’ll come back to the center here.
QUESTIONER: Hello. My name is James Tunkey. And I’m going to pose a question for the panel. And I’d like to maybe approach the problem in a different way.
If you look at a map of the world and you think about terrorist attacks, you can see very clearly that each event, if you look on the map, beginning from Madrid, ending somewhere down in Indonesia, gets very heavy in Iraq, but the line is very clear that it joins Asia and Europe. And so, clearly, both regions have a problem.
A lot of the comments that you’ve made today really reflect traditional post-World War II multilateral structures for dealing with old threats and old problems, but this is clearly a new one. If the panel were to try to create a multilateral structure to deal with the current problem of terrorist attacks, events, outbreaks spanning from the Philippines up to London, what would it look like? Would it be based on democracy, would it be based on enforcement or would it be based on security or something else?
GORDON: Phil, do you want to begin on that?
SAUNDERS: I haven’t given a lot of thought to that. There’s difficulties when you think about multilateral security cooperation on terrorism issues because a lot of the information and intelligence that you’re sharing is very sensitive. So certainly I think there’s a tendency on the U.S. side to do a lot of that bilaterally and quietly as possible. And that tends to be the more operationally oriented side of counterterrorism and tends to be done in quiet bilateral channels.
If you think about, however, there’s also a policy dimension to it and there’s also a learning from others’ experience dimension to it. So my initial thought is that’s the part where there’s a lot more value added from multilateral cooperation. That seems like something that can be done on a government-to-government level, might also be done at a more academic level, given that there’s a policy debate on the other side.
You know, more broadly within Asia, there’s a lot of discussion about security architecture and multilateral structures, and my sense there is that it’s best to approach it from a functional manner—what is the problem, who is affected by it, who can contribute to that—and that dictates the membership, the people that you want to have involved.
So my own bias is to approach it that way and not make democracy a criterion for participation, but to do it in a much more pragmatic, functional manner, who’s affected, who can help solve it, and that dictates the people that you ought to be engaging with. And the exact organizational form under which that takes place, to me, at least, is a second-order question.
GORDON: Dana, you want to add something?
ALLIN: Yes. I agree with that. And I think I’d elaborate on it just a little bit.
I don’t think that—I’m not really sure what you were getting at, but what I am pretty sure about is that now is not the time to think in grand terms about new architectures, new institutions, over-arching—I’m talking in European terms—over-arching agreements, whether transatlantically or—(inaudible)—because if we do that, what we’re going to tend to do is accentuate and highlight the differences, disagreements, the philosophical disagreements.
I said at the outset I thought the dispute was about Iraq and whether it was a good idea or a bad idea. I’m not denying that there are philosophical disagreements between Europeans and Americans over these big issues. And all you do by trying to—you know, things like the community of democracies and this idea that we’re going to legitimize preemptive military action or the use of force through something that’s inherently more legitimate, democracy, well, the practical problems of sort of going around the world leaving out—you know, thinking you can ignore China are one problem, but the basic thing is this is the kind of idea that is not going to—what you’re going to find is a lot of disagreement between the democracies about this idea.
And I agree completely that where there is more scope for agreement is in the practical day-to-day counterterrorism, about which the Europeans are prepared to be quite serious and brutal. It’s about dealing with specific issues like Iran. We don’t necessarily agree fundamentally about why—there’s at least a difference in emphasis and nuance about why we find the prospect of Iranian nuclear weapons so frightening, but we do agree that it’s a bad idea.
You know, there’s another point here, which I think Greg Gause, among others, has written about very eloquently. But the notion that a vast radical project of democratization is the answer to our terrorist problem is unproven, to say the least. You know, the obvious point to make is you have a very serious problem in Britain from people who live in democracies, so—live in a democracy—(inaudible)—observe. So, you know, I think grand philosophical agreement is not what we should look at, it’s dealing with the specific problems at this point.
GORDON: I’ve got three in the center here. I’ll start with Ms. Towson (ph) and then two up here.
QUESTIONER: I just wanted to ask you to follow up more on what will happen to alliances in both Europe and Asia if in 12 to 24 months Iran proceeds with its nuclear—proceeds to go critical with the desire to have a nuclear capability, because Europe and the U.S. agreed that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that shouldn’t be allowed, but division came over what do you do about it. So we all agree now that Iran’s trying to get a nuclear capability and that shouldn’t be allowed, but when it comes time to do something about it, will the same division exist next time?
GORDON: Okay. Are we going to see this movie again?
ALLIN: Well, it’s a sequel, isn’t it? And it’s a problem. You know, it depends on who you listen to in Europe. But it’s intriguing that many French officials dealing with this, for example, are kind of careful not to say that military action should be completely off the table. You know, they recognize it as an element of coercive diplomacy.
But when we get to the moment, again, if this is a decisive step, it would a decision by the United States, that our European allies would not think it was (inaudible) or necessary, that they would be more—(inaudible)—about the blowback to everyone’s interest, including the U.S. interests, and that they would oppose it.
A very question. I noticed Lawry Freedman had his hand up to talk. A very interesting question which I’m not sure what’ the answer to is whether Britain would oppose it and how Britain would oppose it, how publicly.
So the short answer, I think it would be another crisis. And one reason it would be another crisis is because, you know, there are political constraints in democracies, and European publics have seen this movie before and it’s going to be very hard to sell them the idea that this is a threat that requires military action.
But I think that, you know, it’s a difficult game because that’s one reason why the Europeans—why the EU-3 takes this problem very seriously and wants to stop Iran from developing a nuclear capability.
GORDON: The other scenario to think through, I mean, you’re talking about, appropriately, the one in which we do take action, but you could also think through the one in which we don’t, which could actually strengthen the alliance. We have a clear threat, countries like Turkey and other allies need even more to rely on us if they don’t develop their own nuclear weapons, then it actually bolsters the case and you could have an even stronger U.S. alliance with countries in the region.
But anyway, Phil, the Asians?
SAUNDERS: A negative impact, but I don’t think they’re going to be prepared to support strong action, not least because especially for Japan and China there’s an increasing oil relationship with Iran, and that does play into their policy, that both countries have energy companies that are actively engaged on the ground there, and they see that as a key part of their energy security policy.
So, you know, the pressure from them is going to be to go slow, to give diplomacy a chance, and when push comes to shove, I think not to want to use force, they need to be prepared to endorse the limited sanctions, but not to be fully on board with anything stronger.
GORDON: Japan’s decision on its own nuclear weapons obviously depends more on North Korea than Middle Eastern scenarios. But what if—you know, North Korea tests, Iran moves forward, and we prove that the NPT has no meaning; other countries—Saudi Arabia, Egypt—start thinking about it. You know, where on that threshold does Japan tip and become a nuclear weapon state?
SAUNDERS: It’s a good question. Debates in Japan about nuclear weapons kind of come up periodically when something happens in the international security environment, starting with when China got nuclear weapons in 1964. So it’s a recurring pattern. And one’s starting to see the signs of that now. But at the end of the day, they’ve always looked at their strategic situation. It makes Japan a target, they don’t have strategic depth, any kind of a nuclear explosion on their territory is devastating because of population density. And the debate gets aired, and then they tend to fall back on the alliance with the United States and extended deterrence.
And I’m actually doing some work on this, and I think the view from Japanese elites is still a lot of confidence and faith in that. The question they ask is, is the U.S. with us? And as long as the U.S. is with us and the alliance is strong, that’s where the debate tends to come out, and it probably would stay that way even in the event of Iran and North Korea going nuclear and showing their nuclear capabilities.
GORDON: Got it.
The gentleman in the third row here.
QUESTIONER: Thank you. Malcolm Wiener. Two questions, quick questions, with regard to the UK. Tony Blair used his last talk to a Labor Party conference to say that he would focus his energies in the days he had left in office on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. What on earth can he think that anyone at this moment, and particularly the U.K., could accomplish there?
And secondly, with regard to the very interesting question you raised about the general view of realpolitik in the U.K. that they must stay close to the United States—as Clinton famously advised Blair, “Hug Bush very tight”—to what extent was British policy in Iraq guided by those considerations as distinguished from Blair’s sometimes messianic outlook on the world? That is to say, Britain easily could have said, “Look, we think an invasion of Iraq is better accomplished by a single army with a single doctrine. We’ll pick up the slack in Afghanistan for you.” If Brown had been prime minister, would the result have been the same?
ALLIN: I don’t know the answer to that. But, you know, there’s another question you could ask, that says what if Britain had—in realpolitik calculations had weighed in against us, and how might that have affected our policies? How good a friend was Blair to the United States? I’m not convinced he did us any huge service.
Now, as to your question about what does he think Britain can—well, you know, this is something that the Labor Party, in particular, but Britain, you know, just feels very, very strongly about. And, you know, the real answer is drawing on this famous, special relationship, you get the United States to engage, which Blair has received multiple promises from George Bush that we would.
I think part of your question was suggesting that’s a pretty bleak horizon, and what are you going to accomplish anyway? Well, you know, I think Steve Simon said in the last session, the timing is terrible, but it’s almost always terrible. When the United States has been engaged in trying to pursue a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians, we’ve gotten a lot of credit for it without being successful. The high-profile effort earns us a lot in Europe. And frankly, if I recall Bill Clinton’s reception in Ramallah, it earns us actually quite a bit of credit among certain Arab populations as well.
GORDON: Dana, let me draw you out. You made your first point in a sort of understated British way, and I want to press you on it, about Blair coming here. Did you say that if Blair had come here and very clearly said to President Bush that Britain could not be with us in these circumstances, that the United States might not have gone to war in Iraq? Do you think he should have done that? Is that what you were implying? Do you think most British people think he should have done that? And would any British leader, other than Hugh Grant, be capable of—(laughter)—be capable of coming here and saying what you sort of hinted he should have said?
ALLIN: Well, you’ve asked four questions. I was going to say they get easier and easier and easier, and then the fourth one is actually very difficult. The third one—which I forget, but it was the easiest one—
GORDON: Do most British people think—
ALLIN: Absolutely. Absolutely, you know. That’s conventional wisdom.
GORDON: All right. The second was do you think?
ALLIN: I think—you know, many learned inside books have been written about the decision-making dynamic. And from what I understand, probably not.
But there was room at the margins—and this is the key point—there was room at the margins, I think—at the moment when, you know, there was a debate about whether—if Tony Blair had said, “We need six more months”—I can’t answer the question about whether it would have been given to him. But I think it would have been a very valuable thing to ask for. And we could have learned at the end of that what we’ve learned—well, we wouldn’t have learned the problem, so it might not have solved the problem, but we would have maybe—it might have started to dawn us what was dawning on Hans Blix, which was maybe we read the situation wrong.
GORDON: This is a very nice segue to Lawry Freedman, who I hope will address any of this that he wants in addition to his question. But let me just add one thing to it in the same context, Lawry, which is the Cameron speech that Dana alluded to.
I mean, a British conservative leader pretty much came out and said, “I’m not going to be a poodle to the United States like Tony Blair was.” How important is that, in addition to everything else?
LAWRENCE FREEDMAN: British conservatives since Suez have been wary of the United States. It’s not—Iain Duncan Smith, who most of you will have forgotten—
GORDON: (Off mike.)
FREEDMAN:—for a while—he was the one that the Conservative Party didn’t think they even wanted to lead them into defeat—(soft laughter)—was the last real pro-American. I mean, I think it’s not an unusual position.
Just one point. I mean, I think you have to remember that Blair—Blair believed—I mean, he would have gone to war in 1998 if Clinton had wanted to take it further. But he believed—I mean, he did have a condition, and he got it. The condition was, you went through the United Nations. It was a condition, and he got it from Bush, against opposition within the Bush administration.
And I think it is the case that if the French—if the French had said, “We will go along with force, but you have to give the inspectors more time,” that would have been an impossible—a very difficult situation for Blair. But because the French took that option away, I think that’s why he got himself caught the way that he was caught, which how—(inaudible)—in the end.
So on a couple other points.
One, Guantanamo is the issue—the issue if we want to know what makes the United States distrusted and unpopular in Europe. It plays over and over again. We’re defending democracy and liberal values, yet what’s the biggest test of liberalism? How you treat prisoners.
Two, if—the anti-Bush element is extremely strong. McCain spoke at the Conservative Party conference. Clinton spoke at the Labor Party conference. There is a yearning for a new American leadership, which was disappointed in 2004. But I think you will see a quick move after—because whatever happens, there won’t be a third term with Bush—you’ll see sort of a quick move in 2009 to work closely—and it isn’t just a question of Guantanamo and so on. It’s just the sheer ineptitude of the administration. It’s considered a stupid administration, if I may speak frankly.
The third element—but that is not controversial necessarily—(laughter)—the third element in this, which I think is missing from the debate so far, you could argue just as we’re talking about how the Americans may be looking for the way to Venus, the Europeans have found Mars. You know, the French and the Italians, to a lesser extent the Germans are now in Lebanon. They didn’t particularly expect to be there, and they have no idea how long they’re going to stay or what they’re going to find over time while they’re there.
The British debate at the moment is not about Iraq; it’s about Afghanistan—something we’ve hardly mentioned. We’re losing more soldiers in Afghanistan than we’re losing in Iraq, with the Canadians, who haven’t done this sort of thing for a while. I mean, this is—the most serious foreign policy challenge for the British at the moment, I would argue, is not Iraq but Afghanistan, because we’re taking the lead here. It’s a NATO operation now, a British commander. I don’t particularly think it’s going that badly, but it’s certainly not going brilliantly, either.
And so it’s sort of a warning that—with the focus—I mean, one of the criticisms of Iraq was it meant that attention was taken away from Afghanistan. Afghanistan is now, I think, seen as a conflict in which the Europeans can demonstrate that they take the war on terror seriously and are prepared to fight the war on terror with broad-based support—although that is now weakening—is really quite difficult and costly in human life. So—(audio break)—is in Afghanistan, and is it symptomatic of something—(inaudible).
GORDON: Okay. Maybe we’ll use that as an opportunity to give the speakers a final opportunity. I’m looking at the clock and have been told when we need to end. So let me give them a chance to address various questions or anything else very briefly, and then, we will conclude and turn to lunch.
Phil, do you want say—
SAUNDERS: Just a brief comment and some more general ones. One of the things as I’ve been looking at this in the context of the papers is differentiating between the war on terrorism and the impact of Iraq and what’s the differential there. And as I thought that through, there seems to be at least two key decision points. One is that it is a global war on terrorism versus a war on al Qaeda, and that expanded it in a certain way. And then, the second is the decision to invade Iraq and the consequences that have formed from that. And certainly, both of those things have aggravated it, but you still have to go back and say, even with just a war against al Qaeda, we would still have probably Guantanamo, we would still have had perhaps secret prisons in Europe.
So there was a lot of things that come from that basic point, and I think any American administration would have made—had to make that decision and have to do Afghanistan. So a certain amount of this is inevitable in the response to 9/11, and then, you get to the parts where there’s specific choices the administration has made.
GORDON : That’s an interesting question. All that and minus Iraq. (Inaudible.)
MR. : Well, I’m not—interesting—first of all, I’m glad Lawry mentioned it, and I can’t believe I didn’t, which is the effect of the treatment of prisoners and detainees—(audio break)—Abu Ghraib, obviously, on our image, on our moral prestige in Europe has been absolutely, absolutely devastating. I’m not sure I necessarily agree that this was inevitable and necessary. I mean, in fact, I disagree that it’s not—you know, we can argue until we’re blue in the face about the ticking bomb scenario, but you know, a lot of—
MR. : I don’t mean to suggest that you had to do that part.
ALLIN: Yeah, but that’s what’s controversial. You know, and controversial is putting it mildly. That’s really atrocious, and I—how this does not—how we can expect this to not have an impact. I mean, it has an impact on our democracy in the United States, first of all, so I mean, that’s already a pretty serious issue. But it obviously has an impact on how we’re viewed in the rest of the world, and it has been absolutely disastrous. And this compromise of a couple weeks ago or two weeks ago shows that the—(audio break)—is not over—(audio break).
I don’t really have time—I mean, I wanted to say about Afghanistan that this is part of the reason why I don’t buy the Kagan thesis, which is that I do think that you saw a kind of convergence in—which Lawry had something to do with codifying in fact in transatlantic views about the use of force leading up through some really bad experiences in the Balkans. It got better. A shift in consciousness in Europe about the humanitarian use of force, which was really the bedrock upon which—it wasn’t just because September 11 th was such a shocking event, it was also because Europeans had been thinking about and debating and engaging in the use of force for humanitarian purposes in the first instance, but it made it very natural to support the invasion of Afghanistan.
Now, Iraq is obviously sucked a lot of the unity and energy out of that problem, I mean, in addition to other ways it’s distracted from Afghanistan. It has muddied the waters, I think, in Europe to a large extent about whether the Afghanistan mission is justified or a good idea. That’s a great shame because, again, there is this certain leadership, public dichotomy. Leaders have generally recognized that if they fail in Afghanistan—and NATO has failed in a huge way, and it won’t be the end of NATO. That’s been forecast too many times, but it was a huge blow to NATO.
But there’s not—there’s kind of passive public support for it. They believe it’s a good idea. But they’re not really—it’s hard to raise troops for it in Europe.
GORDON: Dana, thank you.
We will have lunch downstairs at 12:00 in Peterson Hall. I think you’ll all agree with me this was a very stimulating discussion and join me in thanking the speakers. (Applause.)
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