The US elections and Europe

The US elections and Europe: The coming crisis of high expectations

Kori Schake
01 November 2007

The election of a new US president in 2008 offers an opportunity to repair US-European relations. But, as Kori Schake argues in this essay, both sides must guard against high expectations. Europe will expect a post-Bush US to take a multilateral approach to foreign policy. However, the US is likely to continue acting as an exceptional power, sometimes unbound by international law. Similarly, the new US administration may expect the EU to make a bigger contribution to sorting out the world’s trouble spots. But it will be disappointed: most Europeans believe that the Iraq war has vindicated their soft-power approach and they are not going to spend more on defence.

Kori Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Distinguished Chair of International Security Studies at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

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