Andrew Sullivan has a nice article in the New Republic on the threat that a united Europe poses to American interests. He believes that it is wishful thinking to expect new members to make the EU and looser and more liberal federation. But there are, he thinks, a few steps the United States can take. “Above all, the United States can let its most reliable European ally, Britain, know that it prizes the relationship, that it does not necessarily believe British adoption of the euro is a good or necessary thing, and that it values Britain’s independent military capacity immensely. Keeping Britain both in the USE and outside of it militarily, diplomatically, and monetarily should become a prime U.S. objective in foreign policy. Without it, the United States could lose its most valuable military and diplomatic ally.”
This is a bit of change from 1996, when Sullivan was recommending in the same magazine that Britain pursue “the project of a liberal, federal Europe” and bashing the “romantic isolationism” that led Margaret Thatcher to say, well, the sort of things that Sullivan is saying now. He wrote then: “The truth. . . is that the United States has no interest any longer in a particularly ’special’ relationship with Britain; and certainly not in a relationship ’special’ enough to prefer to a bond with a core group of European states, headed by Germany, or with the growing markets of China and Asia. . . . [T]he most natural and challenging role for Britain in the future is staring it in the face: the economic and political liberalization—the Americanization, if you will—of European institutions. . . . [T]here is no reason not to join a common currency.” It appears that 9/11 and all that has followed it has awoken Sullivan, as it has many others.