The Atlantic Alliance Needs Tending


The U.S. and Europe. These days, they bicker almost like a couple whose long marriage is in danger of unravelling. 最近美国和欧洲就像两个要结束婚姻长跑的


The litany of misunderstandings and mutual resentment seems to be growing.


From the death penalty to steel tariffs, from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to military spending, there is an abyss between American and European positions on innumerable issues.


Each side feels the other isn’t shouldering enough of the burdens facing both.

The Europeans see an unbending posture, from the Bush Administration’s protecting inefficient U.S. steel companies to its threats to take out Iraq’s Saddam Hussein—alone, if necessary. U.S. policymakers, for their part, are losing patience with Europeans’ inability to get serious about defence spending.

欧洲人认为美国态度强硬,从布什政府保护效率低下的美国钢铁公司,到威胁交出 Saddam Hussein,如有必要。而美国政府,从他们的角度来看,正对欧洲无法认真对待国防开支丧失耐心。

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The war in Afghanistan has brought home the reality that much of Europe has fallen behind in military technology.


And Washington is annoyed at Europe’s feckless attempts at economic reforms.

As a result, Europe couldn’t play the role of economic locomotive to help pull the U.S. out of its downturn in 2001.

结果导致欧洲无力承担将美国从 2001 年的衰退中解救出来的经济牵引作用。

This year, Europe is set to grow less than the U.S. once again.

Relationships in trouble can be fixed, and this one had better be.


In a world increasingly fraught with danger, European leaders must commit themselves to bigger military budgets or risk being marginalised by the U.S. military machine.


The $ 45.1 billion hike in military spending the Bush Administration is pushing for next year is $12.1 billion more than the entire defence budget of France.

布什政府推行的高达 451 亿美元的下一年度军费开支比法国整个国防预算超出 121 亿美元。

The U.S. could help by opening up more of its vast military market to European partners.


And Washington should realise that in many global challenges a smart multilateral approach can be much more effective than unilateralism.


A world in which the U.S. and Europe go off on their own, in which the Atlantic alliance is reduced to mere lip service to ideals long since abandoned, is a frightening one.