Warm and Cool Allies

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Adam's Apple, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    Very good article about how countries view the U.S. depending on their current needs and threats to their security. Hanson hits the nail squarely on the head with this one.

    Warm And Cool Allies
    By Victor Davis Hanson
    June 16, 2005

    Japan's prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, is busy trying to strengthen the American alliance. In recent months, members of his government have announced new joint military arrangements with the U.S. and announced to the South Koreans that, unlike Japan, they are not to be trusted with sensitive American intelligence.

    Meanwhile, France's Jacques Chirac and Germany's Gerhard Schroder have been doing just the opposite. They proudly talk up an all-European military force to vie with NATO and insist their stagnant economies will not resort to the American model.

    Of course, we saw these markedly different approaches to relations with the U.S. most starkly over the war in Iraq. Japan sent troops immediately, while Germany and France actively opposed American efforts to topple Saddam Hussein.

    Japan, however, hasn't always been so warm nor Europe so cool to the U.S., and current global strategic realities largely explain their quite different attitudes to America. Like the trans-Atlantic relationship, the Japanese-American partnership arose from the ashes of World War II, and in the 1970s and 1980s Japan was every bit as prone to fits of anti-Americanism.

    Japanese leftists once pushed for withdrawal of American troops. The right in Japan used to lecture us about the superiority of Japan Inc. and brag of a new defiant generation "that could just say no" to American nagging about fair trade.

    Fury over our bases in Okinawa always seemed to exceed the European inconvenience about American troops in Germany. Japan had far less cultural resonance with the United States than did Europe.

    Why, then, is Japan suddenly warm while Europe is so cool? Is the Bush administration clumsy in Berlin and adept in Tokyo?

    No. Rather, the answer is the rise of China and the collapse of the Soviet Union. For the Japanese government, China and its nuclear patron, North Korea, are not abstract threats. Indeed, they are within tactical missile range.

  2. nosarcasm

    nosarcasm Active Member

    Jul 15, 2004
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    The German foreign policy in a nutshell.

    Keep up warm relations to the old archenemy France to prevent
    another episode on who is Nr 1 in Europe

    Sent troops to Iraq to keep up good relaltions with the US.

    Publically say dont make us choose between France and the US.

    With the soon to be elected conservative government the emphasis
    is on the US, for now Schroeder emphasis on the EU.

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