Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Fantasy of Atlanticism: Dilettante on The Student Journals

 The first of two articles examining Britain's relationships with America and the EU, and arguing that our long-term interests are better served by the latter.


  1. Interesting reads.

    I would take issue with the argument put forward that US interests are 'never' going to be the same as 'European' self interests.

    Don't get me wrong here, I am also a Europhile Conservative. But I disagree with that underlying argument.

    If anything is true, it is the case that in a world where the geographical balance of power is shifting away from the typical transatlantic axis, the mutual self interests of both parties will only grow closer together.

    For me, to argue that US and European interests are different is to a) fail to appreciate that the balance of global power is shifting against us and b) Robert Kagan and his theories are total nonsense.

    Face it, Americans aren't from Mars, and Europeans aren't from Venus. We share our self-interests. Though it is a relationship troubled by differences and examples of divergence; the realities of the new global balance of power will force us closer together.

  2. If I might correct you Dean, I said that Europe was always going to be 'foreign policy' to America, not that European and American interests would never coincide. Indeed I state that:

    "British and American interests might coincide, perhaps on multiple issues or for a long time"

    My argument is that British interests will never be automatically American interests in the way they would be if they were part of Europe.

    I further disagree with your assertion that a changing world will certainly bring us closer. It might, but on the other hand America might start cultivating new partners at our expense, as their recent intervention over the Falklands demonstrates.

    About your list, a) I think a failure to recognise that European and American interests are distinct (if sometimes overlapping) is quite tough to pull off given all the examples of divergence available and an increasing reluctance in America to foot the bill for occidental security and b) I have never read Robert Kagan).

    I have nothing to face, for I never claimed that Americans and Europeans were different species. I simply stated that America and Europe are distinct geopolitical entities with their own priorities, and that short of joining as a state the United Kingdom's interests will never automatically be American interests. I back up this argument with plenty of clear examples of American and European interests clashing.