Saturday, September 17, 2005

…the leaders of France could finally express their true sentiments without the nagging necessity of grudging gratitude toward the United States

writes Henry Nickel.
More than a half century of peace, secured largely by a strong American presence, allowed Europeans to evolve social models, possible only by diverting resources away from otherwise essential investments in defense. This distortion had negative consequences on both sides of the Atlantic. For one, it made the U.S. vulnerable to serious economic downturn and restructuring should the necessity of Cold War military expenditures come to a sudden end. In Western Europe, generations came to rely on artificial institutionalized welfare states, subsidized essentially and in large part through the diversion of what would have otherwise constituted military expenditures. Leaders across Europe basically knew they could count on U.S. intervention if any real threat emerged, while many of their constituents ignorantly criticized their American protectors’ presence. The end result was to slam a wedge between the Atlantic as the sledgehammers landed on the Berlin Wall. …

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