Transcript: Robert Kagan on America and Eruope - The Growing Division | Jan 17, 2004

Robert Kagan stands behind a wooden lectern in front of an audience. He’s in his mid-forties, clean-shaven and with short wavy gray hair. He wears glasses, a black suit, white shirt and patterned black and white tie.

A caption reads "Robert Kagan. Journalist. American and Europe: The Growing Division. November 6, 2003."

Robert says I THINK IF IT
WAS NOT CLEAR BEFORE THE IRAQ
WAR THAT THE UNITED STATES AND
EUROPE LOOK AT THE WORLD
DIFFERENTLY IT HAS CERTAINLY
BECOME CLEAR SINCE THE IRAQ
WAR.
IF IT WASN'T OBVIOUS THAT WE
LIVE EFFECTIVELY ON DIFFERENT
PLANETS BEFORE THE FRACAS AT
THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL UH, AND
THE SUBSEQUENT DIPLOMATIC
FALLING OUT IT SHOULD BE CLEAR
NOW AND I WOULD EMPHASIZE AS I
WOULD TRY TO EMPHASIZE IN MY
BOOK AND I'VE BEEN TRYING TO
MAKE CLEAR TO EUROPEAN AND
AMERICAN AUDIENCES BOTH THAT
WHILE THE PRESIDENCY OF GEORGE
W. BUSH HAS PROBABLY
EXACERBATED THESE PROBLEMS AND
THE IRAQ WAR HAS CERTAINLY
EXACERBATED THESE PROBLEMS AND
HAVING JACQUES CHIRAC PERHAPS
IN THE... PALACE HAS
EXACERBATED THE PROBLEMS.
THESE PROBLEMS WERE NOT CREATED
WITHIN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS
AND THEY DO FALL UPON THE
SHOULDERS OF ANY GIVEN
INDIVIDUALS BUT TRANSCEND THESE
INDIVIDUALS.
THESE PROBLEMS BEGAN BEFORE
JANUARY 2001 AND BEFORE
SEPTEMBER 11th, 2001.
AND YOU CAN SEE IT EVEN TODAY
AS YOU'VE BEEN ABLE TO SEE IT
OVER THE PAST YEAR IN VERY
STRAIGHTFORWARD POLLING RESULTS
THAT HAVE BEEN UH, COMING OUT
ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ATLANTIC.
FOR ROUGHLY A YEAR BEFORE THE
IRAQ WAR UNTIL TODAY A MAJORITY
OF AMERICANS HAVE SUPPORTED THE
WAR.
THE NORMAL, THE BASIC NUMBERS
HAVE BEEN SOMETHING LIKE 64-40,
SOMETIMES IT DIPS DOWN TO 55-
45, SOMETIMES IT'S UP TO 65-35
BUT THAT IS A MAJORITY.
IT'S A HIGHER MAJORITY BY THE
WAY OF AMERICANS THAN THE
AMERICANS THAN WHO SUPPORTED
THE KOSOVO WAR.
IT'S A SOLID MAJORITY.
THERE WAS DISAGREEMENTS IN THE
UNITED STATES, PASSIONATE
DISAGREEMENTS AND AS WE MOVE
INTO AN ELECTION SEASON EVEN
MORE PASSIONATE THAN NORMAL BUT
THAT IS A FUNDAMENTAL REALITY
AND IN EUROPE AS WE KNOW EVEN
IN COUNTRIES WHERE THE
GOVERNMENTS LINE UP WITH THE
UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN AND
SPAIN, ITALY, POLAND, THE POLLS
ARE QUITE THE OPPOSITE.
WITH VAST NUMBERS OF EUROPEANS
OPPOSING THE WAR BEFOREHAND,
DURING AND AFTER.
EIGHTY TO 90 PERCENT.
I WAS IN SPAIN WHERE PRESIDENT
AZNAR HAS THROWN HIMSELF FULLY
IN SUPPORT OF THE UNITED STATES
AND PRESIDENT BUSH ON THE WHOLE
THING AND THE POLLS THERE RUN
SOMETHING LIKE 90 TO 10 PERCENT UH,
AGAINST THE WAR AND HAVE ALWAYS
DONE SO.
AND THE ISSUE OF COURSE
TRANSCENDS THE WAR ITSELF OR
THE SPECIFIC QUESTION OF IRAQ
ALTHOUGH THERE WERE DIFFERENCES
ABOUT WHAT TO DO ABOUT IRAQ I
WOULD SAY THAT THOSE
DIFFERENCES DERIVE FROM MUCH
BROADER DIFFERENCES ABOUT HOW
THE WORLD OUGHT TO OPERATE AND
WHAT NATURE OF WORLD ORDER WE
OUGHT TO HAVE.
ONE INTERESTING POLL TAKEN BY A
POLL SPONSORED BY THE GERMAN
MARSHAL FUND OF THE UNITED
STATES ASKED AMERICANS AND
EUROPEANS, QUITE A NUMBER OF
THEM, 8,000 ALL TOLD TO ANSWER
THE QUESTION CAN A WAR EVER BE
FOUGHT FOR JUST PURPOSES?
IN THE UNITED STATES 84 PERCENT SAID
YES, A WAR COULD BE JUST.
IN EUROPE LESS THAN 50 PERCENT AGREED
THAT A WAR COULD EVER BE FOUGHT
FOR JUST PURPOSES.
I COULD HARDLY THINK OF A MORE
FUNDAMENTAL PHILOSOPHICAL
DISAGREEMENT THAN THAT.
I DON'T KNOW WHETHER ANYBODY IS
TAKING THAT POLL IN CANADA
PERHAPS UH, WE COULD FIND OUT A
LOT BY LEARNING WHAT CANADIANS
WOULD RESPOND TO THAT POLL TO
SUCH A QUESTION.
IT WAS THE FRENCH FOREIGN
MINISTER DOMINIQUE DE VILLEPIN
WHO SAID QUITE CORRECTLY IN HIS

- ONE OF HIS SPEECHES BEFORE
THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL IN
MARCH THIS IS NOT JUST AN
ARGUMENT ABOUT IRAQ.
THIS IS A DISPUTE BETWEEN TWO
VISIONS OF HOW THE WORLD OUGHT
TO OPERATE AND I THINK THAT'S
RIGHT.
NOW I MUST SAY WHEN I FIRST
ADVANCED THIS ARGUMENT BEFORE
THE IRAQ WAR IT SEEMED TO ME
POSSIBLE EVEN LIKELY THAT
ALTHOUGH THE U.S. AND EUROPEAN
UH, PARTNERSHIP, THE STRATEGIC
PARTNERSHIP WE'VE KNOWN DURING
THE COLD WAR MIGHT BE NO MORE
UH, NEVERTHELESS WE COULD HAVE
IF NOT AN AMICABLE PARTING OF
THE WAYS AT LEAST A PARTING OF
THE WAYS WHICH WAS NOT
DISASTROUS.
YOU COULD MOVE PERHAPS FROM THE
STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP OF THE
COLD WAR YEARS AT WORSE TO
MUTUAL INDIFFERENCE BUT AT BEST
POSSIBLY TO A DIVISION OF
LABOUR WHERE EUROPE
CONCENTRATES ON EUROPE AND THE
UNITED STATES CONCENTRATES ON
SECURITY ISSUES THROUGHOUT THE
WORLD.
IT SEEMED TO ME POSSIBLE IN THE
WORDS OF THE SONG BY BOB DYLAN
"YOU COULD GO YOUR WAY AND
WE'LL GO OURS."
UM, I MUST SAY THAT... I'VE
BECOME LESS PERSUADED THAT THAT
IS NECESSARILY WHAT'S GOING TO
HAPPEN AND IN FACT, WHAT WE'RE
DEALING WITH IS NOT JUST UH,
MUTUAL INDIFFERENCE BUT A
FUNDAMENTAL SCHISM WITHIN WHAT
WE USED TO CALL THE WEST THAT
MAY WIND UP DEBILITATING BOTH
SIDES AS WE MOVE FORWARD TO TRY
TO DEAL WITH WHAT I CONSIDER TO
BE ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS
PERIODS IN HUMAN HISTORY.
THIS WAS NOT WHAT ANY OF US
EXPECTED I WOULD SAY AT THE END
OF THE COLD WAR.
FRANK FUKIYAMA SAID WHAT WE ALL
THOUGHT... HE WROTE WHAT WE ALL
THOUGHT THAT THE LIBERAL
DEMOCRACIES WOULD BE
FUNDAMENTALLY UNITED, THAT THE
STRUGGLE WOULD BE BETWEEN THE
WEST AND THE REST AS THE WAY
SOME PEOPLE PUT IT AND FRANK
FUKIYAMA WROTE "THAT AFTER ALL
THE LIBERAL DEMOCRACIES WOULD
HAVE NO GROUNDS ON WHICH TO
CONTEST EACH OTHER'S
LEGITIMACY."
BUT IT TURNS OUT MUCH TO ALL OF
OUR SURPRISE THAT LEGITIMACY IS
PRECISELY WHAT'S BEING
CONTESTED TODAY.
NOT PERHAPS THE LEGITIMACY OF
EACH OTHER'S POLITICAL
INSTITUTIONS ALTHOUGH THERE WAS
SOME OF THAT, TOO, I NOTE
HAVING LIVED IN EUROPE OVER THE
PAST FEW YEARS.
BUT PARTICULARLY LEGITIMACY,
QUESTIONS AS THEY RELATE TO
WORLD ORDER AND MOST
SPECIFICALLY THE LEGITIMACY OF
AMERICAN POWER AND THE
LEGITIMACY OF AMERICAN ACTION.
INTERNATIONAL LEGITIMACY I WILL
STIPULATE AT THE BEGINNING IS A
VERY NEBULOUS CONCEPT.
I WOULD SAY LEGITIMACY IN
GENERAL IS A NEBULOUS AND
DIFFICULT PROBLEM BUT AT LEAST
IN DOMESTIC SOCIETY WE CAN
BEGIN TO DEFINE LEGITIMACY IN A
FAIRLY PRECISE WAY.
I DON'T THINK IT'S SO EASY TO
DO IN THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM
BUT FOR ALL ITS NEBULOUSNESS
AND ABSTRACTION I BELIEVE THAT
THE ISSUE OF LEGITIMACY
NEVERTHELESS IS AN IMPORTANT
ISSUE THAT LEGITIMACY IS...
DOES RELATE TO POWER AND THAT
ONE'S ABILITY TO ACT IS
AFFECTED BY QUESTIONS OF
LEGITIMACY AND ILLEGITIMACY.
NOW AMERICANS HAVE NOT SPENT
MUCH TIME THINKING ABOUT
LEGITIMACY, THEY DON'T THINK
ABOUT IT MUCH TODAY.
I SUGGEST THAT THEY WILL HAVE
TO BECAUSE IT WILL AFFECT
AMERICAN BEHAVIOUR NOW AND IN
THE YEARS TO COME.
NOW ONE OF THE REASONS
AMERICANS HAVE NOT GIVEN A LOT
OF THOUGHT TO LEGITIMACY IS
THAT DURING THE COLD WAR
AMERICAN LEGITIMACY WAS PRETTY
FAIRLY WELL ESTABLISHED AND
TAKEN FOR GRANTED AT LEAST
AMONG THOSE WHO WERE PART OF
WHAT WE USED TO CALL THE FREE
WORLD, THE WEST.
NOT JUST EUROPEANS BUT ASIANS,
MANY LATIN AMERICANS ALL OF
THOSE WHO FELL UNDER THE
GENERAL UMBRELLA OF THE U.S.
SECURITY DURING THE COLD WAR
BUT I WANT TO QUICKLY MAKE THE
POINT WHICH I THINK IS OFTEN
FORGOTTEN AMONG MUCH OF THE
MYTHOLOGIZING THAT GOES ON
THESE DAYS ABOUT THE COLD WAR
AND THE PERIOD IN GENERAL AFTER
WORLD WAR TWO, AMERICAN
LEGITIMACY SUCH AS IT WAS
DURING THE COLD WAR DID NOT
REST ON THE FACT THAT THE
UNITED STATES HAD FOUNDED THE
UNITED NATIONS, OBEYED THE
DICTATES OF THE UN SECURITY
COUNCIL OR EVEN FAITHFULLY
FOLLOWED THE PRINCIPLES OF
INTERNATIONAL LAW AS
ARTICULATED IN THE UN CHARTER.
WE ALL KNOW THAT THEY DID NOT
ACT IN THAT WAY.
WE ALL KNOW THAT THE UN
SECURITY COUNCIL WAS
ESSENTIALLY STILL BORN.
NOT ONLY DID AMERICANS NOT
BELIEVE THEY NEEDED TO TURN TO
THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL FOR
JUSTIFICATION FOR WAR OR THE
THREAT OF WAR BUT EUROPEANS
ALSO DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THE
UNITED STATES OR THE EUROPEANS
THEMSELVES HAD TO GO TO THE UN
SECURITY COUNCIL AT A TIME WHEN
THE SOVIET UNION OR CHINA WAS
GOING TO BE ABLE TO CAST A
VETO.
THE COLD WAR FROZE THE UN
SECURITY COUNCIL AND NO ONE
LOOKED TOWARD IT UH, FOR
ULTIMATE AUTHORITY FOR ACTION.
SO WHERE WAS... WHERE DID
AMERICAN LEGITIMACY COME FROM
DURING THE COLD WAR?
I WOULD ARGUE THAT AMERICAN
LEGITIMACY RESTED ON THREE
BASIC PILLARS.
THE FIRST AND PERHAPS IN SOME
WAYS THE MOST IMPORTANT WAS
WHAT I WOULD CALL THE COMMON,
WELL, IT WAS THE COMMON
STRATEGIC THREAT THAT AMERICANS
AND EUROPEANS AS WELL AS ASIAN
ALLIES ALL AGREED EXISTED IN
THE FORM OF THE SOVIET UNION.
YES, THERE WERE DISAGREEMENTS
ABOUT PRECISELY WHAT TO DO
ABOUT THAT THREAT BUT FOR
EUROPEANS IN PARTICULAR THE
THREAT WAS UNMISTAKEABLE
INSOFAR THAT IT TOOK THE FORM
OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF
SOVIET TROOPS PARKED IN THE
CENTRE OF EUROPE.
THERE WAS A COMMON
UNDERSTANDING OF THE STRATEGIC
THREAT AND A COMMON AGREEMENT
THAT THE UNITED STATES WAS THE
ONLY POWER WITH THE STRENGTH TO
DETER THAT THREAT AND I WOULD
SAY THAT EUROPEANS ACCORDED THE
UNITED STATES A GREAT DEAL OF
LEGITIMACY JUST ON THE BASIS OF
THAT ONE FACT.
IN A SENSE AMERICA... THE
LEGITIMACY THAT AMERICA WON
FROM EUROPEANS AND FROM ASIAN
ALLIES WAS THE LEGITIMACY BASED
ON THEIR SELF-INTEREST SO THAT
EVEN WHEN THE UNITED STATES
UNDERTOOK ACTIONS THAT
EUROPEANS THOUGHT WERE
QUESTIONABLE OR IMMORAL SUCH AS
IN VIETNAM OR IN CERTAIN LATIN
AMERICAN COUNTRIES EVEN IN
THOSE OCCASIONS I WOULD SAY THE
MAJORITY OF EUROPEANS DID NOT
WITHDRAW THE FUNDAMENTAL
LEGITIMACY THAT THEY ACCORDED
AMERICAN LEADERSHIP IN THE
WORLD BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF
THE THREAT.
THE SECOND PILLAR RELATED TO
THE FIRST WAS THE COMMON
IDEOLOGICAL THREAT OBVIOUSLY
POSED BY THE SOVIET UNION AND
SOVIET COMMUNISM.
A THREAT THAT WAS FELT BY ALL
THE LIBERAL DEMOCRACIES.
THOSE WERE THE DAYS WHERE WE
DID SPEAK WITHOUT TOO MUCH
BLUSHING ABOUT THE FREE WORLD
AND AMERICA'S ROLE AS THE
LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD WAS
NOT JUST AN AMERICAN CONCEIT
BUT WAS WIDELY ACCEPTED WITHIN
THE WEST, WITHIN EUROPE.
AND AT A TIME WHEN DEMOCRACY
WAS REALLY THREATENED OR IT
SEEMED TO BE THREATENED THE
WORLD'S STRONGEST DEMOCRACY WAS
ACCORDED A GREAT DEAL OF
LEGITIMACY MORE AS WE WOULD
LEARN THAN AT A TIME WHEN
DEMOCRACY WAS ESSENTIALLY UH,
LESS THREATENED WHEN THE WORLD
HAD BEEN MADE RELATIVELY
SPEAKING SAFER FOR DEMOCRACY.
AND FINALLY, AND OF GREAT
IMPORTANCE NOW IN RETROSPECT IS
WHAT YOU MIGHT CALL A
STRUCTURAL LEGITIMACY BY WHICH
I MEAN THERE WERE TWO
SUPERPOWERS BALANCING EACH
OTHER.
THE BIPOLAR WORLD HAD A KIND OF
FUNDAMENTAL LEGITIMACY AND YOU
COULD SEE ESPECIALLY AGAIN IN
RETROSPECT HOW EUROPE... EVEN
EUROPEANS WESTERN EUROPEANS
WHILE THEY DIDN'T WELCOME THE
EXISTENCE OF SOVIET POWER AND
WORRIED ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF
SOVIET POWER NEVERTHELESS
IMPLICITLY UNDERSTOOD THAT THE
EXISTENCE OF SOVIET POWER ACTED
AS A CHECK ON AMERICAN POWER
AND AMERICAN HEGEMONY AND IF
YOU LOOK AT THE POLICES OF
DEGAULLE OR WILLIE DEBRUNT,
THEY WERE ABLE TO TAKE
ADVANTAGE FOR THEIR OWN
PURPOSES, FOR THEIR OWN
NATION'S PURPOSES OF THE
RELATIVE DEGREE OF FREEDOM THAT
THIS BIPOLAR WORLD AFFORDED
THOSE UH, WHO LAY BETWEEN THE
UNITED STATES AND THE SOVIET
UNION.
SO THERE WAS A THREAT BASED
LEGITIMACY, THERE WAS AN
IDEOLOGICAL LEGITIMACY AND
THERE WAS A STRUCTURAL
LEGITIMACY AND I THINK ONE OF
THE THINGS THAT WE DIDN'T QUITE
NOTICE BUT I THINK IN
RETROSPECT WE CAN SEE NOW ONE
OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN
1989 WAS THAT EVERY SINGLE ONE
OF THOSE PILLARS OF LEGITIMACY
WAS KNOCKED OVER ALONG WITH THE
BERLIN WALL AND THE STATUES OF
LENIN AND STALIN.
THE COMMON STRATEGIC THREAT WAS
CLEARLY GONE.
NOT ADEQUATELY REPLACED I WOULD
ARGUE BY THE MORE DIFFUSE AND
OPAQUE THREATS OF THE POST-COLD
WAR WORLD WHETHER IT WAS ETHNIC
TENSIONS, NATIONALISM OR EVEN
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND
TERRORISM.
THOSE THREATS SUCH AS THEY ARE
HAVE NO UNITED... UNITED
AMERICANS AND EUROPEANS.
THERE HAS BEEN IDEOLOGICAL
THREAT TO TAKE THE PLACE OF
COMMUNISM.
FOR WHATEVER ELSE RADICAL
ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM MAY BE,
WHATEVER DANGERS IT MAY POSE
WHEN MANIFESTED AS TERRORISM IT
DOES NOT POSE THIS FUNDAMENTAL
PROFOUND THREAT ON WESTERN
LIBERAL... TO WESTERN LIBERAL
IDEOLOGY IN THE WESTERN
COUNTRIES UH, THAT COMMUNISM
WAS FELT UH, TO POSE.
AND FINALLY, AND VERY
IMPORTANTLY THE STRUCTURAL
LEGITIMACY IS GONE BECAUSE WHAT
HAS COME AT THE END OF THE COLD
WAR IS THE EMERGENCE OF A BRAND
NEW SYSTEM OF INTERNATIONAL
AFFAIRS.
ONE NOT KNOWN SINCE THE DAYS OF
ROME AND I'M NOT EVEN SURE THAT
THAT IS AN APT EXAMPLE.
CERTAINLY NOT IN THE MODERN
WORLD HAVE WE HAD TO FACE THE
ISSUE OF UNIPOLARITY AND I
DON'T THINK IT IS AT ALL
SURPRISING THAT WITH THE OTHER
THREATS DISAPPEARED THAT EVEN
AMERICAS CLOSEST ALLIES IN
EUROPE WOULD TURN THEIR
CONCERNS AWAY FROM THE NON-
EXISTENT SOVIET UNION AND
TOWARD WHAT HAD EMERGED ALL OF
A SUDDEN AS THE WORLD SOLE
SUPER POWER AND WHERE ONCE
LEGITIMACY WAS ACCORDED TO THE
UNITED STATES OUT OF SELF-
INTEREST AND FOR OTHER REASONS
NOW THAT BLANKET OF LEGITIMACY
WOULD BE WITHDRAWN AND WE WOULD
ALL OF A SUDDEN BE FACING A
SITUATION WHERE THERE WAS NO
STRUCTURAL, STRATEGIC OR
IDEOLOGICAL LEGITIMACY FOR
AMERICAN LEADERSHIP TO
LEGITIMIZE AMERICAN LEADERSHIP
OR AMERICAN POWER.
WE ARE LIVING TODAY AND I THINK
ALL OF US, EUROPEANS,
CANADIANS, AMERICANS, ALL OF US
ARE NOW FOR THE FIRST TIME
BEGINNING TO GRAPPLE WITH WHAT
YOU MIGHT CALL THE UNIPOLAR
PREDICAMENT AND I CALL IT THAT
BECAUSE IT IS NOT JUST ABOUT
GEORGE BUSH, IT IS NOT JUST
ABOUT A CERTAIN STYLE OF
AMERICAN BEHAVIOUR THAT'S
OCCURRED IN THE LAST YEAR AND A
HALF IT IS A GENUINE
INTERNATIONAL PREDICAMENT THAT
WE ALL NEED TO GRAPPLE WITH
BECAUSE LONG BEFORE YOU GET TO
THE QUESTION OF GEORGE W.
BUSH'S POLICIES YOU GET... YOU
HAVE TO GRAPPLE WITH THE FACT
THAT THERE IS SOMETHING IN THE
LIBERAL MILE... IN THE LIBERAL
MIND THAT RECOILS FROM THE IDEA
OF A SINGLE, DOMINANT,
HEGEMONIC POWER.
NO MATTER HOW BENEVOLENT IT MAY
BE UH, COMPARED TO OTHER
POWERS.
AS LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WE ALL
BELIEVE IN OUR DOMESTIC FEAR IN
CHEQUES AND BALANCES.
WE ALL FEAR UH, THE...
[stammering]
THE DANGER POSED THAT LORD
ACTON TALKED ABOUT, THAT POWER
CORRUPTS AND ABSOLUTE POWER
CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY.
ALL OUR INTERNATIONAL RELATION
THEORISTS BASED ON THE
FUNDAMENTAL REALIST PREMISE
THAT HAVE DOMINATED THAT FIELD
FOR SO LONG SUGGEST THAT
WHENEVER A SINGLE POWER EMERGES
OTHER POWERS MUST UH, EMERGE TO
BALANCE IT.
THERE'S SOMETHING INHERENTLY
DANGEROUS IN ONE NATION HAVING
SUCH A DOMINANT MONOPOLY OF
MILITARY AND OTHER FORMS OF
POWER AND THESE CONCERNS
MANIFESTED THEMSELVES IN THE
1990's WHEN YOU HAD FRENCH
FOREIGN MINISTERS AND RUSSIAN
FOREIGN MINISTERS AND CHINESE
MINISTERS TALKING ABOUT THE
NEED FOR MULTIPOLARITY BECAUSE
IT WAS OBVIOUS TO THEM AT LEAST
THAT THERE WAS A PROBLEM HERE
WITH THE EXISTENCE OF A
UNIPOLAR UH, THE EXISTENCE OF A
UNIPOLAR UH, SITUATION IN THE
INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT.
AND THE QUESTION HAS BECOME HOW
TO CONTROL THE SUPERPOWER?
AND I WOULD SAY FOR EUROPEANS
THAT IS THE DOMINANT QUESTION.
IT'S NOT WHAT TO DO ABOUT
SADDAM HUSSEIN OR KIM JONG OR
THE IRANIAN MULLAHS, I WOULD
SAY THE DOMINANT ISSUE ON THE
MINDS OF MOST EUROPEANS TODAY
IS HOW DO WE REGAIN THE CONTROL
THAT WE ONCE HAD OVER THE
UNITED STATES AND I WOULD SAY
THAT A LARGE PART OF THE CRISIS
OF LEGITIMACY STEMS FROM THIS
EUROPEAN DESIRE UNDERSTANDABLE
DESIRE TO TRY AND REGAIN SOME
CONTROL OVER THE SUPERPOWER.
I WOULD ALSO SAY THAT CONTRARY
TO MYTHOLOGIES BOTH ABROAD AND
IN THE UNITED STATES THAT
AMERICANS NEED THIS LEGITIMACY
AND I WOULD GO ON A LITTLE BIT
MORE ABOUT THAT TOWARD THE END
OF MY TALK BUT I THINK IT'S
IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THAT
WHAT WE'VE BEEN SEEING OVER THE
PAST FEW MONTHS HAS SHOWN VERY
CLEARLY THE DIFFICULTY THAT THE
UNITED STATES HAS OPERATING...
HAS IN OPERATING WITHOUT THE
SUPPORT OF ITS FELLOW LIBERAL
DEMOCRACIES NOT JUST IN
MATERIAL TERMS, NOT JUST IN
MONEY AND TROOPS BUT PERHAPS
MORE IMPORTANTLY WITHOUT THE
MORAL SUPPORT AND IN FACT WITH
THE MORAL DISAPPROBATION OF
SOME OF ITS CLOSEST ALLIES.
IN FACT, I THINK THE CRISIS
THAT WE FACE RIGHT NOW IS THAT
THE UNITED STATES NEEDS
LEGITIMACY BUT WE DON'T KNOW
EXACTLY... NONE OF US KNOW
EXACTLY WHERE THIS LEGITIMACY
IS TO BE FOUND TODAY.
NOW EUROPEANS HAVE BEEN ARGUING
THAT THE LEGITIMACY THAT WE
MUST SEEK CAN BE FOUND AND CAN
ONLY BE FOUND AT THE UN
SECURITY COUNCIL.
THAT IS THE ARGUMENT THAT HAS
BEEN ADVANCED IN THE CASE OF
IRAQ.
THAT IS THE ARGUMENT THAT IS
MADE NOT ONLY IN PARIS AND
BERLIN BUT ALSO IN LONDON.
IT IS A DOMINANT VIEW AMONG
EUROPEANS OF ALL COUNT... OF
ALL COUNTRIES INCLUDING IN
BRITAIN THAT THE UN SECURITY
COUNCIL IS THE AUTHORITY THAT
CAN LEGITIMIZE ACTION AND I'D
LIKE TO ASK THE QUESTION
TONIGHT IS THAT RIGHT?
BECAUSE IF IT WERE TRUE THE
WORLD WOULD BE A MUCH SIMPLER
PLACE.
WE WOULD KNOW EXACTLY WHERE TO
GO WHETHER WE LIKED IT OR NOT
WE'D KNOW EXACTLY WHERE TO GO
BUT I WOULD LIKE TO ARGUE THAT
WHATEVER WE MAY WISH THE UN
SECURITY COUNCIL DOES NOT PLAY
THAT ROLE AND HAS NOT PLAYED
THAT ROLE AND HAS NOT PLAYED
THAT ROLE EVEN FOR EUROPEANS.
IF YOU THINK BACK ON RECENT
HISTORY.
AGAIN FOR 40 YEARS OUT OF THE
HISTORY OF THE UN's EXISTENCE,
THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL WAS NOT
CONSIDERED BY ANYBODY THE SOLE
LOCUST OF AUTHORITY FOR
MILITARY ACTION.
IT WAS ONLY AFTER THE END OF
THE COLD WAR THAT IT EVEN
BECAME POSSIBLE TO REALIZE SOME
OF THE DREAMS OF THE MORE UH,
IDEALISTIC FOUNDERS OF THE
UNITED NATIONS IN THE 1940's
BUT THE RECORD OF THE 1990's
WAS A MIXED RECORD.
GEORGE BUSH SENIOR WENT TO WAR
IN IRAQ HAVING GOTTEN THE UN
SECURITY COUNCIL'S RESOLUTION
BUT BEFORE HE GOT THAT
RESOLUTION HE PUT 500,000
TROOPS UH, ACROSS THE WAY IN
KUWAIT AND DOES ANYBODY THINK
THAT HAD HE NOT GOTTEN SOVIET
APPROVAL AT THE UN SECURITY
COUNCIL HE WOULD'VE BROUGHT
THOSE TROOPS BACK HOME TO THE
UNITED STATES, NO ONE BELIEVES
THAT.
WHEN BILL CLINTON SENT TROOPS
INTO HAITI HE DID SO WITHOUT A
UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION.
WHEN BILL CLINTON BOMBED IRAQ
FOR FOUR DAYS IN 1998 HE DID SO
WITHOUT A UN SECURITY COUNCIL
RESOLUTION AND INDEED OVER THE
STRENUOUS OBJECTIONS OF FRENCH
AND RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS AT THE
SECURITY COUNCIL.
BUT FOR ME THE MOST INTERESTING
CASE, THE MOST DIFFICULT CASE
AND PERHAPS THE MOST
INSTRUCTIVE CASE WAS THE ISSUE
OF KOSOVO BECAUSE KOSOVO WAS A
CASE WHERE EUROPEANS AND
AMERICANS BOTH WENT TO WAR
WITHOUT A UN SECURITY COUNCIL
RESOLUTION.
THEY WENT TO WAR IN THE NAME OF
A MORAL CAUSE, A HUMANITARIAN
CAUSE, I SUPPORTED THAT WAR.
I BELIEVE IT WAS THE RIGHT
THING TO DO BUT LET US AT LEAST
BE CLEAR BY ANY UNDERSTANDING
OF INTERNATIONAL LAW WHETHER
IT'S THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL OR
CUSTOMARY INTERNATIONAL LAW
REGARDING THE ENVIABLE
SOVEREIGNTY OF ALL NATIONS ON
WHICH INTERNATIONAL LAW MUST
ULTIMATELY BE FOUNDED, KOSOVO,
THE KOSOVO WAR WAS ILLEGAL.
EUROPEANS FOR THEIR OWN REASONS
FELT IT WAS NEVERTHELESS
ESSENTIAL.
IT HAD A LOT TO DO WITH
EUROPE'S HISTORY AS THEY WILL
BE THE FIRST TO ADMIT.
IT WAS NO ACCIDENT THAT ONE OF
THE LEADING PROMOTERS OF WAR IN
KOSOVO WAS A GERMAN JOSCHKA
FISHER WHO HAD VERY MUCH IN THE
BACK OF HIS MIND UH, SIMILAR
KINDS OF ETHNIC ATROCITIES IN
EUROPE'S PAST.
BUT THE KOSOVO WAR WAS ILLEGAL
BY NORMAL DEFINITIONS OF
INTERNATIONAL LAW THERE WAS A
TIME IN THOSE DAYS THERE WERE
THOSE WHO TALKED ABOUT TRYING
TO MOVE BEYOND INTERNATIONAL
LAW TO... TO HAVE A MORE MORAL

- A GREATER APPROXIMATION OF
WHAT WE THINK OF LIBERAL
MORALITY AND THAT WAS THE
JUSTIFICATION FOR KOSOVO AND
AGAIN I AGREE THAT IT WAS RIGHT
BUT FLASH FORWARD NOW FOUR
YEARS TO THE UNITED STATES AND
IRAQ AND SUDDENLY YOU FIND
EUROPEANS ARGUING ONCE AGAIN
FOR A RIGID, STRICT ADHERENCE
TO THE UN CHARTER AND THE UN
SECURITY COUNCIL AND SAYING
THERE CAN BE NO ACTION TAKEN
WITHOUT UN SECURITY COUNCIL
APPROVAL AND IN FACT, JOSCHKA
FISHER WHO'S SMART ENOUGH TO
KNOW THAT THE LOOPHOLE THAT HE
HELPED OPEN IN KOSOVO IN 1999
NEEDED TO BE CLOSED
RETROACTIVELY SAID THAT WE
CANNOT IN FACT VIOLATE
PRINCIPLES OF SOVEREIGNTY, WE
CANNOT IN FACT INTERVENE IN
OTHER COUNTRIES NO MATTER WHAT
THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS.
IN FACT, HE MADE EXACTLY THE
ARGUMENTS UH, AGAINST THE WAR
IN IRAQ, AGAINST THE PRINCIPLE
THAT MIGHT JUSTIFY INTERVENTION
THAT PEOPLE LIKE HENRY
KISSINGER WERE MAKING AGAINST
THE KOSOVO INTERVENTION JUST
FOUR YEARS BEFORE.
IT HAS BECOME A COMMONPLACE
AMONG EUROPEANS AND AMONG MANY
EUROPEANS TO SAY THAT AT... IN
THE IRAQ WAR THE UNITED STATES
TORE APART THE FABRIC OF THE
INTERNATIONAL ORDER BUT I WOULD
ARGUE THAT FOR BETTER OR FOR
WORSE THAT FABRIC HAS YET TO BE
KNIT AND WE DO NOT YET LIVE IN
THAT INTERNATIONAL ORDER AND
THE EUROPEAN CONTRADICTION, THE
CONTRADICTORY RESPONSE TO
KOSOVO AND IRAQ LEADS TO ME TO
THE INESCAPABLE CONCLUSION THAT
THIS IS NOT SO MUCH ABOUT A
RULES BASED SYSTEM AND
PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL
ORDER AND THE ULTIMATE
AUTHORITY OF THE UN SECURITY
COUNCIL AS IT IS ABOUT
CONSTRAINING THE UNITED STATES
AS IT IS ABOUT DEALING ONCE
AGAIN WITH THE BASIC PROBLEM OF
A UNIPOLAR ORDER AND THE
DANGERS AND THE RISKS OF AN
UNCHECKED AMERICA.
WELL, NOW WE HAVE MOVED INTO A
PERIOD WHERE ON THE ONE HAND WE
HAVE UNIPOLARITY, ON THE OTHER
HAND WE HAVE A NEW COMBINATION
OF DANGERS.
PROLIFERATION OF WEAPONS OF
MASS DESTRUCTION, INTERNATIONAL
TERRORISM, WHICH HAS LED THE
BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO TALK
ABOUT DOCTRINES OF PREVENTION
OF PRE-EMPTION AND THIS IS WHAT
EUROPEANS NOW FIND MOST
OBJECTIONABLE BECAUSE HERE
AGAIN IS PRACTICALLY A
STATEMENT OF THE UNITED STATES
ON THE PART OF THE UNITED
STATES THAT IT WILL DO WHAT IT
WANTS WHEN IT WANTS.
AND IF YOU EXAMINE THE
ARGUMENTS THAT EUROPEANS MAKE
AGAINST THE DOCTRINE OF
PREVENTION I DON'T THINK IT'S
ABOUT THE DOCTRINE OF
PREVENTION ITSELF BECAUSE IN
FACT BEFORE IRAQ THERE WERE
MANY EUROPEANS INCREASINGLY
TALKING ABOUT THE NEED IN A NEW
ERA OF WEAPONS OF MASS
DESTRUCTION TO MOVE AGAIN
BEYOND THE PRINCIPLES OF... OF
NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY, OF THE
ENVIABLE NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY
BECAUSE THE RISKS WERE TOO
GREAT.
IN THE UNITED STATES EVERYONE
FROM THE LIBERAL PHILOSOPHER
MICHAEL WALTZER TO HENRY
KISSINGER WERE SAYING THAT YOU
CAN'T LIVE IN THE SAME KIND OF
SYSTEM THAT WAS CREATED
ALLEGEDLY WITH THE PEACE OF
WESTPHALIA OF 1648 THAT YOU HAD
TO MOVE BEYOND THIS SYSTEM AND
EVEN KOFI ANNAN SINCE THE IRAQ
WAR HAS SUGGESTED THAT PERHAPS
THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL HAS TO
LOOK AT THE QUESTION POSSIBLY
OF PREVENTIVE ACTION GIVEN THE
NEW DANGERS OF WEAPONS OF MASS
DESTRUCTION AND THE POSSIBLE
NEXUS WITH INTERNATIONAL
TERRORISM.
AND SO ONCE AGAIN YOU FIND THAT
IT IS NOT THE ISSUE ITSELF, IT
IS THE ISSUE OF AMERICAN POWER
AND HOW TO CONTROL IT.
IT IS THE UNIPOLAR PREDICAMENT
THAT WE'RE FACING.
WHEN EUROPEANS TALK ABOUT
MULTI-LATERALISM, WHEN
AMERICANS FOR THAT MATTER TALK
ABOUT MULTI-LATERALISM AND TO
DECRY AMERICAN UNILATERALISM IN
ACTION WHAT DO THEY REALLY MEAN
BY THAT?
WAS AMERICAN ACTION IN IRAQ
LESS MULTI-LATERAL THAN
EUROPEAN ACTION IN KOSOVO?
IN WHAT FUNDAMENTAL WAY WAS IT?
IF YOU HAVE DECIDED IT IS
POSSIBLE TO GO TO WAR WITHOUT
UN SECURITY COUNCIL
AUTHORIZATION THEN WHAT DOES
MULTI-LATERALISM MEAN?
THE UNITED STATES HAD MANY
ALLIES, MANY NATIONAL
SUPPORTERS IN THE IRAQ WAR.
IT HAD EUROPEANS, BRITAIN AND
SPAIN AND YET THE ACTION WAS
DECRIED BOTH IN THE UNITED
STATES AND IN EUROPE AS
UNILATERAL.
I WONDER IF SOMEHOW THE UNITED
STATES HAD WON THE SUPPORT OF
FRANCE AND GERMANY BUT HAD NOT
WON THE SUPPORT OF RUSSIA AND
CHINA WOULD THE EUROPEANS STILL
HAVE COMPLAINED OF UNILATERAL
ACTION?
I THINK NOT.
THE FACT THAT MOST OF THE WORLD
OPPOSED AMERICAN ACTIONS IN
IRAQ, MOST OF THE WORLD OPPOSED
MOST AMERICAN ACTIONS ALL
THROUGH THE PAST 50 YEARS.
YOU COULD GO DOWN THE LIST.
THAT'S THE NORMAL GLOBAL
REACTION TO AMERICAN EXERCISES
OF POWER AND ALSO THE NORMAL
GLOBAL REACTION OVER THE PAST
50 YEARS TO EUROPEAN EXERCISES
OF POWER.
NO ONE HAS REALLY CARED WHAT
THE VIEWS OF SAN PAULO MIGHT BE
OR THE VIEWS OF KUALA LUMPUR OR
THE VIEWS OF MOSCOW OR THE
VIEWS OF CHINA.
I BELIEVE WHEN PEOPLE TALK
ABOUT MULTI-LATERALISM WHAT
THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT IN THIS
CASE WERE PARIS AND BERLIN.
THE EUROPEANS HAD NO TROUBLE
GOING TO WAR AGAINST THE WILL
OF THE MAJORITY OF THE WORLD'S
PEOPLE IN KOSOVO IN 1999 JUST
AS THE UNITED STATES DID IN
2003.
SO NOT TO BE... I DON'T WANT TO
BE TOO REDUCTIVE ABOUT THIS BUT
AT THE END OF THE DAY WHAT ARE
WE REALLY SAYING?
WHAT DOES LEGITIMACY MEAN?
I THINK FOR EUROPEANS WHAT IT
MEANS IS YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE
UNITED SUPPORT OF EUROPE AND
WHY THE UNITED SUPPORT?
AGAIN IT GETS BACK TO THE
CONTROL OF THE UNITED STATES
BECAUSE IT'S NO GOOD IF THE
UNITED STATES CAN PICK OFF THIS
EUROPEAN POWER OR THAT EUROPEAN
POWER AND BRING SPAIN ALONG AND
BRING BRITAIN ALONG.
JOSCHKA FISHER MADE THE POINT I
THINK THE ESSENTIAL POINT WHICH
WAS IT DIDN'T MATTER THAT YOU
HAD THEM ALONG BECAUSE THE
UNITED STATES WAS GOING TO DO
WHAT IT WAS GOING TO DO ANYWAY.
THE ISSUE WAS NOT WHO WAS ON
YOUR SIDE, THE ISSUE WAS
WHETHER THEY HAD ANY INFLUENCE
OVER YOU.
WHETHER EUROPE HAD ANY
INFLUENCE OVER THE UNITED
STATES.
UNILATERALISM MEANS AMERICA'S
ABILITY TO ACT WITHOUT BEING
INFLUENCED BY ITS CLOSEST
ALLIES.
NOW GIVEN ALL THIS IT WOULD BE
VERY TEMPTING FOR AMERICANS TO
DISMISS ALL THIS TALK OF
LEGITIMACY AND APPROVAL AND
AUTHORIZATION AND CONSENSUS AS
A KIND OF A ROUSE AND A FRAUD
BECAUSE WHAT DOES IT MEAN OTHER
THAN YOU HAVE TO HAVE PARIS AND
BERLIN ON YOUR SIDE ULTIMATELY
IF YOU WANT TO ACT.
BUT THE REAL TWIST HERE FOR ME
AT LEAST IT'S NOT GOING TO BE
SO EASY FOR AMERICANS TO IGNORE
IT AND EVEN IF IT IS TRUE THAT
LEGITIMACY IS TO BE FOUND AMONG
THE CONSENT... IN THE CONSENT
AMONG AMERICA'S CLOSEST LIBERAL
DEMOCRATIC ALLIES WELL THAT MAY
BE THE ONLY LEGITIMACY WE CAN
HOPE FOR AND IT MAY BE THE
LEGITIMACY THAT WE IN FACT
NEED.
AND THIS TAKES ME TO... AN
EXAMINATION, A BRIEF
EXAMINATION OF AMERICANS
THEMSELVES BECAUSE IT IS IN
FACT THE CASE THAT EVER SINCE
THE FOUNDING OF THE AMERICAN
NATION AMERICANS HAVE ALWAYS
CARED ESPECIALLY ABOUT WHAT
OTHER LIBERALS, OTHER LIBERAL
DEMOCRACIES SUCH AS THEIR WERE
AT THAT TIME HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT
THEIR ACTIONS.
THE FOUNDING FATHERS IN THE
DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
TALKED ABOUT A DECENT RESPECT
FOR THE OPINION OF MANKIND AND
BECAUSE OF AMERICA'S PECULIAR
KIND OF NATIONALISM WHICH IS
REALLY A UNIVERSE... IT'S A
NATIONALISM THAT'S MADE UP OF A
UNIVERSALIST IDEOLOGY, BECAUSE
AMERICANS HAVE ALWAYS CONCEIVED
THEMSELVES AS THE VANGARDE OF
A LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION

- AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY HAS
NEVER BEEN JUST ABOUT NARROW
NATIONAL MATERIAL INTERESTS.
IT'S ALWAYS BEEN, IT'S ALWAYS
HAD A UNIVERSAL ELEMENT TO IT.
AMERICANS UNDERSTANDING OF
THEMSELVES HAS BEEN DIFFICULT
TO SEPARATE FROM THE REST OF
THE WORLD'S UNDERSTANDING OF
AMERICANS.
MOST AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY
DECISIONS HAVE BEEN DECISIONS
ABOUT AMERICAN IDENTITY.
THE QUESTIONS OF AMERICAN
FOREIGN POLICY ARE ALMOST
ALWAYS QUESTIONS WHO ARE WE?
WHAT ARE WE?
AND SO AMERICANS DO CARE AND
NOTHING COULD BE CLEARER THAN
THAT HOW MUCH AMERICANS CARE IN
WHAT HAP... IN WHAT HAS
HAPPENED OVER THE PAST YEAR
BECAUSE HERE IS GEORGE W. BUSH
WHO DOES NOT WAKE UP EVERY
MORNING THINKING I HAVE TO GO
TO THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL FOR
APPROVAL FOR ACTION.
WHY DID HE GO TO THE UN
SECURITY COUNCIL?
WELL, EVEN IF THE ONLY REASON
HE WENT TO THE UN SECURITY
COUNCIL WAS TO MAKE SURE THAT
TONY BLAIR COULD SUPPORT HIM
THAT TELLS US SOMETHING.
AMERICA DIDN'T NEED BRITISH
TROOPS IN IRAQ.
THEY NEED BRITISH APPROVAL IN
IRAQ AND THE FACT THAT THE BUSH
ADMINISTRATION HAS GONE BACK TO
THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL AGAIN
AND AGAIN WITH NOTHING TO SHOW
FOR IT, NO TROOPS, VERY LITTLE
MONEY, HAS BEEN A TESTAMENT TO
THE FACT THAT THE AMERICAN
PEOPLE, TOO, DO CARE WHAT THE
REST OF THE WORLD THINKS AND
EVEN CARE ABOUT WHETHER THEY
ARE GAINING LEGITIMACY AS OTHER
DEFINE IT AT THE UN SECURITY
COUNCIL.
SO THE PROBLEM IS INESCAPABLE
AND THIS IS A PROBLEM WHERE I
BELIEVE THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION
HAS MADE A SERIOUS ERROR
BECAUSE BUSH CAME TO OFFICE
TALKING ABOUT LOOKING OUT FOR
AMERICA'S NATIONAL INTEREST.
IF YOU READ THE ARTICLE BY
CONDALISA RICE THERE'S A FAMOUS
ARTICLE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS UH,
THAT WAS SORT OF PART OF THE
BUSH CAMPAIGN DOCUMENT.
IT WAS A STATEMENT ABOUT
LOOKING AFTER NOW AFTER ALL
THIS CLINTON BALONEY NOW WE
WILL LOOK AFTER AMERICA'S
NATIONAL INTERESTS.
WE'LL REVIEW ALL TREATIES AND
ACTIONS IN LIGHT OF WHAT'S GOOD
FOR AMERICA.
WELL, IT TURNS OUT THAT IN A
UNIPOLAR WORLD WHEN YOU'RE THE
SOLE SUPERPOWER YOU CAN'T TALK
ABOUT ONLY LOOKING OUT FOR YOUR
NATIONAL INTERESTS.
YOU CAN'T EXPECT THE WORLD TO
COME ALONG WITH YOU WHEN YOU
NEED THE WORLD.
YOU CAN'T EXPECT THE WORLD TO
COME ALONG WITH YOU WHEN YOU
NEED THE WORLD FOR ITS MORAL
SUPPORT.
IF YOUR FUNDAMENTAL POSITION IS
WE'RE USING OUR IMMENSE POWER
ONLY FOR OURSELVES AND SINCE
SEPTEMBER 11th, 2001 I THINK
FOR UNDERSTANDABLE REASONS BUT
NEVERTHELESS IT'S BEEN
REGRETTABLE THAT THE APPEARANCE
THAT THE UNITED STATES HAS
GIVEN IS OF THIS ENORMOUS POWER
THAT IS SIMPLY GOING TO USE ITS
POWER TO SERVE ITS OWN
INTERESTS AND NOT ANYBODY
ELSE'S INTERESTS ALONG THE WAY.
AND I BELIEVE THAT THAT CANNOT
POSSIBLY WIN AMERICAN
LEGITIMACY.
NOW IT SEEMS TO ME THAT DEALING
WITH EUROPEANS THE IDEAL
SITUATION WOULD BE TO STRIKE A
NEW TRANSATLANTIC BARGAIN AND
THE FUNDAMENTAL NATURE OF THAT
TRANSATLANTIC BARGAIN WOULD BE
THAT THE UNITED STATES MUST
FIND A WAY TO CEDE SOME
INFLUENCE TO EUROPEANS OVER THE
EXERCISE OF AMERICAN POWER.
I WOULD ARGUE THE PLACE TO DO
THAT IS NATO BECAUSE NATO IS AN
INSTITUTION WHERE EUROPEANS AND
AMERICANS SIT AT THE TABLE AND
HAVE AN EQUAL SAY IN ACTIONS
DESPITE THE FACT OF AMERICAN
HEGEMONY.
NATO IS THE PLACE THAT HAS
RECONCILED AS BEST AS IT CAN BE
RECONCILED THE FACT OF AMERICAN
HEGEMONY WITH THE INFLUENCE AND
AUTONOMY OF THE EUROPEAN
POWERS.
BUT IN ORDER FOR THIS BARGAIN
TO BE CARRIED OUT THE EUROPEANS
WOULD HAVE TO FULFILL THEIR
PART OF THE BARGAIN, TOO AND
THAT I THINK WOULD BE EQUALLY
PROBLEMATIC EVEN IF YOU COULD
CONVINCE THE UNITED STATES THAT
IT SHOULD IN THE INTERESTS OF
GAINING LEGITIMACY CEDE SOME OF
ITS INFLUENCE TO ITS CLOSEST
LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTNERS.
WOULD THE EUROPEANS IN TURN
FULFIL THEIR PART OF THE
BARGAIN WHICH WOULD BE TO LEND
LEGITIMACY TO THE UNITED STATES
WHEN IT TAKES ACTIONS IT DEEMS
NECESSARY NOT ONLY FOR ITS OWN
SECURITY BUT FOR GENERAL
SECURITY AND UNFORTUNATELY THIS
RETURNS US BACK TO THE WHOLE
ORIGINAL PROBLEM OF OUR
DISTINCT WORLD VIEWS BECAUSE
THE FACT THE EUROPEANS DO NOT
SEE THE THREATS THAT AMERICANS
SEE, THE FACT THAT THE
EUROPEANS DO NOT BELIEVE THAT
THE AMERICAN ANSWERS TO THOSE
THREATS ARE THE ANSWERS... ARE
THE RIGHT ANSWERS BECAUSE THE
EUROPEANS HAVE MOVED BEYOND THE
USE OF FORCE AS A KEY TOOL OF
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IT
MAYBE IMPOSSIBLE FOR EUROPEANS
UH, TO SEE THE WORLD IN SUCH A
WAY AS TO ALLOW THE UNITED
STATES TO MOVE FORWARD AND PLAY
THE ROLE THAT I BELIEVE IT MUST
PLAY IF ALL OF US ARE TO
CONTINUE BEING SAFE AND THAT IS
THE TRAGEDY.
THE UNITED STATES DOES NEED THE
LEGITIMACY THAT PERHAPS TODAY
AT LEAST ONLY ITS FELLOW
LIBERAL DEMOCRACIES CAN OFFER
AND YET THOSE FELLOW LIBERAL
DEMOCRACIES MAY BE FOR REASONS
FOR DEALING WITH THEIR RESPONSE
TO THE UNIPOLAR PREDICAMENT AND
THAT THEY WILL BE THAT THEY
DENY THAT LEGITIMACY TO
AMERICAN ACTIONS AND THEY WILL
HAVE THE EFFECT OVER TIME OF
HOBBLING AMERICA'S ABILITY TO
ACT IN THE WORLD AND TO ADD TO
THAT TRAGEDY IF THEY SUCCEED IN
PULLING DOWN AMERICA'S CAPACITY
TO ACT THEY DO NOT REPLACE IT
WITH THEIR OWN CAPACITY TO ACT
BECAUSE EUROPE IS NOT BUILDING
UP ANY KIND OF MILITARY
CAPACITY SHOULD THESE THREATS
UH, PROVE TO BE REAL AND HAVE
TO BE DEALT WITH.
SO THE NET EFFECT IS THAT THE
OVERALL POWER THAT THE LIBERAL
DEMOCRATIC WORLD HAS TO WIELD
IN ITS OWN DEFENCE IS BROUGHT
DOWN AND THEN I FEAR WE ARE ALL
AT RISK.
NOW I HATE TO END ON A
PESSIMISTIC NOTE BUT I DO FEAR
THAT SOMETHING... SOMEONE HAS
TO SHAKE OUT OF THEIR CURRENT
MENTALITY FOR US TO MOVE ON AND
I DO BELIEVE AND THIS IS WHERE
I AM DISTINCTLY AN AMERICAN AND
NOT A EUROPEAN.
I DO BELIEVE THAT WE ARE IN A
VERY DIRE SITUATION IN THE
WORLD.
I DO BELIEVE WE ARE FACING A
SITUATION OF PROLIFERATING
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION UH,
WHICH EVEN WITHOUT THE WILD
CARD OF INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM
WOULD BE A DANGER TO OUR WORLD
AND I DO BELIEVE THAT THE WEST
OR WHAT WE KNEW IS THE WEST IS
DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF WE WILL
NOT BE ABLE TO MEET THAT
CHALLENGE AND SO WITHOUT HAVING
UNFORTUNATELY THE ANSWER TO
THIS CONUNDRUM I WOULD
NEVERTHELESS SUGGEST MAKE A
PLEA TO BOTH SIDES TO DEAL NOW
WITH THIS QUESTION OF
LEGITIMACY, TO DEAL NOW WITH
THESE TRANSATLANTIC TENSIONS
AND TO TRY TO FIND SOME HAPPY
MEDIUM UH, WHEREVER IT MAY BE
FOUND BETWEEN US.
SO WITH THAT I WILL END, THANK
YOU VERY MUCH.

The audience applauds.

Watch: Robert Kagan on America and Eruope - The Growing Division