Our 30 Issues series turns to Europe today. In the aftermath of the war in Iraq and the frayed relations with Germany and France, how much do both candidates value the alliance? Earlier this summer President Bush proposed a troop withdrawal from German bases. Elsewhere a new poll showed decreasing European support for the US. We'll get two views from The Economist magazine editor Bill Emmott and Newsweek Paris Bureau Chief, Chris Dickey.
Here are the two candidate's stances on Europe from the party platforms:
Email us your feedback. Read the responses we've received so far.
Europe: Throughout the 20th century, America's most trusted and reliable allies were the democracies of Europe; together, the two sides of the Atlantic ensured that democracy and free markets prevailed against all challenges. The Bush Administration has allowed the Atlantic partnership to erode, leaving the United States dangerously isolated from its indispensable allies. The Democratic Party is committed to revitalizing the Atlantic partnership. The international goals that the United States pursues will be easier to attain if Europe and America are working together. We will ensure that NATO remains strong, continuing to consolidate peace in Europe even as the alliance takes on new tasks in Afghanistan and Iraq. We look forward to the evolution of the European Union and to a prosperous and unified Europe that joins the United States in meeting today's security challenges and expanding the global economy.
From the party platform
Republicans applaud President Bush for the visionary agenda he set forth at the
beginning of his Administration: the establishment of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. That agenda is in the finest tradition of America’s historical commitment to the freedom and security of Europe. It builds on the legacy of the courageous and resolute leadership of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, through which the Cold War was won.
We hail the President’s success in achieving unprecedented cooperation with
Europe – at NATO, through the European Union, and with individual nations – in
combating terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, building peace and democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and advancing the cause of freedom, democracy, and opportunity throughout the broader Middle East and North Africa. In particular, we are grateful for the close friendship and strong partnership with the United Kingdom, upholding the tradition of a special relationship between our two nations. Together and with strong U.S. leadership, America and Europe are decisively confronting the greatest challenges and boldly seizing the historic opportunities of our time.
We believe that the security of the United States is inseparable from the security
of Europe. This enduring truth was reaffirmed by our European allies after the attacks of September 11, 2001, when NATO invoked its Article V self-defense clause for the first time in the history of the Alliance, recognizing that the attack on America was also an attack on the Alliance as a whole. Republicans know that a strong NATO is the foundation of peace in Europe and beyond. We commend NATO’s leadership of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan – a mission that has been led in the past by the United Kingdom, Turkey, Germany, and the Netherlands and is being supported by European partners such as Ireland, Albania, and Croatia. We applaud the establishment of a NATO operation to train Iraqi security forces. We hail those NATO nations and NATO partners that are contributing forces to Iraq, including the Polish-led division for which the Alliance has provided technical support. Republicans remain steadfast supporters of NATO enlargement. We recall that the leadership of a Republican Senate helped Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary return to the Euro-Atlantic Community through membership in the Alliance. We hail the President’s leadership in NATO’s decision to welcome seven new democracies into the Alliance this year – Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Republicans support the continued enlargement of NATO to include other democratic nations willing and able to share the burden of defending and advancing our common interests. Republicans recognize and applaud the fact that especially since September 11, 2001, some of America’s strongest allies and friends have been the democracies of Central and Eastern Europe – many of whom inspired the world during the Cold War by assaulting the Iron Curtain again and again until it finally crashed down forever.
Republicans hail the participation in the multinational coalition in Iraq of NATO
members that joined the Alliance in 1999 and 2004 – Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia – as well as the contributions of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Albania, and Macedonia. Through their dedication to the cause of security and freedom in Iraq, these nations – together with the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, and Norway – are demonstrating their commitment to the values shared by members of the transatlantic community. We also applaud the contribution of forces in Iraq by Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan and support strengthening NATO’s partnerships with these nations and their neighbors in the Caucasus and Central Asia. President Bush is forging a new relationship with Russia based on the central reality that the United States and Russia are no longer strategic adversaries. We hail the President’s visionary leadership in reassessing the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which was a relic of the Cold War and treated Russia as an enemy. The President has strengthened this new relationship by concluding the historic Moscow Treaty on Strategic Reductions, which will reduce the nuclear arsenals of our two nations to their lowest levels in decades. President Bush is rightly refocusing the relationship on emerging and potential common interests and challenges, especially broadening our already extensive cooperation in the War on Terror and promoting beneficial bilateral trade and investment relations. At the same time, Republicans believe that Russia’s uneven commitment to the basic values of democracy remains a matter of great concern. We continue to support the independence and stability of the states of the former Soviet Union in the belief that a prosperous and stable neighborhood will reinforce Russia’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. Republicans recognize and hail President Bush’s use of the prestige and influence of the United States to support the efforts of leaders in Ireland and the United Kingdom and the many other people of goodwill who are working to achieve a lasting and peaceful settlement in Northern Ireland. We endorse President Bush’s personal reaffirmation of America’s commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and to its full and complete implementation, as expressed during his visit to Northern Ireland in April 2003. We applaud the President’s appointment of a Special Envoy for Northern Ireland, who is participating in the peace process and supporting efforts of Ireland and the United Kingdom to restore the democratic process in Northern Ireland. We share the President’s commitment that America’s support for this vital work will continue.
Republicans support America’s commitment to Northern Ireland’s economic development, including our nation’s contributions to the International Fund for Ireland and private U.S. investment in the North, with care to ensure fair employment and better opportunities for all. Though the burdens of history weigh heavily upon that land, we cheer its people for taking the lead in building for themselves and for their children a future of peace and understanding.
Our Party continues to support a peaceful settlement for Cyprus and respect by all parties for the wishes of the Cypriot people. A fair and lasting Cyprus settlement will benefit the people of Cyprus, as well as serve the interests of America and our allies, Greece and Turkey.