E Pluribus Confusio

The European Union is unable to achieve a true federal union, yet neither is it likely to fall apart. That leaves its internal incoherence as a long-term problem for the United States.

Issue: Fall 2001

President Bush's recent journeys to Europe were bitter-sweet
reminders, if any were needed, of the continued centrality of
transatlantic relations for U.S. interests. Even as the new
administration grapples with the shift of world economic and
political weight to Asia and turns its attention to issues such as
trade in the Americas or the problems of Africa, cooperation with
Europe remains the cornerstone of U.S. international engagement.
Nowhere is the United States enmeshed in a thicker web of
institutional and cultural ties than it is in continental Europe and
the British isles. Whether one speaks of economic stakes, scientific
and technological cooperation, or the bonds of common history and
philosophies of government, it is clear that nothing can diminish
Atlantic relations to a second order concern. In a practical vein,
too, it is difficult to see how the United States can accomplish any

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