Franz Josef Clinton

Without realizing it, the United States is taking over the role of the Habsburg Empire in the Balkans, a role that it is ill-equipped to play.

Issue: Spring 1999

U.S. policy toward Europe under the current administration has suffered from really only one flaw--but it's a doozy. The problem is that the Clinton administration has yet to have a single serious synoptic thought about the Continent's future and the U.S. role in it. It discussed its reasons for expanding NATO virtually without reference to the future of the European Union, as if the security of so vast and pivotal an area would not be affected by the potentially revolutionary social, economic and political changes afoot there. It dithered but subsequently took the diplomatic and military lead in Bosnia without considering the effect on the evolution of intra-European security arrangements, a far more important post-Cold War question in the longer run than the future of that hapless province.

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