I want to conclude my series of dispatches from London with a warning: it may appear from my earlier postings that there was a clear and easy divide between "Americans" and "Europeans." I want to correct that simplistic assumption. A wide range of views was expressed across the spectrum by both American and European participants. Some of the Europeans put forward views on foreign policy that would be considered quite "neoconservative" from a U.S. perspective, and there was ample proof around the table at Chatham House why synergy occurred between the Bush and Blair Administrations when it came to Iraq.
One, however, could detect two general "European" approaches to world affairs on display during our discussions. The first was a version of the "global NATO" approach-that a reinvigorated trans-Atlantic relationship, perhaps guided by a renewed EU-3 under the troika of Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel, could reach out to Washington and forge a new consensus about how to deal with both geopolitical problems (Russia, China, the Middle East) and issues such as democracy promotion, energy security and climate change (on the last point, of course, President Bush's speech damped expectations about finding common ground). In keeping with Sarkozy's point he made to The National Interest, that one goal of foreign policy must be "to promote the universal values of liberty and the respect for human rights and dignity", some of the participants argued for a vigorous trans-Atlantic effort to push back against the "democracy backlash". . . .