Healing the Transatlantic Rift: Moves towards US-European Cooperation in the Middle East

Healing the Transatlantic Rift: Moves towards US-European Cooperation in the Middle East

  • 29 January 2006

Dealing with the Middle East has for decades proved to
be a very divisive issue for the United States and Europe.
During the long decades of the Cold War, heated
transatlantic disputes emerged over a host of issues,
including the Suez Canal, the Palestine-Israel conflict
and the containment of Iran. However, these differences
did not significantly impair transatlantic relations, due
to the solidarity engendered by the Soviet threat in
Europe. With the demise of the Soviet Union, common
tasks in Europe no longer serve as a binding glue and the
Middle East is now at the top of the transatlantic agenda.
Differences over Middle East policy have therefore
become more consequential and have contributed to
the erosion of transatlantic amity in the post-Cold War
era. What are the roots of the fundamental differences
in European and American approaches to the Middle
East? A complicated set of factors are at play, and have
combined to affect attitudes and policies at all levels—
the foreign policy elite, the bureaucracy, the media and
the public.
The examination of American and European approaches
to Iraq, Iran, Palestine/Israel, and democratization provide
important insights into substantive policy differences and
into the prospects for enhanced transatlantic cooperation
in the Middle East. Recent trends indicate a gradual
convergence of approach, suggesting that the transatlantic
divide of the past few years may be on the mend.

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Sunday 29 January 2006

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Sunday 29 January 2006

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