Despite substantial successes, U.S.-European security relations have been surprisingly acrimonious in the past several years. Transatlantic friction is rooted in differing perceptions of power. Europeans consider U.S. power the predominant fact of the international system and the only influence able to upset a status quo beneficial to their interests. Americans consider Europe to be like the United States, whereas the European perspective is regional rather than global. U.S. policy has focused on preventing emergence of a Europe that is too assertive, whereas the more likely and damaging prospect is a Europe unwilling or unable to more equitably share the burden of our common interests. The new administration should adopt policies more confidently based on U.S. strength and on promoting more responsibility and leadership by European allies on regional and global issues. This approach would more advantageously manage relations, especially on the four security issues likely to be most important: the Balkans, arms control, development of European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP), and NATO enlargement.
Strategic Challenges for the Bush Administration: Perspectives from the Institute for National Strategic Studies, p.11-22