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Military defeat, not diplomacy

Reader comment on item: Europeans: From Venus?

Submitted by Tim (United States), Jul 16, 2002 at 12:28

The following,

"Then, through a lengthy process of negotiation, multilateralism, building commercial ties and applying international law, the Europeans engineered what Kagan calls "perhaps the greatest feat of international politics ever achieved" by integrating Germany into a totally peaceable Western European state system."

is wrong.

Total military defeat in WWII, subsequent occupation by American forces, and an economic and educational restructuring under strict Anglo-American supervision—not diplomacy—brought Germany into the fold of democratic nations.

Likewise, Western Europe did not achieve "postmodern" status when "the German lion lay down with the French lamb," but rather when the Soviet Union collapsed—a collapse brought about not by negotiations, but by the latter's inability to keep pace with American military spending while maintaining a command economy, expansionist policies (Afghanistan) and totalitarian control over its own people and satellite states.

This doesn't detract from the central thesis of the article, but it's important to keep the facts straight.

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