Putting Europe First

Ivo H. Daalder and James M. Goldgeier

Although Europe may be relatively quiescent, President George W. Bush enters office with a full European agenda facing him. In the months ahead, the new administration will have to decide whether to support Europe’s budding defense policy, how to engage Russia, when and with whom to enlarge NATO, whether to stay in the Balkans, and when to proceed with missile defenses. Rather than deciding these issues in a piecemeal fashion, the Bush administration should address them as part of an overall
strategy toward Europe. Although it may be tempted to place NATO considerations on the top of the agenda, a successful American policy toward the continent will require putting Europe—and not NATO or Russia—first.