Present chilly relations between Washington and Moscow are resulting in appeals for a new European superpower to arise.
"THE INTERESTS and objectives of the United States and the West European countries are Increasingly diverging," warns Pieter Denkert, president of the European Parliament. The "sheer number of disputes between the United States and Western Europe has gradually eroded... mutual respect and confidence," writes President Denkert in the Winter 1983-84 edition of Foreign Policy magazine. Conflicts over trade policy constitute a major and growing irritant between the United States and its European allies. Add to trade problems an equally serious dispute — the approach that the West should take toward the ever-increasing power of the Soviet Union.
How to Deal With Moscow
In simplest terms, many West Europeans do not share the perspective of the administration in Washington toward the Soviet Union. In Europe there is a growing feeling that President Ronald Reagan is imposing his world view on Europeans. They see him as attempting to enlist them in a new crusade against communism everywhere. Europeans contend Americans are unpredictable in the conduct of foreign affairs. They cite as clear evidence the widely divergent policies of former President Jimmy Carter and Mr. Reagan. Europeans claim a more pragmatic view of world affairs, a more sophisticated and realistic approach toward the Soviet Union. This perspective is perhaps best summarized by former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of West Germany in the weekly Die Zeit: "By virtue of nearly 1,000 years of common history, the Europeans know the Soviets better than people can be expected to in Georgia or California. This European know-how should be put to good use. The Europeans want not just military security but also detente and cooperation with the Soviet Union." From the American perspective, however, Western Europe is too weak, too accommodating to growing Soviet power. The editors of one of Britain's leading weekly magazines, The Economist. in the cover story of the January 21 issue, set about the task of explaining to Europeans "why a lot of people in America do not understand Europe's way of looking at the world." The editors displayed on the cover of the magazine the caricature of a European male, under the title "How to recognize a European (through American eyes)." The artist drew attention to various parts of this composite European's anatomy with such notations as "Angry eye on Reagan," "Blind eye to Russia," "Bleeding heart," "Limp wrist," "No guts," "Weak-kneed," "Cold feet" and "Knee jerks." No doubt many in Europe would take great exception to such a portrayal. But that was exactly the point the editors of The Economist were making: that the caricature represents the growing perception Americans have of Europeans. And, in the field of international relations, perceptions often count more than realities, which can be quite different.
In general, Europeans are worried over the freeze in U.S. — Soviet relations. The freeze has led to the suspension, on the part of Moscow, of both the Euromissile. and strategic nuclear arms control talks. The new Cold War atmosphere between East and West was very much in evidence at the 35-nation Conference on Confidence — and Security-building Measures and Disarmament in Europe (CSDE). The conference was held in Stockholm. This writer was in attendance. The conference was convened to deal with rather small and technical items, such as the notification of troop maneuvers on both sides of the Iron Curtain. It is hoped that such so-called " — confidence-building measures," if agreed upon by the delegations that are to carry out the task over the next two to three years, can lead to implementing solutions to more significant East-West issues. The way the conference started, it was immediately obvious that little was going to be achieved, at least in the short run. In his unusually stern remarks on the opening day, U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz delivered an unequivocal condemnation of the division of Europe since 1945. The West had not erected this barrier, maintained Mr. Shultz. He then emphasized: "Let me be very clear. The United States does not recognize the legitimacy of the artificially imposed division of Europe. This division is the essence of Europe's security and human rights problem and we all know it." The following day was Moscow's turn. Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko delivered a blunt speech highly critical of U.S. policies worldwide. With regard to Europe, Mr. Gromyko complained that "militarism, enmity and war hysteria are being exported to Western Europe along with the missiles" — a reference to the new Pershing II and cruise missiles being delivered by the United States to its West European allies. The two speeches did little to lay the groundwork for confidence-building measures.
Eastern Europe Worried
With the Cold War seemingly on again, the nations of both Western and Eastern Europe find themselves being squeezed uncomfortably between the two superpowers — and, as a consequence, closer to each other. In Stockholm the East bloc foreign ministers dutifully echoed Mr. Gromyko's words. But it is known that nearly all the Warsaw Pact countries, too, are concerned over rising tensions on the Continent. Especially worrisome to them are announced Soviet plans to place new intermediate-range missiles in Eastern Europe to counter the NATO deployment. Late last year, former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt reported to the West German Bundestag: "I also know that in East Germany and in Czechoslovakia people are... frightened. They don't want to soon see Soviet nuclear SS-21 rockets and SS-22 rockets stationed there.... That applies to Hungary where I recently visited [and also] to Bulgaria.... "The more the two world powers conduct themselves antagonistically, the closer the people of the eastern parts of middle Europe and of the western parts move together and the closer the Germans come together in both parts of the Fatherland." The maverick nation of Romania, in particular, has been an outspoken critic of the growing nuclearization of the Continent — from both sides. Moscow was shaken when Romania's President Nicolae Ceausescu hinted, early this year, at the theoretical possibility that Romania might not renew its membership in the Warsaw Pact when the initial treaty expires next year.
Atlantic Rift Widens
In Western Europe, there is a growing perception that the United States is equally to blame for the worsening conditions, especially in the aftermath of the deployment of the first of the new missiles. Perhaps this perception was best summarized by the lead editorial in the January 3 Financial Times of London. It said: "The American shield now looks, to a significant and vocal minority, more like an American threat.... In military and economic terms... the Atlantic appears to be getting wider." Just how wide the Atlantic is becoming was best displayed by the activities at another conference, this one a three-day closed-door meeting in Brussels, Belgium. This conference immediately preceded the more publicized Stockholm affair. Delegates to the Brussels meeting consisted of former government officials who still are highly influential in their respective countries. The headline in the January 16 Times of London summarized the net result of this high-level get-together: "Bitter Speeches Betray a Mutual Loss of Trust by Europe and America." The Brussels conference was entitled "The Future of NATO and Global Security." But, revealed France's former Foreign Minister Jean Francois-Poncet, "everyone of us knew that the real title was 'Atlantic Disagreements' and... we got it." What several participants described as "a growing crisis of mutual understanding" surfaced in speeches by two former U.S. cabinet members, Henry Kissinger and James Schlesinger, and West Germany's former chancellor, Helmut Schmidt. Mr. Schmidt lashed out at what he called the "self-contradictory behavior" of the U.S. government toward the Soviet Union. He further warned that Washington's "egoistic economic policies" such as maintaining high interest rates and running up huge annual budgetary deficits could soon ruin the Western alliance system. William G. Hyland of the United States, a specialist on Soviet affairs and a former member of the U.S. National Security Council, said that Mr. Schmidt's speech was a prime example of "the growing gap between the United States and Europe that could end in catastrophe." Mr. Hyland told the Europeans that disenchantment was also mounting in the United States, where one now hears the argument that remaining in NATO may not necessarily be in U.S. interests. He referred to an unnamed American general, one known for outspoken views, who has taken bets that the United States will quit NATO by 1990 — just six years away — in retaliation to the Europeans' refusal to "take on" the Soviet Union. Mr. Schlesinger, the former U.S. Defense Secretary, lectured the European NATO allies on what he said was their lack of support of the alliance. He. also said it was time for the European allies to read a bit of American history, which gives a warning against "entangling alliances" — advice offered to the fledgling American republic by its retiring first president, George Washington. At this remarkable conference, said Mr. Francois-Poncet, there was "a strange but uncomfortable feeling of drifting apart between the United States and Europe. The mood is bad."
Divorce from America?
The verbal cross fire in Brussels adds yet more substance to the dangerous feeling, on both sides of the Atlantic, of "let's go our separate ways." The generally pro-American columnist for the Sunday Telegraph in Britain, Peregrine Worsthorne, wondered whether the time might not be ripe for Western Europe to consider an amicable "early divorce" from the United States. Mr. Worsthorne observed in his November 13, 1983 column that there is a "reduction in fear of the Soviet Union" among West Europeans despite the continuing Soviet military buildup. The commonly held view on the Continent is that the Soviets are having such economic difficulties in their own Eastern bloc that a Warsaw Pact attack on Western Europe is simply out of the question. The Europeans, Mr. Worsthorne added, are not nearly as interested, as is the United States, in combating communist inroads in Central America or other parts of the world. That is Washington's own business, seems to be the prevailing notion. Meanwhile West European nations might consider reaching "an understanding" with the Soviet Union with regard to Europe's security. Influential circles in the United States as well are wondering out loud whether there should not be a new order of things. The lack of West European support over the U.S. military intervention in Grenada is cited as a prime example of Allied unconcern for U.S. security interests in the Western Hemisphere. To make matters worse, the West Europeans unanimously went along with a U.N. General Assembly resolution condemning the U.S. action. "The lesson," fumed New York Times columnist William Satire, "is that our NATO partners are interested exclusively in... [being] protected by American troops and America's nuclear umbrella while reserving the right to undermine American security everywhere else. That removes the 'mutual' from mutual defense.... "If that is the case," continued Mr. Satire with a surprising proposal, "the time is coming for an independent European defense, with the U.S. offering for sale the latest intermediate missiles but not the rental of our troops.... 'Wayward sisters, depart in peace,' Horace Greeley told the seceding states [before the U.S. Civil War of 1861-1865]."
Drift from Europe, Shift to Asia
Mr. Greeley, it should be noted, was famous for another piece of advice: "Go West, young man, go West." The United States is economically and, even ethnically, "going West." Influential U.S. business leaders confidently predict that America's future is in the Pacific world. Statistics bear them out. In 1982-83, for the first time in history, overall U.S. trade with the Pacific nm nations exceeded that with the Atlantic nations. Moreover, 40 percent of America's immigrants each year now come from Asia (with the same percentage from Latin America), as opposed to only 16 percent from Europe and Canada. From 1930 to 1960, 80 percent of U.S. immigrants came from Europe and Canada. Given enough time, the United States would become an Asian — and Third World — origin nation — and this is a profound shift that few, even in the United States, fully comprehend. And even without this new shift to the Pacific, it must be realized America's close security ties to Europe since the end of World War II are out of character with the American historical experience. The Economist, referred to earlier, editorialized: "The Americans are not, as too many Europeans think they are, a collection of intermarried Europeans who happen to have moved sideways across the Atlantic, plus some blacks and Hispanics. They are the descendants, in overwhelming majority, of people who left Europe because they wanted to be free or rich and the old world kept them squashed and poor. "So they shook Europe's dust off their feet.... The act of going to America was a deliberate decision ... to turn their backs on the unsatisfactory politics of the world they were leaving behind." Deep within the American psyche, furthermore, is a longing to drop out of world power politics. "Despite decades of costly international experience," writes Eugene V. Rostow, former director of the U.S. Arms Control ' and Disarmament Agency, in the February 20, 1984 issue of The New Republic, "the American mind still dreams about the golden century of isolationism between 1815 and 1917.... We have not yet learned to think like a great power. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union plays hard and well, on the basis of meticulous preparation, in the ancient tradition of chess. "It is clear what the Soviet leaders are up to. While the Russians distract us by secondary though important moves in the Caribbean and the Middle East, they are lunging to neutralize Western Europe by detaching it from the United States."
"Emancipation of Europe"
What is to be the outcome of the strained U.S. — West European ties? One far-reaching and sobering speculation was presented in an article in the Spring 1983 issue of Foreign Policy. Entitled "Freedom for Europe, East and West," the article was written by Klaus Bloemer, an official in the Press and Information Office of the West German government. Mr. Bloemer states that the views expressed are his own, not necessarily those of his government. "It is a harsh truth," writes Mr. Bloemer, "that the political emancipation of Europe-East and West — will proceed with difficulty as long as Western Europe remains utterly dependent upon the United States." What is now required, this official adds, "is a vision — a farsighted plan to end the confrontation in Central Europe that, for 35 years, has passed for normality." Instead of perpetuating close ties to the United States, Mr. Bloemer maintains that "countless historical, geographic, cultural and strategic interests require that West European countries enter into some kind of security relationship with the Soviet Union." As far as the nations of Eastern Europe are concerned, continues this West German official, they no longer adequately fulfill their function as a buffer zone for the Soviet Union. The 110 million East Europeans, he maintains, "represent a potentially disruptive political and social force" within the Soviet orbit. And economically, their bleak economies constitute an acute drain on Soviet resources. This presents West Europeans with the opportunity to offer the Soviets and their East European partners what Mr. Bloemer calls "a New Deal — Marshall Plan — type proposal" to modernize their economies. "An essential precondition for such an evolution," he adds, "would be ending both Soviet and American military presence in East and West European countries," with "a West European defense organization" arising to replace the departing Americans in the West. Western Europe would continue to recognize the Soviet Union's "legitimate security requirements," but in return for this recognition and the offering of massive economic assistance, the Soviets hopefully would allow much greater freedom for their East European satellites, similar to that enjoyed by Finland. The end result, Mr. Bloemer hopes, will be the "Finlandization of Moscow's European allies" and — note this — the emergence of "two self-governing halves of Europe" (emphasis ours throughout).
The term "Finlandization" is normally used in the mass media to convey willing West European subservience to Moscow. As such, it is incorrect. Moreover, it is highly offensive to the Finnish people who, faced with the geographical fact of life of an 800-mile border with the Soviet Union, have nevertheless managed to preserve their Western-style independence. Looking at it from the perspective of the East Europeans, said Mark E. Austad, former U.S. ambassador to Finland, "the East Europeans would love to be Finlandized." Soviet expert Nora Beloff adds that "the whole concept of Finlandization needs to be reversed." Writing in the July 30, 1982, Daily Telegraph of London, Ms. Beloff stressed how important Finland is to the Soviet Union, especially in trade. Finland, moreover, is not strapped with the chronic economic problems of the East bloc, increasingly an economic burden for Moscow. "That is why," said Ms. Beloff, "sooner or later, Moscow must be persuaded to see that it is in its own economic as well as security interests to Finlandize the satellites and set the people free." The prognostication of Mr. Bloemer, Ms. Beloff and others might be very close to the way political relations in Europe ultimately will materialize, as indicated in the Bible, in the second chapter of the book of Daniel. Like it or not, just over the horizon in world events is the final end-time revival of the Roman Empire, just before the restitution of the Kingdom of God on the earth to bring world peace at last. This final restoration is pictured as the toes of a great image in the form of a man. The feet of this image are "partly of iron and partly of clay" (verse 33, Revised Authorized Version), meaning it "shall be partly strong and partly fragile" (verse 42). The ancient Roman Empire was divided. The Europe to come could well be composed of two confederated halves: "five toes" representing Western and a part of Central Europe, the other five comprising the nations of Central or Eastern Europe, perhaps existing in a Finlandized form, giving consideration to the security interests of the Soviet Union.
"Five Fingers" on the Trigger
The eastern half of a new Europe may well remain neutralized and "nuclear free." This meshes with ideas that have been in circulation for the past few years. For example, Sweden's independent Palme Commission has advocated the idea of a corridor in Central Europe free from battlefield nuclear weapons. In Bulgaria, party leader Todor Zhivkov is pushing for a nuclear-free zone in the Balkans that would encompass his country plus Greece, Turkey, Yugoslavia and Romania. The western half of Europe, however, would still need to protect itself — were the Americans to depart. In this light, one should take serious note of an article that appeared in the December 11, 1983, New York Times, written by Melvyn B. Krauss, a senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution in California. In it, Mr. Krauss argued for what he called the "de-Americanization" of European defense — a, concept on which Mr. Kissinger — in Brussels, also said he would make proposals. It would be better, Mr. Krauss said, for the new Pershing II and cruise missiles now going into Europe to be controlled by the Europeans themselves. He feels there would be less public reaction in Western Europe against them. "Such a 'de-Americanization' of European defense would be better for western security," said Mr. Krauss. But would it be good for American security in the future? That is a question no one seems to be asking. Continued Mr. Krauss: "Far more credible to Moscow... would be for Europe to have its own nuclear deterrent. The obvious problem raised by a nuclear West Germany could be circumvented by the establishment of a European defense force so that instead of a single finger there would be a single hand with five fingers on the crucial red button." The Soviets would never permit Western missiles in a future Finlandized Eastern Europe, but could conceivably permit a united defense force consisting of the five-fingered Western "hand" of a 10-nation confederated European third force to have nuclear weapons. Moscow would likely demand a military nonaggression pact, in addition to infusions of economic aid, from Western Europe. Such an arrangement might prove very tempting to the sluggish industries of Western Europe that have been falling steadily behind the U.S. and Japan in the high-technology race.
Call for European "Superpower"
The late 78-year-old French philosopher — author Manes Sperber, in an address in Munich, West Germany, last year, called for Europe to become its own superpower: "Instead of being the bone of contention between two superpowers, Europe itself must become a superpower, neither expansionist nor revengeful, but utterly determined through its own sufficiently strong defense forces to deter anyone who might feel emboldened to want to take possession of it because of its weakness." Others, however, are not so bold. At the Stockholm security conference, a British Broadcasting Corporation reporter was interviewed by a Swedish television newswoman. The interview occurred after Secretary of State Shultz said that the United States did not recognize the post — World War II division of Europe. The newswoman asked her BBC counterpart whether he felt a reunited Europe could ever come about. He replied: "Unless there is a major political earthquake, it [a divided Europe] is a fact we will have to live with." But not forever, according to your Bible. Not far down the road, there will occur a major political earthquake that will astound the whole world, when a new superpower system arises in Europe to stride for a brief period across the world scene (Rev. 17:8).