Sunday, March 06, 2005

Tom Friedman has a Great Idea! Seriously

Tom Friedman in Arms Sales Begin at Home: "Mr. Bush should simply say to France, Germany and their E.U. partners that America has absolutely no objection to Europeans' selling arms to China - on one condition: that they sell arms to themselves first. That's right, the U.S. should support the export to China of any defense system that the Europeans buy for their own armies first. Buy one, sell one.
But what the U.S. should not countenance is that at a time when the Europeans are spending peanuts on their own defense, making themselves into paper tigers and free riders on America for global policing, that they start exporting arms to a growing tiger - China."

For all of Europe's complaining about what the Bush team stands for, my ears are still ringing with the remark that a German columnist recently made to me in Berlin: "What do we stand for?" he asked. What is Europe's foreign policy? America is saying that the largest strategic issue of our time is peacefully managing the rise of China. We have to get this right. Having a strong Europe on our side - not on both sides - would be a big help.

If Europe wants to go pacifist, that's fine. But there is nothing worse than a pacifist that sells arms - especially in a way that increases the burden on its U.S. ally and protector."

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