Courtesy Reuters

A Marriage of Inconvenience

Europe and America are like a married couple who cannot live happily together yet cannot live apart. Their marriage, so far as it derives from mutual interest rather than a romantic attachment, might, in the old days, have been described as a marriage of convenience. A marriage of inconvenience would, however, be a more apt description of a union in which partners who are incompatible in many respects yet are welded indissolubly together. It is comforting that wedded bliss is not conspicuous in the Sino- Soviet household. There is solace in the fact, too, that when the West is challenged from without, domestic friction diminishes. But it is not only against a chronic threat from the East that it has had to close ranks. There are new developments within the West, and as it tries to adjust itself to these it may be thrown into a vexatious disarray.

Two of the recent stages in the marriage of Europe and America are familiar enough: Europe spurned by America between the wars; America striving so bountifully after World War II to bring Europe back to life. But now another stage has been reached. Europe, having been restored, feels less dependent on America than before; separation if not divorce from its consort is in the air. Will the European independence that America itself fostered go too far? Further, is the new relationship more likely than the old to drag everybody into nuclear war? Independence at what price? That is, for both Europe and America, one of the great unanswered questions.

To check the disruptive and stress the cohesive-such is the task confronting the United States as leader of the West. President Kennedy, borrowing a theme from Eisenhower and Macmillan, has therefore suggested a Declaration of Interdependence. When, moreover, he remarked on July 4 that the United States will be ready to discuss with a united Europe the ways and means of forming a concrete Atlantic partnership, he also envisaged it as not only fortifying the

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