Europe and the United States, having the same strategic interests in the "greater" Middle East (from the Maghreb to the Caspian), should have similar policies toward the area. Chapters treating the peace process, the Persian Gulf, Turkey, weapons of mass destruction, and military force projection suggest that existing differences will remain. The leitmotif of most but not all of the chapters is that Americans should consult with Europe more but continue to lead, and that Europeans should craft a more unified policy but that their separate states are unlikely to do so. Seven Americans, six Germans, one Briton, and one Frenchman do a fine job of talking to each other with many references to arguments in other chapters. What's missing? Not a single author is from the Middle East, not even from Turkey, a NATO member. And the states of that area are only dimly seen in terms of their own perceptions and policies. Yes, these states are unstable and several are unfriendly, but since no one proposes a Transatlantic Raj, those many Middle Eastern polities must be factored into any durable solution. In addition, two chapters provide solid overviews of controlling weapons of mass destruction, surely the priority problem facing Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. Two others deftly question American hegemonic thinking.
Get the best of Foreign Affairs' book reviews delivered to you.