Of all the volumes devoted to the U.S.-European crisis over Iraq, this one, the result of a series of seminars at the European University Institute in 2002, is probably the most balanced and probing. Most of the authors deal not only with the "blowup" of 2002-3 but also with earlier tensions and trends, adding depth to their treatment of the crisis itself. This is particularly true of the chapters by Geir Lundestad and David Andrews, and also of the superb contributions by Georges-Henri Soutou (on French policy) and William Wallace and Tim Oliver (on the United Kingdom). Miles Kahler adds a very convincing analysis of both continuities and recent changes (including the new ethnic politics and ideological polarization) on the U.S. side. The most elaborate and serious defense of the Bush administration's foreign policy, based on a long-term view of U.S. diplomacy, is made by Marc Trachtenberg, who saw Saddam Hussein as a far more serious threat than did most other analysts.
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