Robert Kagan is a neo-conservative American scholar and political commentator. He was born on September 26th 1958 in Athens. After graduating from Yale University in 1980, he earned a Masters from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a PhD from American University in Washington.
Robert Kagan is the co-founder of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (where he is director of the US Leadership Project). He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 1983, Kagan was foreign policy advisor to New York Representative and future Republican vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp. Then, he worked at the State Department from 1984 to 1988 and was a speech-writer for Secretary of State George P. Shultz (1984-1985). He has also been foreign-policy advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney.
[...] In 2002, many states didn't share the French and German point of view and supported the US in its decision to invade Iraq. It was the case for Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, but also for the new member-states like Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic (although they did it for different reasons). This example shows that, in terms of foreign policy, there's no unanimity in Europe neither in America. Then, Kagan seems to ignore facts that contradict with his conclusions. [...]
[...] Today's reality Kagan's thesis is based on the idea that although Europeans often criticize the American way of dealing with international threats and conflicts, it's because the US behave that way that the Kant's world is made possible for Europe. More generally, the whole “miracle” of the European integration since the end of World War II has appeared thanks to the United States. In other terms, if Europe has today gone power by building the EU and rejecting the power politics of the earlier centuries, this was from the very beginning built with American help. [...]
[...] Analysis Kagan's thesis is undoubtedly important in the debate on the US and European foreign policies in recent years. The author's argumentation is logical, especially when he explains how the world agenda has changed since the end of the Cold War, which resulted in America and Europe becoming more and more estranged. In my view, the increased transatlantic tension is indeed real in today's world. It has become clear Europe established itself as an entity apart from the US. This is well shown by the EU institutions such as its Parliament or the European Commission, but also the creation of the Euro in order to compete with the Dollar. [...]
[...] In other terms, it is the US military power and it's living in a Hobbesian world that, in a way, indirectly preserved and still preserves the “Kantian” world in which Europeans live. As Kagan observes, the US “must live by a double standard ( ) it must sometimes act unilaterally, not out of passion for unilateralism but only because, given a weak Europe that has moved beyond power, the United States has no choice but to act unilaterally”. This paradoxical conclusion that US material power is nowadays vital for Europe, even if the interests on both sides of the Atlantic are diverging so much, seems to be one of the major points Kagan aimed to explain. [...]
[...] have chosen was previously published in Policy Review in June 2002 and has been extended in Kagan's book Of Paradise and Power in January 2003. The author presents a very interesting point of view. He wants to show that whether Europeans or Americans want to accept it or not, everybody has to recognize objectively that American and European interests are sharply diverging today and that the transatlantic relationship has changed after the end of the Cold War. Kagan thinks “Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus”. [...]
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