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The U.S. Role in Post-Cold War Europe. Significance of European Views of the New U.S. Administration.

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Whether the new U.S. administration can pursue its policy of multilateralism depends significantly on general-public and European leadership perceptions of the United States. The ability of the administration to pursue policies of enlargement1 and multilateralism will depend in part on how the U.S. administration can shape European views. European desires today are pulled in different directions. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the disappearance of its hegemonic role in Eastern Europe have created the expectation that, with Germany unified and the European Union EU2 and NATO extending their embrace eastward, the time has come for Europe to regain control of its own future. However, a number of factors drive European policymakers back to a sense of dependency on the United States the unsettling distinction between the prosperous West European countries and their poor East European neighbors, concern about a security vacuum in Eastern Europe accentuated by violence in the Balkans, a stagnant economy, latent worries about the course of a newly unified Germany, and uncertainty about the domestic evolution of Russia. This report examines the views of European leaders and the general public of the new U.S. administration, their significance in European adjustment to a post- Cold War era, and their effect on the ability of the United States to pursue a policy of multilateralism in dealing with European and global issues. The report is based on the premise that the United States retains a double interest in Europe.

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  • Government and Political Science

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