THE UNHINGED ALLIANCE: America and the European Community by J. Robert Schaetzel

THE UNHINGED ALLIANCE: America and the European Community

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Relations between the U.S. and Western Europe, as Schaetzel himself suggests in this 16th policy book of the Council on Foreign Relations, is a subject which tends to bore younger Americans in particular. Schaetzel writes with a certain faux naivete inappropriate for a specialized audience while scarcely geared to arouse general readers. The approach is familiar--the ""Atlantic democracies"" must stand together against the Soviets. Schaetzel is frank enough to advocate ""European unity"" on the basis that it would serve U.S. interests. He self-righteously dismisses Gaullism and insists that expanded economic relations with the East bloc cannot benefit Western Europeans. Neither proposition is backed up by arguments. Instead, the book concentrates on disorders within official Western European supranational agencies like the Common Market. Schaetzel deplores the ""unhinging"" effects of the Nixon-Kissinger tendency to put transatlantic affairs on the back burner and to treat leading European proponents of unity in cavalier fashion. He also acknowledges that organizational questions concerning the European community must be dealt with in the context of substantive economic and political problems. Yet, with the exception of agricultural policy, he declines to investigate such problems in any depth. Nor does he provide a picture of the background of key European activists. When the book moves to NATO, it underlines the threat of reduced U.S. conventional forces in Western Europe (this winter they were increased), insisting that European states must undertake arms buildups of their own. Schaetzel is suspicious of detente and forthright about his desire to see the U.S. continue calling Western policy shots. Most of this can be read with more elegance and elaboration in the works of spokesmen like George Ball, or, with greater ""pro-European"" flavor, in manifestoes by former West German defense minister Franz-Josef Strauss. Reviewers will appraise the book in connection with current proposals that the U.S. ""redeploy"" its forces.

Pub Date: Aug. 6th, 1975
Publisher: Harper & Row