- With NATO membership, but its supporters would at least in principle welcome institutions that might be able to pick up the slack as they orchestrate the retraction of America’s geopolitical commitments.
Nonetheless, the policies pursued by conservatives are likely to do more harm than good to the Atlantic partnership. Europeans have little stomach for the brash unilateralism favored by neoconservatives. Nor do they deem wise calls from the right for NATO to offer membership to Georgia and Ukraine, a move that would provoke Russia and saddle the alliance with new and onerous commitments. As for the Tea Party, mainstream conservatives in Europe do not relate to either the isolationism or the social and fiscal conservatism of America’s far right. Simply put, an America that plays by conservative rules abroad and at home is not an appealing partner for Europe. American progressives are the natural political allies of Europeans and would therefore provide the Atlantic community a much firmer foundation of affinity and interest.
Progressive leadership at home is essential to the nation’s political and economic renewal, which in turn is the foundation for progressive leadership abroad. Since World War II, the United States has been dramatically successful in making the globe more stable, prosperous, and liberal. The recipe for ongoing success in this mission is no different than in the past: a solvent and centrist America reliant on a progressive combination of power and partnership to safeguard the national interest while improving the world.