Journals and European Integration 1939–1979
Does Europe Have a Future? Foreign Affairs and the Future of USA-Europe Relations, 1976-1979: Lucio Valent
Does Europe Have a Future? Foreign Affairs and the Future of USA-Europe Relations, 1976-1979
It is recognized that the period between 1976-1979 was a difficult phase for U.S. foreign policy. Washington had to cope with the controversial heritage of Kissinger’s tenure as presidential personal advisor. Having reshaped the American external policy, Kissinger put an end the US participation into the Vietnam War, accepted equal relations with the USSR and opened new relations with Popular China. But, at the same time, with his policy towards the Latin America or the Western Europe, he harmed the American position and image worldwide.
It was the mix of all these setbacks with economic and social troubles, which favoured the Democratic bid to the White House during the 1976 presidential campaign. The new President, James Earl “Jimmy” Carter Jr., inherited a simplified relationship between United States and Europe. During their White House years Nixon (and then Ford) and Kissinger had kept America aloof from Continental discussions on integration. When they decided to take part in the matter, they made clear that only if the Europeans themselves pushed directly for further integration would the United States have supported the goal. Doing that, Washington stated that its crucial task was to protect American affairs even more than before.1 Carter, on the ← 341 | 342 → contrary, supported “trilateralism” among the United States, Western Europe and Japan.2 During his presidential campaign he had repeatedly criticized Nixon and Kissinger for their focus on...
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