Dan Drezner has an excellent post up today on the transatlantic split between the U.S. and Europe. It’s a common topic, to be sure. The most important recent book on international relations, Robert Kagan’s Of Paradise and Power, is exclusively devoted to this topic. But Drezner approaches it with remarkable nuance. The hip thing to blame for the split, Drezner says, is the end of the Cold War, when the incentive for Europe to ally with the U.S. disappeared. Drezner uses the “9/11 vs. 11/9” (11/9 being the fall of the Berlin wall) line, which has also come out of Kagan’s mouth, during a Slate conversation with Niall Ferguson. However, it’s a fairly common quip; after all, it works rather nicely, doesn’t it? Anyway, it’s important to note that this is a hip idea only in academic circles; for the general public, especially in liberal college towns such as mine, Bush is generally blamed. But Drezner rejects the Cold War rational, instead arguing that the leaders of both the U.S. and Europe (Bush, Schroeder, Chirac) are to blame. I personally find this to be an accurate, fair, and neutral middle ground in the debate. I believe that Europe still has the incentive to ally with the U.S. that it had before the fall of the Berlin wall; after all, Europe has relatively weak military forces, and thus must rely on the U.S. when a real threat (North Korea, China, radical Islam, etc.) emerges. It’s the arrogance of heads of state on both sides of the ocean that caused the split. Very well said, Dan.