Also weakening Europe's centrality to U.S. foreign policy is that its capacity for global intervention is diminishing, especially in the military field, even on those occasions it does find itself inclined to act with or in support of the United States. Not too long ago I told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars that we are entering an era of American foreign policy and indeed international relations that is almost Palmerstonian in certain ways, where countries are not clear adversaries or allies with the automaticity or predictability of either. . . In both countries, the challenge is to promote economic growth and political reform amidst difficult security challenges stemming from the strength of the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and local extremists.
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