US foreign policy challenges: Europe
LONDON // Europe’s financial mess concerns most of the world. In the US presidential campaign, it barely merits a mention.
Both candidates studiously ignore discussion of what the respected American website Foreign Policy calls the “greatest threat to global financial stability”.
In one rare departure from domestic issues, Mr Romney talked of the US ending up like Spain or, worse, Greece, if it did not curb spending.
Europe certainly sees president Obama as a friendlier face, welcoming his administration’s support for crisis solutions that includes economic stimulus.
Mr Romney’s pro-austerity line is more in tune with Germany’s stance, though even that has been softened to endorse Franco-Italian insistence on policies for growth.
The US needs a strong Europe and the euro crisis is ultimately a problem for Americans too.
But in practice, Obama-Romney differences may be as slender as the issue’s hold on electoral attention, with both men unwilling to commit dollars to solving its biggest trading partner’s woes.
David Gordon, a senior analyst who served as a close aide to George W Bush’s secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, told Foreign Policy neither had an “effective plan”, adding: “This is one of these cases where you pay to play. And we are not paying.”
Updated: November 4, 2012 04:00 AM