Cultural Diplomacy News (CDN)
Dr. Fred Charles Ikle (Former US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy)

06.01.2011 - Interview conducted by Katie Dickmeyer

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Q1.  Considering the expanding role of the EU, what do you think are going to be the opportunities and challenges for EU-US relations when it comes to dealing with terrorism?  Do you think it is likely that a common defense policy outlying division of labor and role-specialization will enhance or impair EU-US relations and combating such issues?

We have more relations with each other in NATO. Our relations in Afghanistan and Pakistan are where we work together on the military side. With the European Union, we have some difficulties in part on the topic of financial and economic issues, but we have a friendly relationship.

Q2.  In seeking to understand the foreign policy of the Obama administration, what do you perceive as being the prime aspects of the administrationís foreign policy and do you think that this is an advancement from the policies of the prior administration?  Do you believe that the current foreign policy represents a significant shift, or is it simply building on former policies?

I think that the Obama administration has a less effective foreign policy than the Bush administration did. Furthermore, Obama has had great difficulty now with the elections in November; he lost the support of Congress and without Congress, you canít do much.

Q3.  In which areas can a more consistent level of support from the European Union aid the US in its aim to effectively forge a comprehensive foreign policy?

I think foreign policies are divided. As I said, we have to deal with Asia and Latin America- less on foreign policy issues, but more on food, health care, and so on. We can work with the European Union.

Q4. In the recent effort to reenergize alliances, do you think current efforts made by the US in addressing the Muslim world are received well, and to what extent can this mission be truly effective in considering the aim towards broader engagement based on mutual interests and mutual respect?

I donít see a strong effort here in Washington to get stronger alliances.  As I mentioned, NATO is an important alliance, and that's what we are working on.

Thank you very much for your time.