And yet, the things the Europeans said ‘no’ to were things I would have said ‘yes’ to.
Namely, a stronger response to North Korea’s missile launch (which was meant to be threatening, demonstrated an ability to strike as far Alaska and Australia, and has been backed up by more threats), and more troops (in fact a surge) in Afghanistan, with the hope that that will lead to a stronger and more stable government.
This comment comes from the Telegraph article linked to above: Fortunately for the President, the Republican opposition is more loyal than was the Democratic opposition to Bush. John McCain has backed Obama’s Afghanistan policy, and conservative commentators, although more than a little annoyed by the President’s rubbishing of his own country in order to pander to European and Muslim audiences, are supporting him. Democrats in Congress are sullen but not (yet) mutinous.
I think the anonymous ‘conservative colleague’ is probably right about increasing problems for EU economies, and decreasing EU influence on global matters, over the next few years.