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This paper contains remarks made to officials from Western European Union member countries prior to a Washington D.C. conference on the subject of European security and defense identity. It describes for foreign visitors the state of the U.S. economy and the administration's legislative agenda, making the point that the distinction between foreign and domestic policy has disappeared. It notes several areas of foreign policy with respect to which the United States will play a key role but notes that Americans are inclined to a cautious approach about new commitments and funding requirements. It reassures Europeans about U.S. support for a strong European security identity, anticipating a growing role for Europeans in managing their own security. That said, it notes a European tendency toward parochialism and underscores that effective security policy depends both on capacity and a will to act.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.