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A nation must think before it acts.
The fundamental goals of any rational U.S. policy toward Europe in the last years of the twentieth century will be the same as those prevailing since the end of the cold war in 1989-1991: stability, security, and prosperity. American interests in the European geopolitical and geoeconomic theater will not change. The United States wants and needs a Europe whose economies are growing, whose democratic institutions are solid and enjoy popular respect, and whose peoples look to the future with energy, commitment, optimism, and self-reliance. That is not just because democracy and prosperity are good things that reasonable folk ought to want, for others even more than for themselves. A dynamic but stable order in Europe is vital for American interests for what one may call instrumental reasons as well.