NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told the New York Times today that Europe needs to move closer to the American perception of the danger of terrorism:
“Your country focused very much on the fight against terror while in Europe we focused to a lesser extent on the consequences for the world,” [Scheffer] said in an interview. “We looked at it from different angles, and that for me is one of the reasons you saw such frictions in the trans-Atlantic relationship.”
As a result, he said, Europe was lagging behind the United States in merging external and internal security to combat terrorism, and Europe had to catch up.
“If the gap is to be bridged, it has to be done from the European side and not from the United States,” he said, adding that the conflict in Iraq, the issue that helped divide the alliance, now provided an opportunity for uniting it.
An unusually humble assessment from a European diplomat.