In January 2003, Donald Rumsfeld famously said of European opposition to the Iraq war, “You look at vast numbers of other countries in Europe, they’re not with France and Germany…they’re with the US. You’re thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don’t. I think that’s old Europe.” At a conference in Europe yesterday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates rejected Rumsfeld’s characterization:
Mr. Gates cast himself as a geopolitical realist and drew a knowing laugh when he focused on Mr. Putin’s assertion that the United States and its allies were dividing Europe.
“All of these characterizations belong in the past,” Mr. Gates said. “The free world versus those behind the Iron Curtain. North versus South. East versus West, and I am told that some have even spoken in terms of ‘Old Europe’ versus ‘new.’”