Superb piece in UPI today (via Merde in France) by James C. Bennett on how the U.S. should handle Europe in the aftermath of the war:

“The third course is to admit that the European Union is flawed and badly in need of not just reform but wholesale replacement. The ideal of free trade and cooperation among European nations, and between them and the world, is true and desirable. But the European Union, as it stands, is not the means of achieving it. And the best remedy for its ills is competition.

“The United States, its friends in Britain and Ireland, and those on the Continent who share their critique of the Europeanist disease must adopt a vigorous and aggressive policy of offering a viable alternative to the take-it-or-leave it policies Brussels hold out to old and new members alike. The United States must take the lead in offering free trade to every democratic European nation, whether it is in the EU or not.

“Such a move would create a free trade structure that would allow every European nation inside or out of the EU the realistic choice of joining or not joining, staying or leaving. This trade structure, a Transatlantic Free Trade Area (“TAFTA”), would be destination of choice. Its availability would deprive Brussels of its ability to make members accept its whole agenda of centralized control in exchange for access to Western European markets.”