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In 1973, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, following a period of American preoccupation with Vietnam and China, declared a "year of Europe".Now, with an ongoing refugee crisis, Russia's occupation of eastern Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea, and the threat of British withdrawal from the European Union, 2016 may become, by necessity, another "year of Europe" for American diplomacy.Regardless of slogans, Europe retains impressive power resources and is a vital interest for the United States.On questions of trade, for example, Europe is the equal of the U.S. and able to balance American power.Again, an important American diplomatic interest is at stake, but there is not much the U.S. can do about it.If Europe overcame its internal differences and tried to become a global challenger to the U.S., these assets might partly balance American power, but would not equal it.For U.S. diplomats, however, the danger is not a Europe that becomes too strong, but one that is too weak.
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