Our most recent poll, asking “How will the Mumbai attacks affect India-Pakistan relations?” showed much more optimism among Europeans than Americans.
In the United States, a whopping 71 percent see renewed conflict and a mere 21 percent see closer cooperation. In Europe, only 47 percent saw renewed conflict and 32 percent predict closer cooperation.
Partly, these results are skewed by a fifth of Europeans seeing little significant impact from the crisis, compared to only 8 percent of Americans.
Thus far, it seems that the European instinct has been better. While tensions are undoubtedly higher — and the countries were a “prank phone call” away from standing up troops — we seem to now be out of the danger zone. The question now is whether pressure from the international community to improve intelligence sharing and other confidence building measures — and for Pakistan to further crack down on militants operating in the FATA — will bear fruit.
The new poll, which will likely run through the holidays, asks readers to assess Nicolas Sarkozy’s term as EU president. He brought more flair and attention to the office than we’ve seen in some time. But did he permanently strengthen the EU? Or will it recede into the background again come January?
James Joyner is managing editor of the Atlantic Council.