Earlier in the week I argued that the over-riding rationale for NATO was keeping America central to European security. Now that France's President Nicholas Sarkozy is proposing a "security and economic zone" with Russia, outside of NATO, the American reaction quoted by the Times seems to confirm that:
“Since when, I wonder, is European security no longer an issue of American concern, but something for Europe and Russia to resolve?” asked a senior American official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “After being at the center of European security for 70 years, it’s strange to hear that it is no longer a matter of U.S. concern.”
I suspect Europe will be increasingly eager to define for themselves what security arrangements work best if this is the kind of tone they receive from their benevolent American overlords.