The United States would be foolish to get involved in any "silly game of reprisals" resulting from France's veto of Britain's application for membership in the European Economic Community, Stanley H. Hoffmann, associate professor of Government, declared yesterday.
"If you start this game," he added, "everyone is going to lose, not just France. It will mean the end of the Common Market."
Hoffmann conceded that French President de Gaulle had been successful in blocking President Kennedy's "Grand Design" for an Atlantic Community. But de Gaulle has not been successful in imposing his own design on Europe.
"Neither side can get what it wants without 100 per cent cooperation from all the allies, and it is obvious that neither side has that," he said. He foresaw a period of stalemate in America's relationship with Europe, with the Common Market evolving somewhat in the direction de Gaulle favors.
"The United States is condemned to something like a Gaullist Europe,...a continuation of the present organization of the Six with more consultation among the governments. America's choice is between this and disrupting the Six altogether." Hoffmann added that the latter course would contradict the basic aims of all post-war American foreign policy.
Hoffmann charged that the Administration had brought this dilemma on itself through its "willful blindness" toward de Gaulle's policies for Europe. "Since 1961 the Administration has known that de Gaulle and Kennedy were at opposite ends" on many European issues, but the U.S. "dedicated to do nothing about it."
Hoffmann suggested that the Administration should now "start talking with the French, any try to meet them halfway." He stressed that the ultimate purposes of both countries remain the same: the neutralization of German militarism and the prevention of a new war. "This is a fine disagreement over methods; it should be patched up, especially since neither side can win."