It has already been well-publicized that President Bush’s first foreign trip of his second term in office will be at the end of next month, an excursion to Europe. He’ll be starting off in Brussels, to try to start mending fences with those of America’s NATO allies who became somewhat estranged over the disagreement concerning the United States’ determination in spring of 2003 to Iraq with its “Coalition of the Willing.” That “Coalition,” you’ll recall, included nations (most notably Britain) which some think should have shown rather more solidarity on the question with their other EU brethren.
But the President’s engagement was supposed to have been preceded by an appearance by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld at the yearly Munich Security Conference (this year on 12-13 February). Now Rumsfeld has sent word that he won’t be coming, reports Munich’s Süddeutsche Zeitung (Rumsfeld Cancels Participation at Security Conference). (more…)