This American security umbrella will not stay up for ever. Why should America defend a continent that will not defend itself?
So writes Robert Kaplan, who has travelled throughout the Arab and Mediterranean worlds, living overseas for 16 years and serving a year in the Israel Defense Forces.
He is now based at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), which describes its aims as the development of strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies. CNAS board members, founders, leaders, scholars, and interns have held or gone on to prominent positions in the U.S. government, at the departments of Defense and State; the White House; the Central Intelligence Agency; Congress; and the private sector. CNAS enjoys a strong network of supporters in all corners of the policymaking community as a result – the deplorable revolving door syndrome.
In the Financial Times, Kaplan fulminates: “No word captures the general mood of Europe better than appeasement . . . When Vladimir Putin’s Russia undermined the strategic state of Ukraine, they stood and watched”.
Noting that for more than seventy years Europe has relied on the US to guarantee its security, ‘so it can spend less on defence and more on the good life’, he adds contemptuously: ”Europe has simply no larger purpose and nothing to fight for, other than providing for the good life under welfare state conditions”.
USA will be looking east – in Asia, where American allies are willing to maintain robust, deployable militaries
The European-oriented elites that have influenced foreign and defence policy in Washington are gradually being replaced by bright young men and women — many of them the offspring of immigrants from Asia and Latin America — who bring with them different family histories and emotional priorities. He ends: “Gutsy is not a word one would use to describe Europe’s political class. And unless that changes, no US president will be as committed to Europe as his predecessors were during the cold war”.
But surely the correct word to describe Europe’s political class is (relatively) civilised.