Friday, June 24, 2011

Even Propagandastaffel Gets it

Europeans have discovered that they do not have the means to achieve their ambitions - or even to protect themselves.

Ignore for a moment the chillingly infantile notion of what some of their 'ambitions' might be - that really doesn't matter when your forces are undertrained, underequipped, and insufficient to even deal with Muammar Gadaffi, let alone the Bashir Assad that's also killing civilians and creating instability just across the sea lanes of the EU.

The first of these is that even those Europeans who believed that military dependence on the United States was the best means of guaranteeing cohesion among the western powers were obliged to revise their position when the Americans did not lift a finger to provide support for Georgia in its conflict with Russia. In August 2008, the most Atlanticist Europeans suddenly discovered that America was prepared to prioritise the stabilisation of its relations with Moscow over one of its most faithful European allies and assert its own interest to the detriment of a solidarity that Europe had believed to be unshakable.
To call them 'faithful' is both questionable and has that strange emotionalization that Visigoth 'non Anglo-saxons' seem to insert in the least meaningful ways.
The United States is no longer willing to fund European defence, and there is hardly any reason to expect that this will change anytime soon. That was the perfectly explicit sense of Robert Gates' message, which is already evident in the Americans' deliberate strategy of leaving Europeans in the front line in Libya. Now that they have been forced to shoulder most of the burden of this operation, European states must be aware that they will have to increase military spending, especially in the context of the Arab Spring and a prolonged period of instability in a region that extends from Rabat to Sana'a.
Which, if they are even unable to find the GWOT on a map - put it into a into a geographic and cultural context, might at least let them come to grips with the fit of silliness Europe has been putting itself through for the last decade. The fact is that those who saw Europe as a soft target were preoccupied with the Americans who were disrupting their networks and drawing their effort further and further away from 'Fortress Europe' itself.