Anne Applebaum on Europe: The world’s new superpower

… and now the press swings towards Europe as the next superpower.

With the U.S. slowly cannibalizing itself out of existence, a new power must fill the vacuum. Contrary to popular belief (mostly within the United States), the end of the United States doesn’t mean the end of the world. While heavy on the info regarding France, the only critical point the article left out is that all roads lead to Europe’s main engine: Berlin, Germany. There are many articles and additional commentary featured within Global Geopolitics’ archive to support this theory. As the world economic/social/political crisis continues to worsen, people will soon be looking to Germany for the answers. NATO, as the article says is (and has been for a long time) losing support. Eventually it will leave (as the Soviets have always wished for) as the United States of Europe will be able to independently function and field its own European Army.

The Fourth Reich is coming. Don’t believe it? Doesn’t matter. It’s going to happen. Today’s jokes are tomorrow’s reality.

“A decade of war is now ending,” U.S. President Barack Obama declared Monday. Maybe that’s true in America, but it isn’t true anywhere else. Extremists are still plotting acts of terror. Authoritarian and autocratic regimes are still using violence to preserve their power. The United States can step back from international conflicts, but that won’t make them disappear.

Fortunately, there is another power that shares America’s economic and political values, that possesses sophisticated military technology and is also very interested in stopping the progress of fanatical movements, especially in North Africa and the Middle East. That power is Europe.

Don’t laugh! I realize that even a year ago, that statement would have seemed absurd. I certainly couldn’t have written it in the immediate aftermath of the 2011 Libya operation, during which France, Britain and a dozen other nations were barely able to sustain a brief war, involving no ground troops, against a poorly armed and unpopular regime. Unverified reports at the time alleged that the French ran out of bombs and were dropping lumps of concrete. Be that as it may, without the intelligence and coordination provided by American warships and airplanes and the CIA, the French planes wouldn’t even have known where to drop them.

A number of obstacles must be overcome before the European Union could become the world’s policeman. Although combined European military spending does make the EU the world’s second-largest military power, it still isn’t enough for a sustained conflict. Some Europeans, most notably the Germans, would have to overcome their post-Second World War abhorrence of soldiers. Other Europeans, most notably the British, would have to be convinced, as others have concluded, that Americans just aren’t that interested in NATO anymore. An added complication emerged this week when British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his intention to renegotiate his country’s relationship with the European Union. However it unfolds, this process is unlikely to aid in the development of a common European foreign and defence policy.

Full article: Anne Applebaum on Europe: The world’s new superpower (National Post)

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