The military alliance forged between the United States, Australia, and the UK at the expense of France will lead to new alignments and could profoundly impact the transatlantic relationship. The United States and its European allies should know what’s at stake.
The chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has left European capitals skeptical about such missions and critical of American leadership. The debacle should lead to frank discussions about NATO’s role and the EU’s defense ambitions.
This German federal election is crucial for Europe’s future. Angela Merkel’s successor has the choice of leading Europe toward more integration and strategic relevance or abetting its gradual, inexorable decline.
For Georgia’s ruling party, regime survival seems to trump all other considerations. Georgian Dream’s fight with Western partners and persistent political polarization risk undoing the country’s democratic progress.
Blaming NATO and the United States for the West’s failure in Afghanistan won’t help Europe establish a credible security and defense policy. Its continued absence leaves the EU’s citizens and neighborhoods vulnerable.
Western governments must be clear that any eventual engagement with the Taliban will have strict conditions, including respect for women’s rights. Speaking to the Taliban leadership should not be equated with legitimizing the new regime.
Illusions about the UK’s special relationship with the United States and a supposedly painless Brexit have been shed. The inability of Boris Johnson’s government to face up to that makes it impossible to define a new role for Britain in the world.
The German chancellor’s legacy with regard to Russia and Ukraine is mixed, if not contradictory. Still, her successor is unlikely to show the same level of interest, commitment, or clout in their relations with Kiev and Moscow.
The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban lays bare Europe’s lack of strategic foresight and dangerous dependence on the United States. The EU must address its shortcomings or risk losing the ability to defend its values and interests.
There will be no respite when European leaders return from a summer break punctuated by floods, cyber attacks, coronavirus, and challenges to the EU’s rule of law. All the more reason for them to explain to citizens what is at stake for Europe’s future.*