America should say to Europe that they will cease to underwrite the security of Europe and its periphery in just three to four years, after which America will only serve as a catastrophic security layer
This was central message I tabled for debate at a private dinner hosted by the Bertelsmann Stiftung in the center of Brussels during the events surrounding European release of “NATO 2.0: Release or Delete?” June 14-18, 2011.
The shock of this proposal would galvanize EU leadership, I said, to tackle reforms to the EU’s defense establishment that presently spends $300 billion (equal to America’s defense budget prior to 9/11) but is rife with duplicate weapons systems and other inefficiencies.
The 20 people around the table included one of the four Directors General of NATO, the former special advisor to Baroness Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign & Security Policy, and a series of European defence experts, politicians, commentators and academics specialising in security matters.
The lively views expressed included:
- The shock will come from the US within three years but the shock will come before that from young Germans.
- Is Germany going to put up with France and the UK driving foreign defence policy?
- Germanyunderstands that there needs to be a common European army and is prepared to contribute, but GB and France stand in the way of EU strategic thinking.
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