Are things so dire on the eve of America’s 234th Independence Day, that the United States needs Europe to step in to preserve all that Western civilization holds dear? According to this article from columnist Clemens Wergin of Germany’s Die Welt, after decades of taking a ‘free ride’ on America’s dime, it is time for Europe to fill the security gap while the United States licks its financial and military wounds.
For Germany’s Die Welt, Clemens Wergin writes in part:
Obama’s speech marked a turning point, not only in Afghanistan policy but for the ambitions of this major force for global order. The empire is exhausted from a decade of war, and it wants its foreign policy to coincide with its shrinking financial resources.
American power and global influence are based largely on the capacity of its military, which secures maritime routes, protects allies and ensures a regional balance. To fulfill this role, Americans over past decades have lived with a smaller welfare state and a larger military than Europe.
At the height of the transatlantic fight over the Iraq War, French President Jacques Chirac and Germany Chancellor Gerhard Schröder wished for a multipolar world with a less powerful America. As the Anglo-Saxon’s say: “Be careful what you wish for,” because a world in which America’s regulatory function disappears will be a less peaceful one. And it would be one in which Europe would have to defend its interests with far greater resources or be doomed to irrelevance and a much more rapid descent. America remains the “indispensable nation” especially for Europe, but also for many Asian and Middle Eastern allies. Therefore, it is in the best interests of Europe to take on some of America’s responsibilities and allow it more air to breathe.
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