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Sept. 22, 2022

European Strategies in Post-Pandemic Peer Competition: Implications for America

US Army War College

Dr. John R. Deni, Sept 25 2022 in Taylor & Francis Online

The recent reconceptualization of national and/or defense strategies, hangovers from the sovereign debt crisis, and the impact of the pandemic-induced recession in four of the most powerful European countries – France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom – will have profound implications for the United States. Through Republican and Democratic administrations, most American political leaders, experts in academia and think tanks, and other opinion leaders in the media and elsewhere have consistently held that Europe is vital to American national security. This is particularly true during an era of great power competition, as the United States works to prevent China’s authoritarian governance system and its statist economic model from becoming dominant. Given recent changes in the grand strategies of America’s most important European allies and their shifting abilities to fulfill those strategies, Washington will have an increasingly difficult time fulfilling its own goals and objectives. American strategy relies on European allies for competition with near-peers as well as defense of the global commons and projection of hard and soft power overseas to favorably influence events. Shifting capabilities, capacity, and will within Europe – all framed within evolving European strategies – will make it difficult for Washington to rely on its allies.

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