Article Review: “It’s Time for Europe’s Militaries to Grow Up”
In the article “It’s Time for Europe’s Militaries to Grow Up” Walt elucidates the challenges facing the Trans-Atlantic partnership between the United States and European countries. Besides, he proposes that European nations take more responsibility for their protection. Foremost, Walt states that the European countries have valid concerns about the United States President Donald Trump’s erratic behaviors and statements. For instance, his claim during the campaigns, that NATO was no longer useful, as well as, his advocacy for a fairer European defense contribution (Walt, 2017).
Stephen Walt, a professor at Harvard University professor disapproves the demands for increasing European defense spending. Conversely, he claims that the funds the NATO European members invest each year are five times more than their biggest threat, Russia. He, therefore, contends that these amounts are sufficient. However, they are not effectively utilized as these countries lack coordination in defense activities. Walt further argues that United States propositions are just symbolic politics. He instead proposes that both the United States and its European allies should develop a long-term mechanism to reduce the dependency on U.S. until when necessary. Walt also notes that these partners should focus on the more concrete challenges (Walt, 2017).
Foremost, NATO’s lack of a clear strategic plan, since the Soviet Union and German domination problems it was meant to address are no longer existent. Secondly, the disunity and mistrust in Europe especially, since the economic crisis of 2008, the Brexit decision and Eurozone crisis further makes it harder for the establishment of an effective integrated European force. Besides, there is open hostility towards the European unity among a number of its nations leaders and an increasingly unstable political order (Walt, 2017).
The article offers relevant and insightful knowledge on the challenges the United States and its European allies face in protecting Europe and offers reliable solutions. Further, Walt is objective since he does not side with any side as he argues President Trump is incoherent, yet partly supports his arguments that NATO is obsolete. His arguments are also well-supported such as the possible outcomes of increased European spending (Walt, 2017). However, the compelling writing is weakened by instances of verbose that would hinder average readers from understanding some arguments.
Walt, M. S. (2017). It’s Time for Europe’s Militaries to Grow Up. foreignpolicy.com Retrieved from http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/02/23/its-time-for-europes-militaries-to-grow-up-trump-nato/