Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Still the One? The Role of Europe in American Defense Strategy

Still the One? The Role of Europe in American Defense Strategy

  • January 5, 2016


According to the 2015 National Security Strategy, the United States continues to rely on Europe as its most likely, most capable military partner for dealing with the most vexing security challenges. However, the conventional wisdom in Washington holds that European allies are not terribly capable militarily or very willing to use force. So why would the United States rely on such lax partners? In fact, the evidence on European defense spending, capabilities, and willingness is decidedly mixed, with many positive trends among the negative ones. To build on the positive, the United States can bring to the table assets and resources necessary to facilitate the transatlantic partnership before it needs to be exercised.

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