The United States’ President, Barack Obama, the likely to be democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, and the newly-elected Defense Secretary, Ash Carter, are more concerned about the security of the European Union than the politicians of the European Union are -or show to be. Russia’s warfare in Ukraine and the presence of ISIL in Libya made clear that the European Union is under attack
Philadelphia – Lots of political commentator and analyst argue that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, is the weakest the United States had never had for what concerns foreign politics and geopolitical issues. That could be true, in particular for what concerns Europe. However, the United States, with the Obama democratic Presidential Administration along with the republican-led Congress, is the sole ally the European Union could trust in order to oppose current threats from Russia and ISIL.
Since he took office, President Obama had to shift the pivotal interest of the United States’ foreign policy from Europe to the Asia/Pacific, in order to oppose the rise of China, which is expected to become the first world superpower over the next years. It was a geopolitical need that President Obama was right to take in order to pursuit the economical, military and energy interest of the United States.
However, although in a less intensive way than it used to be under the Bush and Clinton Administrations, the Obama Administration kept the attention over Europe the highest possible. Both the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, and the United States’ State Secretary, John Kerry, punctually travel to the European Union member States whose national security is threatened the most by global threats to the west such as Putin’s Russia and ISIL.
President Obama also supported the realization of a NATO missiles defense system in Central Europe made of a radar station in Turkey and rotating missiles interceptors in Poland and Rumania. A previous version of the project, also known as the NATO spatial shield, was proposed by President George W Bush with a radar station in Czech Republic and batteries of Patriot missiles in Poland. However, the Obama Administration resigned from this project in order to assume a less confrontational attitude toward Russia.
With respect to the Ukrainian crisis, the United States imposed economic sanctions to the autocratic regime of the former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych and led the European Union to do the same. After Russia military annexed Crimea and invaded Eastern Ukraine, the United States imposed economic sanctions also to Putin’s Russia, and finally led a too timid European Union to do the same once again.
Facing the systematical support given by Russia to the so called pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine, the United States was in favor of delivering lethal weapons to the Ukrainian Army in order to allow the Ukrainians to defend themselves and their borders from the powerful Russian army.
Although President Obama hasn’t endorsed any military rescuing plan to Ukraine, the newly appointed Defense Secretary, Ash Carter, a democrat who already served as the Vice Defense Secretary and the Pentagon Top Buyer under the Clinton and Obama Administrations, said himself to be in favor of giving the Ukrainian Army lethal weapons during his confirmation hearing at the Senate.
By his turn, the President of the Armed Service Committee of the United States’ Senate, John McCain, along with other republicans, openly urged President Obama to deliver lethal weapons the Ukrainian Army in order to avoid an eventual spread of the Russian military aggression to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which are member states of both NATO and the European Union.
A staunch position toward Russia was also expressed by Hillary Clinton, the former State Secretary and the front-runner within the next democratic primaries. During a private conversation with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Hillary Clinton stated that European Governments are too wimpy in dealing with Russia.
Hillary Clinton also urged the United Kingdom and the whole European Union to be less dependent on Russian gas and hydrocarbons, in order not to allow Putin to use energy as a means to realize his geopolitical goal of destabilizing the European Union.
With its staunch position toward Russia, the Obama Administration demonstrated to be worried about the national and military security of the European Union, one of the most important military and economic ally to the United States.
However, a deep antiamericanism quite diffused within European cultural and political elites -as frequent Anti-American rallies with red flags encouraged by politicized teachers and professors in Italy and Greece, and the too strong economic and political ties with Russia of France and Germany demonstrate- is weakening the European Union towards Russia and ISIL.
Both Putin’s Russia and ISIL are providing wars, based on terrorism, against Europe and its values. On the one hand, Putin, who always openly opposed any democratic development in Central Eastern Europe, provoked a mixture of hybrid wars in Ukraine and frozen conflicts in Georgia.
Putin is also systematically provoking member states both of NATO and the European Union, such as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, with air space violations. On the other hand, the ISIL, by committing dreadful crimes in Syria, Iraq, Libya, France and Denmark, declared war to Christianity, Judaism and moderate Islam.
The need of a defense compact and a Commander in Chief of the European Union
The European Union is under attack, but only the United States seems to be aware of it. Therefore, several steps need to be taken by the political elites of the European Union in order to ensure military and national security to all the European Union member states.
First of all, the European Union should order the State of War and urge NATO to strengthen military presence in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Polish, Rumania, Hungary and Slovakia in order to protect its eastern flank from Russia. The European Union should also urge the transformation of NATO into the army of the Trans Atlantic Community of the United States and the European Union.
As any other state in war, a Commander in Chief of the European Union must be appointed. The best individual to be selected for this office is the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, a Polish politician who, also because of his nationality, better understands political issues of Central Eastern Europe than any other top representative of the European Union from Germany, France, Luxembourg and Italy.
The European Union should also push for a fiscal compact on defense issues by requiring member states to raise their defense expenses to at least the 8% of the national budget.
Finally, the European Union should push for the finalization of the negotiations over the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership -TTIP. The European Union should also urge the Obama Administration to quick evolve the TTIP into a political agreement of full-scale aimed to the realization of the Trans Atlantic Community.
Proposals written above could seem to be political fiction. Lots of reader accused the author of this commentary of making political fiction when he predicted a democratic regression in Ukraine the day after former the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych came to power.
Analyst of Trans Atlantic, Central Eastern and energy issues