The recent speeches by US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and NATO General Anders Fogh Rasmussen highlight Europe’s growing dependence on American military power. Europe is withering. Suckling on the teet of the American hegemon, Brussels has enjoyed the protection of the world’s greatest power and yet at times has been so critical of American interventionism that many Europeans resemble the two grumpy old men from The Muppet Show, Statler and Waldorf, hurling insults from afar and yet never failing to buy tickets and watch the show.
We must ask what Europe’s welfare state has bought them. A reluctance to spend on defense could be understood if in fact Europe’s quality of life were significantly better than Americas, but it’s not. Europeans should ask their respective governments how high taxes, hyper-regulation, and an impoverished military industrial complex manifestly makes Europe stronger, it’s people safer or happier.