This comes as no surprise, but should dig the spurs deep into the flanks of Europe's leaders. To his credit, Tony Blair's conversion to the cause of a European defence force is a huge step forward. Not that it offers much of a solution to the present crisis in Kosovo, but the crimes against humanity in the former Yugoslavia provide a case study in why such a force is needed.
There is no reason why we in Europe should continue to rely on the Americans to sort out our local ethnic disputes. American public opinion will not wear the deployment of ground troops in a war that has no bearing at all on the US national interest.But the creation of a European defence force should not be seen as a rival to, or duplication of, Nato; what Kosovo has shown is the need for the European members of Nato to act together.
The humiliating weakness of Europe whenever it tries to act together, particularly in its own backyard, is not a reason for despairing of ever developing a commondefence policy. It should be a reason for redoubling efforts to do so. There is now a wide range of issues, from Algeria to the Balkans, where America has no desire, or duty, to intervene. It is time for Europeans to take responsibility for their own security.Reuse content