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Illusions of Autonomy: why Europe cannot provide for its security if the United States pulls back

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Duration: 0:51:09 | Added: 08 Feb 2022
How would Europe fare if the United States completely withdrew its security assurances and assistance? Dr Hugo Meijer argues that Europe would struggle to mount a collective, autonomous defence capacity vis-a-vis a resurgent Russia.

Europe’s security landscape has changed dramatically in the past decade amid Russia’s resurgence, mounting European doubts about the long-term reliability of the U.S. security commitment, and Europe’s growing aspiration for strategic autonomy. Could Europeans develop an autonomous defense capacity if the United States withdrew completely from Europe? If the United States were to do so, any European effort to develop an autonomous defense capacity would be fundamentally hampered by profoundly diverging threat perceptions and severe military capacity shortfalls that would be very costly and time-consuming to close.

Hugo Meijer is CNRS Research Fellow at Sciences Po, Center for International Studies (CERI, Paris) and the Founding Director of The European Initiative for Security Studies (EISS), a multidisciplinary network of scholars that share the goal of consolidating security studies in Europe. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy (CSDS), in Brussels, and an Honorary Researcher at the Centre for War and Diplomacy, Lancaster University. Recent and forthcoming books: Awakening to China’s Rise. European Foreign and Security Policies toward the People’s Republic of China (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2022); The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces (Oxford University Press, 2018), co-edited with Marco Wyss. For more details, see: https://www.hugomeijer.com/

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