“The West’s Decline Is Of Its Own Making” Judy Dempsey, Carnegie Europe, 6 October 2016

"Waiting for the next U.S. president to enter the White House is not an option, either for Americans or for Europeans. What option there is depends on leaders on both sides of the Atlantic recognizing their contribution to the West’s decline. Failing that, they will be akin to the ostriches outside the European Parliament.

Three recent events confirm the suspicion that the West has been ducking fundamental issues in ways that leave it weaker and unable to protect itself. The first event was the decision by the United States to cut off talks with Russia on trying the end the war in Syria. With that, the U.S. essentially gave Russia and other global players the freedom to play out their geostrategic fantasies in the tormented nation. The EU, on the other hand, has lacked political courage to even play a diplomatic role. The second event was a plan by the British government to reduce the number of foreign workers employed by British companies. Britain’s decision to leave the EU at all will lead the continent weaker and more divided. The third event was a statement given in Vienna by Kate Byrnes, the U.S. chargé d’affaires to the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), that criticized Russia for continuing to block the expansion of the geographic scope of the OSCE Observer Mission at the Russia Checkpoints of Gukovo and Donetsk. The thread linking these three events is the recognition that the West lacks any discernible strategy for dealing with crises. And it cannot wait until the next U.S. president enters the White House to formulate one.

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“The West’s Decline Is Of Its Own Making” Judy Dempsey, Carnegie Europe, 6 October 2016


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