Europe is drifting from crisis to crisis, unable to address structural problems at either the national or the EU level. Consequently, it is focused on fiscal limits, “austerity” packages, labor-market rigidities, regulations, and questions regarding the legitimacy of existing institutions. Introspection and self-centeredness can breed peace but not necessarily long-term security. It is a peace of weakness, and weakness breeds challenge.
The EU is a strategic drifter, unclear about its world role, unable to articulate a purpose, and divided in its perception of external threats. This invites exploitation by other powers (Russia and China in particular) eager to reestablish their own standing in the world or to chip away at US security and interests. More dynamic and aggressive powers — Russia, Iran, and China — are unlikely to leave a weak and divided Europe alone.