Experts react: What the fall of Afghanistan means for Europe
New Atlanticist by Atlantic Council experts. Related Experts: Dave Keating
via GEO´ PR Wire
As policymakers in Washington grapple with the stark reality of losing Afghanistan, their counterparts across Europe are no less flummoxed over what happens next. What of the streams of refugees that may well pour onto the continent? And will Brussels be as ready to support future US foreign policy initiatives? Our experts from the Europe Centre answer these questions—and much more.
‘The age of innocence is over’
If we thought our Western alliance could win hearts and minds with military might and billions of dollars, we were wrong. If we thought a new American leadership would mean more engagement in world affairs, we were wrong. If we think Afghanistan is a distant crisis with no consequences for Europe, we will also be wrong. Terrorism, drug trafficking, and a possible mass exodus of Afghans are all challenges for Europe.
But first, let’s stop blaming the United States for what they do or don’t do. I am certain that US President Joe Biden’s decision is as popular at home as it is controversial abroad. Let’s work together at the European level—and here I would like to include the United Kingdom, despite Brexit—to face our common challenges: rescuing Afghan journalists, artists, and human rights activists who will be forced to flee their homeland. It’s both a moral duty and an investment in a different future for Afghanistan.
This doesn’t mean we should be blackmailed by human traffickers or rogue states taking advantage of migrants’ misery, pressuring us by wielding massive illegal migration as a hybrid threat. We must jointly control our borders and decide who comes in and how. This will also be necessary to increase our fight against drug trafficking and terrorism. We must also send a clear message to the Taliban: no support for terrorism will be tolerated. Any attempt to export jihadism to Europe will have immediate and very significant consequences.
Finally, what is taking place should only encourage Europe to strengthen its strategic autonomy to make sure it can continue working with allies whenever it can—as well as autonomously any time it needs to … Learn More