Ukraine/Russia war: Europeans are armed, but they're no warriors – Crikey

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The continent’s lack of military culture is deep-rooted, and no amount of military spending can fully compensate for that.
, Foreign Policy
Dec 06, 2022
15
Europe’s military leaders have been aware for some time that high-intensity military conflicts and even major wars are a real possibility for the continent. Europe’s gradual rearmament, accelerated by the war in Ukraine, bears witness to that. It would be unfair to say European leaders are unrealistic about the threats they face. But they have made the mistake of believing that a material response to those threats will suffice.
Armaments are only one aspect of Europe’s problem. NATO already has at its disposal military means that are vastly superior to Russia. But that did not stop Russian President Vladimir Putin from carrying out his aggressive plan against Ukraine, which Europe has clearly declared an important interest in.
That was because he understood the moral and political realities behind the veil of material imbalance. Putin knew that, despite its material strength, Europe was incapable of embracing the possibility of an open conflict. The weapons that Europe has at its disposal cannot become a threat to anyone so long as the continent’s democratic societies won’t demonstrate a capacity and determination to make use of them.
Alexis Carré
Foreign Policy
Alexis Carré is the 2022-23 Thomas W. Smith Postdoctoral Research Associate of the James Madison Program at Princeton University. His work deals with war and liberal democracy. He was awarded the 2021 Raymond Aron prize for research for his dissertation entitled War and Law: The Refounding of Liberalism Against the Conservative Revolution in Leo Strauss and Raymond Aron.
This story is reprinted with permission from Foreign Policy.
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