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From Aspirations to Aspirin?: The Afghan campaign and Europe’s quasi-strategic inertia

Abstract : Recent literature dealing with the European security and defense policy tends to paint a bleak picture, basically telling a story of decline or complacency; an ESDP/CSDP that started with high aspirations, and now “fades out” with a headache after it “died over Libya”. This paper acknowledges the seriousness of the situation. Challenging these “declinist” approaches, however, it considers the case of Afghanistan and proposes to think about a European “role by default” with quasi-strategic effects. Thus, the paper accepts the lack of convergence between Europe’s national strategic cultures as a given. It highlights the paradox that European convergence around this default role is both a function of a European desire for – or complacency vis-à-vis – the US’ security leadership, as well as a quasi-strategic expression of accumulated inertia vis-à-vis the US, which preserves a modicum of e a modicum of strategic autonomy from the US. This notion of a role by default is a more adequate approach to Europe’s security role than attempts to think up a “European strategic culture”.
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Submitted on : Saturday, October 23, 2021 - 11:58:34 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 11:42:04 AM

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Nicolas Fescharek. From Aspirations to Aspirin?: The Afghan campaign and Europe’s quasi-strategic inertia. Politique européenne, l'Harmattan, 2015, 2 (48), pp.122 - 149. ⟨10.3917/poeu.048.0122⟩. ⟨hal-03399307⟩

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