Europe’s Strategic Mistakes Continue like a Domino

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Green Continent continues to serve US interests

Hossein Mizan
Expert on International Issues

In his recent speech, the Leader of Iran Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei noted that the United States has divided countries, political currents and other people into three categories of “subservient,” “non-subservient and independent nations that should be tolerated,” and “rebellious” ones. The Leader then put the European countries into the second category and added, “What I understand from politics is that Europeans are making a grave strategic mistake by putting themselves at the service of the United States. They respect the United States’ interests while Americans do not, and will not, respect their interests.”

The need for unity in international relations is mostly felt when countries are convinced that only in case of unity and mutual alliance they would be able to protect their national interests and achieve their national goals. Such a unity may not be in the form of a written document, but commonality of goals and national interests, as well as the ideology and perception of common threat lead to creation of such unity. This is not what we are currently witnessing in the case of Europe’s relations with the United States. The domino-like blows that the United States has so far dealt to European countries’ interests indicate the continuation of this process and raise one essential question: “Can a political interaction in which not only the national interests, but also national security of the European countries is not respected be considered a real unity?” The question that follows is “will getting out of such a so-called unity be better for European countries and serve their national interests in a better way?” The rest of this article provides a brief account of the heavy cost that the European countries have been incurring as a result of their cooperation with the United States.

Transferring economic crisis from the United States to Europe

Following the breakout of the US-imposed economic crisis in Europe, the Green Continent drove close to the brink of bankruptcy. The main causes behind that crisis are among the most important issues about which there is serious difference between the United States and the European countries with each side accusing the other of being behind the initiations of the economic crisis. Some analysts believe that the economic crisis actually began in the United States with a financial crisis in the Wall Street. However, the aftermath of that crisis soon swept through European countries. It first slowed down the economic growth of European countries and then brought their growth down to zero. They say the United States transferred its own crisis to Europe in order to reduce its impact on the American economy and share its adverse effects with European countries.

Imposing whopping cost of war in Afghanistan and Iraq on Europe

The wars that started with the leadership of the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq have so far inflicted heavy losses on European countries. Some of the European governments were opposed to those wars from the very beginning and did not take part in them. However, other European states accompanied the United States in these wars and brought on themselves and their nations the hefty financial and human costs of those wars. Some economic theorists are of the opinion that the involvement of the United States and Europe in two very costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been one of the most important reasons behind the ongoing economic crisis in Europe.

Secret prisons run by US in Europe

The issue of the existence of secret US prisons in Europe and in countries that claim to be harbingers of democracy, which was made public in 2004, dealt a heavy blow to the political prestige of those European countries. In this project, the United States transferred prisoners, most of whom had been taken into custody by the American forces following the 9/11 terror attacks, to secret prisons in some European countries. The majority of those European countries were located in Eastern Europe and included Romania and Poland. These developments led to a major scandal for the American government and officials in those countries. In addition to people in those European countries, the officials of other European states conveyed their vehement protest to countries that had hosted secret US prisons run by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and called for closure to those prisons.

Paying high cost of NATO membership

Even in case of membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), subservience of European countries with the United States’ policies has so far caused them to suffer high costs. European countries that are members of the NATO pay a high annual cost for their membership in this organization. As a result of their NATO membership, they are usually part of the United States ambitious projects, which are frequently implemented in various parts of the world under the lead of the NATO. In addition to high financial costs of membership, European countries have been also facing mounting pressures from anti-war civil society groups that are essentially opposed to the existence of the NATO. Meanwhile, in continuation of its measures against the interests of the European countries, the United States has been consistently blocking efforts made by those countries to form an independent military alliance in Europe.

Interference in internal affairs of European countries

The crisis in Ukraine was another blow by the United States to Europe. As a result of Washington’s interference in the internal affairs of this Eastern European state, the country moved close to the brink of an all-out civil war. Even before the Ukrainian crisis, the United States was involved in inciting the so-called color and velvet revolutions in Eastern Europe as a result of which governments were installed in those countries that were in line with the American interests against the will of their own nations. At present, Europe is watching on as the civil war rages in Ukraine with the potential to spread to other parts of Europe. Although at the beginning of developments in Ukraine, Europe, like the United States, supported change of the Ukrainian government, disintegration of Ukraine may give birth to a common model, which may quickly spread to other Eastern European countries. Therefore, European countries have paid the price for their blindfolded subservience with the US policies through the disintegration of Ukraine.

Europe’s losses as a result of the United States’ unilateral sanctions against other countries

By accepting to get in line with the US policy for imposing unilateral sanctions against other countries, Europe has found itself at loss. For example, by imposing sanctions against the Russian government and its officials, Europe actually lost its presence in prosperous and growing market of Russia. In view of the critical situation of the European economy, this issue can deal drastic blows to this continent and cause it to suffer irreversible losses. However, since interaction with the Russian economy is not a priority for the United States, it will not suffer as much from sanctions imposed on Moscow as European countries. In addition, if Russia decided to take retaliatory actions against sanctions imposed by Europe, the losses suffered by the European countries would increase in an exponential manner.

When the United States imposed unilateral sanctions against Iran, European countries repeated the same strategic mistake again. In view of the ailing European economy, Iran could have greatly helped European countries to get out of the crisis. European companies incurred losses as a result of sanctions imposed on Iran and the European Union has already objected to the United States accusing Washington that while encouraging European countries to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic, it has increased its own trade interactions with Tehran. Bloomberg news outlet reported that, “While Europe’s trade with Iran still dwarfs that of the US by more than 20-to-one, American business has climbed 35 percent since 2011, compared with a 77 percent drop for the European Union...” 

Spying on European countries and tapping phone calls of their leaders

Another issue, which resulted from Europe’s alignment with the United States policies, was US spying on European countries and tapping phone calls of European leaders. At that juncture, documents revealed by the American whistleblower, Edward Snowden, proved that Washington’s web of espionage has covered the entire Europe. Interestingly enough, most targets of the espionage activities by the US National Security Agency (NSA) were economic and industrial entities in Europe. A more interesting point was that the United States never apologized to its European allies for such espionage activities and the American officials only sufficed to some rhetorical and illogical justification.

Loss of Europe’s credit among other nations

The most important blow that alliance with the United States has dealt to European countries is the loss of their credit at international level. Nations and the public opinion of international community in general are discontent with the warmongering, unilateral measures, adversity to human rights, support for state terrorism, phone tapping, espionage and other inhuman activities of the US government and consider the US allies as culprits to Washington’s misdeeds. An evidence to this claim is frequent confrontations seen between nations and governments in various European countries, including the UK, France and Germany. Anti-war demonstrations in these countries prove that various civil society groups are strongly against their countries’ close relations with the United States and following suit with the warmongering policies of the White House. The public opinion does not know why European countries are so reliant on the United States, but has found out that the Green Continent is no more able to adopt an independent foreign policy approach like the foreign policy that was founded in France by the country’s wartime leader, General Charles de Gaulle.  In addition, people believe that European countries cannot even give an appropriate response to the United States when Washington takes a step that violates national security concerns of these countries.

Key Words: US Interests, Europe’s Strategic Mistakes, Economic Crisis, Afghanistan and Iraq, Secret Prisons, NATO Membership, Unilateral Sanctions, Mizan

Source: Siasatrooz.IR
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

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