Una realtà che gli europei farebbero bene ad accettare, come ben illustra James Rogers:
[…] And this brings us to the crux of the problem: Europeans do not like to think about power. For most Europeans, power is associated with struggle, conflict and war – and thus, with being human. Instead, many Europeans prefer to think themselves above power and strategy, even above being human (insofar as Europeans think of themselves as actually being ‘human’, they have an idealised, even utopian, vision of what being human actually means). This leads them to engage in fantasies over the character of international relations, whereby they develop an ongoing smorgasbord of well-meaning but nevertheless fluffy new concepts like ‘normative power’, ‘effective multilateralism’, ‘inter-polarity’ and – to use the title of the latest paper from the European Union Institute for Security Studies – ‘Citizens in an Interconnected and Polycentric World’ (which is Orwellian doublespeak if ever there was any!).
How can this be changed? Frankly, I am not sure if it can be. But logically, Europeans must realise that the world will continue – should China, India, Turkey, Russia and co. continue to surge (or re-emerge) – to become progressively and determinedly more multipolar, much like early twentieth century Europe after the collapse of British primacy. Then, as increasingly, now, several great powers fiercely protected their interests and competed aggressively to influence not only one another, but also, and perhaps more importantly, the smaller countries in between them. What will matter in this world is the ability to exercise power – power understood not so much as the ability to make other people do things that they might not otherwise want to do (although that is important), but rather as the ability to prevent people from thinking things that they might otherwise be encouraged to think through strategies of disaggregation. It means that Europeans must come to understand – as they did in the past – that the world is not heading towards a liberal conclusion based on the individual or ‘citizens’, but that it will remain a decidedly political place, centred on national ideological groups (no matter how absurd they might often appear to be).
In short, the European Union – and particularly its civil society, both at the European and Member State levels – must engage in a detailed re-examination not so much of how to achieve security, but rather how to undertake political geostrategy, i.e. how we as Europeans might better exercise power over subject areas that are of particular importance to us and our allies. Of course, this includes thinking much harder about how we can resist and combat foreign powers’ own political geostrategic advances, which will become ever more resourceful if those powers continue to grow in relative mass and velocity, even more so if they adopt missionary foreign policies that are incompatible with our own (which they surely will). Consequentially, rather than a new European security strategy, replacing or complementing the European Union Institute for Security Studies with a ‘European Union Institute for Strategic Studies’, which is well-led, considerably larger, better connected with civil society, and stationed and integrated in Brussels, might be a better idea. And the formation of a ‘European Strategic Council’ – integrated with the leading European strategic think tanks and policy institutions, strategists in universities, and, critically, the foreign and defence parliamentary committees, both in Brussels and the capitals of the Member States – might be another.