After the Afghan case, the European Union needs its own autonomous military force

The fall of Kabul, due to the unilateral decision of the United States to withdraw from the country, a decision taken independently by Washington and not agreed with the allies, highlighted the imbalance of bilateral relations between the USA and Europe, with Brussels at a clear disadvantage and with a state of substantial dependence on the White House. This poses serious questions to Europe’s geopolitical prospects and highlights, once again, the need for an autonomous European military force. In the last informal meeting of the Union’s foreign ministers, the creation of a rapid intervention battalion, made up of about 5,000 personnel, able to intervene promptly in any crisis theaters, was evaluated. It would not yet be a European army, but it would be a start towards a strategic autonomy, necessary for Europe to play a leading political role on the world stage. This need is also seen as a unifying factor between European countries, but the Baltic countries and Poland have always preferred the defense organization through the Atlantic Alliance, an organization towards which, precisely due to the pre-eminence of the USA within it , several European countries have started to be wary. Even if it is not a question of leaving the Atlantic Alliance, it has been acknowledged that its room for maneuver is increasingly limited and functional to American interests, rather than to collective ones; this awareness, which was already present before the unilateral withdrawal from Afghanistan and, above all, due to Trump’s attitudes, has not changed with Biden, from whom he expected a change, which has not arrived. To overcome the resistance of skeptical countries to European military autonomy, which will have to provide for a financial commitment, the German foreign minister proposed to create the rapid intervention force with a qualified majority, overcoming the threshold of unanimity, with supply of troops only by the voluntary countries. The question thus risks being yet another divisive factor between convinced Europeanists and Europeanists for convenience and represents a further factor of reflection on the advisability of continuing to keep together nations that do not share European presuppositions and raises the concrete question on the meaning of the presence of countries skeptical of the European institution. Biden, on which so many hopes were pinned by the Europeans, albeit in different ways, seems to want to continue, albeit in a mitigated way, the policy of isolation of the United States and turns out to be a less reliable partner than expected: this consideration is associated with urgent issues concerning Islamic terrorism present on the European borders, both in Asia and in Africa. The need to combat this phenomenon, which after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan is destined to increase, clashes with the awareness that Europeans will be alone in the fight against Islamic radicals to defend their security. To do this, Europe needs to change its attitude towards itself, ceasing to consider itself only a financial aggregate where the glue is only the market, but accepting to structure its own foreign policy unrelated to the interest of individual states, but functional to the interest general; to do this requires an effort by nations towards a transfer of sovereign shares and also new decision mechanisms, capable of overcoming the now absurd rule of unanimous voting. As can be seen, the decision to create a European rapid intervention force, the first possible step towards the common army, involves a much greater and much more important amount of arguments, capable of being able to vary the current structure. It could be a test to see who really wants to commit to a united Europe and find the countries ready to get only the positive aspects, among which the financial ones are in first place; conversely, a renunciation of the participation of Eurosceptic countries could restrict the territorial extension, but allow a better allocation of resources and more shared plans and programs. The time has come to resolve the undefined conflicts within the Union, especially in relation to the emergency dictated by the expected resurgence of terrorism, which will have Europe as one of the main objectives of the Islamic radicals. this need for defense requires quick and shared decisions, which cannot include useless positions that are inconsistent with supranational interests; from here, Europe will be able to move towards the concrete launch of the European federation project.