The US and NATO-backed government in Kabul collapsed on 15 August, four months after Washington announced unilaterally that all its troops would be out of Afghanistan by the fall. These events sparked an existential crisis within the Western alliance, and led to questions about whether the US gives any weight to its European allies’ concerns.
The dramatic events in Afghanistan this month and Europe’s inability to act without Washington’s support is a sign of the continent’s military impotence and utter dependence on the United States for defence, Suddeutsche Zeitung contributor Daniel Brossler has suggested.
In an op-ed for the newspaper published Friday, the journalist suggested that “the disaster in Afghanistan” has demonstrated that although “Europe is capable of many things,” the ability to pursue its own defence policy is not one of them.
The contributor suggested that in the aftermath of Thursday’s attacks on the Kabul airport, which killed 13 US troops and scores of Afghans, “none” of NATO’s allies “would have been willing or able to continue” operating on the ground in the country for “even a minute longer without the US.”
The entire Afghanistan mission, Brossler recalled, relied on the US, which pulled the alliance into the war following the 9/11 terror attacks and the subsequent US invasion of the West Asian nation in late 2001.
The Afghan mission “has always depended on the willingness of the Americans to invest considerable…