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1) THREAD: What to expect if the #US 🇺🇸withdraws from #NATO? At the Körber #PolicyGame, we discussed this scenario w/ high-level officials and experts in coop w/ @IISS_org - here are the summarized results for the Twitterati community: (have mercy, it’s my first thread!)
2) We wanted to know: How would Europeans react in such a situation?What are interests and red lines? Thus, we invited a 🇫🇷, 🇩🇪, 🇵🇱,🇬🇧, and 🇺🇸 team to play our scenario. Crisis in the #South, Crisis in the #East - were #Europeans able to get their act together w/out the 🇺🇸? 💪 🇪🇺
3) The short answer is: willing yes ❕but able❔ First, most teams focused on reversing a #US withdrawal from #NATO by all possible means, offering the 🇺🇸concessions that were unthinkable before - from #trade to #energy. But what if that doesn’t help? 🤔
4) Now it got serious, a crisis in the #WesternBalkans: most teams anticipated remaining #NATO members would NOT be able to agree on #Article5 when a #NATO member was threatened. Instead: ad-hoc coalitions, #Article4 consultations. And 🇺🇸 to 🇪🇺: you‘re in the lead, we‘re out. 🤗
5) And it can always get worse: Faced with an escalation in the #East (“Europe’s Cuban Missile Crisis” 🚀), #Europeans were at serious risk of splitting into different camps. Especially members in the #East that felt most vulnerable -such as🇵🇱- did not trust #Europe‘s ability...
6) organize collective defence 💪and prioritized a #bilateral security relationship with 🇺🇸. „If the #US withdraws, the Eastern flank should be the last place!“ - a #bilateralization of security&defence is the likely consequence. What about 🇵🇱‘s Western neighbor, #Germany?
7) For 🇩🇪, a #US withdrawal from #NATO would be an existential security threat. First step: check the #Aachen treaty - what‘s in there? Next: call #Paris 🇫🇷 and #London 🇬🇧 - how about expanding your #nuclear umbrellas? (and how much does that cost?! 💶💷) 😰
8) The burden-sharing debate would be back in 🇪🇺. For #France, it’s clear: „#NATO is dead without the 🇺🇸.“ It is time for a new, #EU-centred security alliance 🙌 - others, such as the 🇬🇧, can affiliate on a bilateral basis with a new 🇪🇺*EU*🇪🇺alliance (#article42.7) 🇫🇷
9) #London is not amused: 🇫🇷-🇩🇪 „go it alone“ on security and defence met with skepticism, #redlines🚫are: No EU army, no EU alliance. “The 🇬🇧 would design #European security, not just sign on a dotted line!”
10) In the meantime, the #US 🇺🇸watches #Europe from the sidelines: “Countries who care will find a way to keep us engaged.” Subsidizing 🇪🇺 is no longer an option, #Europeans should put everything on the table for #securityguarantees: from trade to policy alignment (#Iran, #China)
11) #Europeans were disillusioned as they hoped for a continuous strategic #US interest in #Europe and a value-based partnership. But instead, a #transactional relationship seems to be the „new normal“ in #US-#European relations. 🇺🇸-🇪🇺
12) Interesting: all teams rejected #Russian 🇷🇺 ouvertures for conflict resolution in return for concession on #European security. #Russia 🇷🇺 was not considered a credible security provider in #Europe by anyone.
13) Yet, are #Europeans actually able to defend themselves? Here we come to the crucial point: #Shortfalls in #European military capabilities, especially in #missiledefence, are a huge vulnerability in such a crisis scenario. Filling these👇gaps will require long-term #investment
14) ...and #nucleardeterrence will remain the „Gretchenfrage“. Due to #domestic opposition, #German🇩🇪 #nuclearweapons were considered an unlikely option. But if expanding the🇫🇷-🇬🇧 nuclear umbrella fails, some anticipated a #proliferation of #nuclearweapons among Europeans.
15) Now, that’s depressing enough, but what to do about all of this? Here👇are policy recommendations:
✅ Engage the #public in a debate about security & defence in Europe
✅ Think about the unthinkable and provide credible #alternatives
✅ Reassure #EasternEuropeans
16) ✅ Invest in #European military capabilities to hedge against a #US disengagement from #NATO
✅ Accept that building a #European defence posture will take more than a decade - no shortcuts to credibility
✅ Provide mechanisms for the #US to #plugandplay in European security
17) That’s a wrap! Let’s hope our scenario does never come true, but better be prepared than sorry: #Europeans, time to step up! Find the publication and all results here: @IISS_org @KoerberIP
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