The Corner

National Security & Defense

Brexit Battle: The EU Didn’t Keep the Peace in Europe — America Did

Reading and watching all the hand-wringing over Brexit, one would think that the EU is responsible for all that’s good in the world. The EU brings unicorns, pots of gold, and — of course — blissful peace. No rational nation would want to leave the EU. It would be like walking out of heaven.

But of all the outsized claims of EU perfection, few are more galling than the utterly idiotic notion that it has kept the peace in Europe. What ahistorical nonsense. NATO has kept the peace in Europe, and America has been NATO’s indispensable power.

Since 1945, we’ve stationed troops (for decades they numbered in the hundreds of thousands) throughout the western part of the continent. Those troops — and only those troops — kept the Soviet Union from swallowing western democracies. Remove America (and the American nuclear deterrent), and nothing would have stopped Soviet expansionism. 

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. drew down its military presence, the EU (founded in 1993) assumed a larger role in European affairs, and — guess what? — the peace frayed at the edges. The vicious Balkan wars erupted, and Europe did precisely nothing meaningful until America intervened. More recently, the vaunted “moral superpowers” at the EU stood by and watched Russia invade the Ukraine and annex the Crimea. And now that same EU is not only a marginal player in the fight against ISIS, it actually helped open Europe’s borders to a destructive tide of radicalized migrants. 

The EU isn’t an instrument of peace but of weakness disguised as self-righteousness. It cannot be permitted to take credit for America’s success. 

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