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Netherlands opens war crimes investigation into MH17 airliner downing(r/worldnews)
Robert Kagan has written an excellent little book on this subject called Of Paradise and Power. Read it if you haven’t. It says that European countries have been able to drastically cut spending on their military because they know they can fall back on the USA if the shit hits the fan, or even before that.
Consequently, in world politics the EU relies mostly on soft power, i.e. economical measures etc., and the USA tends to push for hard power, that is military engagement. It’s quite logical. However, since the end of the cold war the EU and US interests have grown further apart for lack of a common enemy. That’s why there’s more and more resistance to this hard power-stance of the US.
This is the gist of his argument if I remember correctly. It’s interesting to look at the present situation from this perspective. It seems we’re slowly returning to sharing an enemy of some sorts, or at least an antagonist.
edit: BTW, cuts in military spending have allowed European nations to spend a lot of money on the so-called welfare state.