It has the paperwork. It even has the authority. But will Europe do anything with this opportunity to prove multilateral muster?
Peter Pham and I discuss Europe’s “Munich Moment” on Tech Central Station today. Here are relevant excerpts:
“Underlying Europe’s anemic military laisser-aller is the problem of moral will. Even if one does not embrace the thesis of Bat Ye’or, whose Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis nonetheless makes a compelling read, the gradual transformation of European morale since the 1970s is striking. Leftist European political and intellectual elites subtly, sometimes openly, embrace the same radicals in the Levant who imperil Europeans as in this month’s barely-foiled airline bombing plot. Bruce Bawer, no conservative reactionary, eloquently summarized the stakes in his recent book While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within: “Now, once again, Europe is at a Weimar moment. Poised between the aggressive reality of Islamism and the danger of an incipient native neo-fascism, it is governed by an elite, many of whose members, even now, remain determined not to face reality.”
Extending Bawer’s metaphor, with the constitution of UNIFIL 2 Europe has reached a “Munich moment.” The force has the appropriate paperwork: Resolution 1701 (and the earlier documents, including prominently Resolution 1559, upon which 1701 relies). It is suitably multinational. The United States is surely not imposing its will unilaterally. Now the question is whether the Europeans will muster the forces necessary and find the will to carry out what Resolution 1559 prescribed as binding: “the disbanding and disarmament of all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias,” i.e., Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian monitors (some of whom are present still in Lebanon). Kofi Annan announced on Friday that this disarmament will be the problem of the thus far impotent Lebanese Army, not UNIFIL 2, even though the feeble Lebanese government has already said it won’t take on the job. So much for the creation and respect of norms of international conduct.”
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