I am obviously no great believer in progress, but look, even though it's only been fifty years, the post-war Western European peace has got to rank as one of the great achievements of our sorry civilization, and for all the EU's problems and iniquities, the fact that those countries have created a vast, cooperative, peaceful union of peoples on the fucking ash piles of the greatest human calamity of all time can hardly be taken lightly or dismissed. That you can travel without a passport from Madrid to Berlin is nothing short of a miracle given our species' persistent brutishness, clannishness, violence, indifference, and cruelty. Europe, if hardly a utopia, if beset by the ghosts of its colonial past and its demographic future, if uncertain of political values and economic policies, if often racist and often unjust, if overburdened by bureaucracies and no longer the greatest epicenter of human invention, is nonetheless at peace with itself and its neighbors--a mature, happy, somewhat cossetted, wealthy, weary society full of fast trains and bad pop music. It bears repeating. All of this on the ground-up bones and wailing shades of mankinds self-made, mid-century apocalypse, our greatest disaster, our worst moment, our most titanic act of collective insanity.
Soooooo . . . this is apparently a bad thing. The so-called demilitarization of Europe is crimping America's ability to occupy foreign countries and fight neverending counterinsurgencies in order to achieve something or other.
A perception of European weakness, [Secretary of Defense Robert Gates] warned, could provide a “temptation to miscalculation and aggression” by hostile powers.What fucking hostile powers?