Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Europe doesn’t need the U.S. anymore

By Rajan Menon and Daniel R. DePetris

30 Jan 2023 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

Two foreign policy analysts make a contrarian argument in FP: The idea that Europe can't defend itself without the U.S. is misguided, and Russia's invasion of Ukraine only underscores this point.

The Russian military’s weaknesses have been apparent since the early days of the war in the Ukraine. The staggering losses in troops and equipment, Moscow’s inability to adequately equip or even supply its troops, and the multiple shifts in command—Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov being Russian President Vladimir Putin’s latest choice—have exposed the myth of the Russian army’s supposed invincibility.

The jostling between Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner Group—a private army active in the key battles of Soledar and Bakhmut—and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as well as Russia’s high command attests to deep and persistent friction among the very people Putin counts on to run the war and attain victory.

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