Sir Malcom Rifkind, (a former British Foreign Secretary) writes in ‘The Diplomat’ that ‘while the United States’ “pivot” is welcomed by much of Asia, it is causing concern to the nations of Western Europe’. How does he think Europe should react?
He recommends three priorities for Europeans –
- Do more for their own security (through increased contributions to NATO and interoperability)
- Do some of their own ‘outreach’ to Asia – but his examples are only of economic development and trade initiatives.
- Be happy the US is ‘back’ in Asia because we can ride on their coat-tails.
Considering his present role (chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee), these three seem a bit meagre. (1) is old wine in new bottles. The UK has been playing this tune since before the pivot was a twinkle in Obama’s eye. (2) and (3) are lacking punch in security or diplomatic terms.
Could it be a simple matter of that famous UK Conservative party ‘euro-scepticism’? Continue reading