As Europe faces worst crises since World War II, few expect help from Washington

Josh Rogin writes: Europe is facing a convergence of the worst crises since World War II, and the overwhelming consensus among officials and experts here is that the U.S. no longer has the will or the ability to play an influential role in solving them.

At the Munich Security Conference, the prime topics are the refugee crisis, the Syrian conflict, Russian aggression and the potential dissolution of the European Union’s very structure. Top European leaders repeatedly lamented that 2015 saw all of Europe’s problems deepen, and unanimously predicted that in 2016 they would get even worse.

“The question of war and peace has returned to the continent,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the audience, indirectly referring to Russian military interventions. “We had thought that peace had returned to Europe for good.”

What was missing from the conference speeches and even the many private discussions in the hallways, compared to previous years, was the discussion of what Europe wanted or even expected the U.S. to do. [Continue reading…]

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