A former candidate for UK Prime Minister suggests that the United Kingdom could use its military to counteract Spanish attempts to influence the status of a British outpost. A major British newspaper adds fuel to that fire by arguing that the Royal British Navy could defeat the Spanish Navy should it come to war. When did this happen? 1805? Perhaps the 1760s?
No, this actually took place in 2017, over accusations that the Spanish were attempting to influence Gibraltar’s status post-Brexit. This spat serves as a grim reminder for the United States—it encourages European nations to spend more on defense at its own peril. The history of European military might is not a happy one, and the recent U.S. demand that European nations spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense to meet the NATO target could, in fact, harm U.S. interests.
In short, when faced with the choice of guns or butter, the United States should allow European leaders to choose butter. The United States can bring the guns.
Read the full article at The National Interest.
More from CNAS
CommentaryIt’s Still Hard to Be America’s Ally
The drive to enshrine a U.S. foreign policy for the American middle class may, in particular, pose new dilemmas for long-term allies....
By Richard Fontaine
PodcastRussia's Military Buildup on the Ukrainian Border, with Maxim Samorukov and Michael Kofman
What is motivating Russia's recent military buildup on the Ukrainian border? On April 6, 2021, Maxim Samorukov and Michael Kofman joined Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Maxim Samorukov & Michael Kofman
America’s increasing focus on rivalry with China ensures that U.S. Africa policy will continue to be viewed, at least in part, through a China lens....
By David Shullman & Patrick Quirk
PodcastTechnology Policy in the Transatlantic Alliance, with Frances Burwell and Tyson Barker
Frances Burwell and Tyson Barker join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Carisa Nietsche to discuss transatlantic technology policy, the EU’s Digital Compass, and where the U.S. and Eu...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Carisa Nietsche, Frances Burwell & Tyson Barker