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
PodcastChina, Europe, and COVID-19 with CNAS’s Ashley Feng and Kristine Lee
Ashley Feng and Kristine Lee join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to explain China’s response to COVID-19 on the latest episode of Brussels Sprouts. Feng is a Research ...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Kristine Lee & Ashley Feng
PodcastMacron and France's National Security Policy with Benjamin Haddad and Alice Pannier
Benjamin Haddad and Alice Pannier join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend on the latest episode of Brussels Sprouts to discuss France’s foreign policy and Emmanuel Macron’...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Dr. Alice Pannier & Benjamin Haddad
PodcastGreat Power, Great Responsibility: Global Competition in an Age of Uncertainty
In this episode of Horns of a Dilemma, William Inboden, director of the Clements Center at the University of Texas at Austin, sits down with Richard Fontaine, Chief Executive ...
By Richard Fontaine & William Inboden
Executive Summary The rise of populism in Europe and the United States is well documented. Although studies may disagree about the relative importance of populism’s drivers, t...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor & Carisa Nietsche