Strategic Insights: The Coming Perfect Storm of Europe

  • April 15, 2016
  • LTC Michael A. Adelberg

A collection of social and security trends are at play in Europe that may threaten the peace and stability of the continent. The array of challenges, threats, and frictions could converge at such a point that an unintentional spark could ignite a major crisis or even a regional war of some type. The most obvious security threat to Europe is Russia and its evident willingness to employ force, including proxy forces, like it did to reshape national borders in Ukraine. Russia does not, of course, view this operation as expeditionary expansionism, but rather as a necessity to stabilize a crisis on its border. Russia sees the Ukraine annexation as not of its own making, but rather like that of a tornado that drew in Russia against its desires. This narrative conveniently overlooks the fact that Russian economic warfare, to prevent Ukraine from entering into an Association Agreement with the EU, was the catalyst for the eventual Euromaidan protests and subsequent violence.