National Interest Publishes Opinion, “Euro Crisis Threatens Global Security”

28 June 2012 • 0 Comments

“Things fall apart; the center cannot hold,” wrote the Irish poet William Butler Yeats of the dark time he envisioned in the aftermath of World War I. Today, the converse of this proposition overshadows our future: if Europe fails to respond to the euro-zone crisis in a way that reinforces its center, things will begin to fall apart—and well beyond the economic sphere.

While we are hardly yet at the brink of Yeats’s apocalypse, the financial crisis is rapidly weakening the hold of European institutions on countries on the EU periphery. By calling into question the sixty-year momentum of European unity, the crisis also is loosening a plank on which international system has rested for a half century. More broadly, repeated failure to contain the crisis tarnishes the allure of liberal democratic ideals just as alternative ideologies from outside the transatlantic realm are challenging their preeminence. As European leaders gather for this week’s EU summit, there is as much or more at stake for long-term global security as there is for short-term economic stability. . . .


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