A reflection on European security

Fecha de publicación:
Cameron R. Hume

I think I can truly say you’ve been too kind because after a build-up like that I’m not sure I can get through this without disappointing everyone. Nevertheless, I look forward to being able to share with you some reflections on the themes that we were able to discuss and during the last two days. The first thing I would like to look at is why should an American be concerned about European security at all. I think its a fair question. First of all, if we looked back five hundred years ago, Spain discovered America, and continuously from that time on there’s been one strategic theater involving Europe and America. Spain’s discovery of America was an event which changed Spain’s position in Europe and thus set the tone for the kind of linked, or interdependent, futures that Europe and America have experienced ever since. When you go forward through the other centuries almost everytime there was a major war or fighting in the Americas, a strategic element linked the fortunes of both America and Europe. For example, when Britain and the Netherlands were fighting over control of the North Sea, the city of New York, which was then the dominant strategic position on the western edge of the Atlantic Ocean, changed hands from the Dutch to the British. And when the French and the British were fighting the war of Austrian Succession, the North American British colonies were fighting with the British against the French in Canada, which is why in the United States they call the conflict the “French and Indian War”.