Our role in Ukraine has shattered the myths of isolation and decline that had taken hold overseas
Article by RICHARD KEMP former infantry commander and chairman of the Cobra Intelligence Group 2 February 2022
On a visit to Washington last week, I was struck by the consistent admiration for Britain’s stance on Ukraine from government officials and think tank leaders alike. Many admitted to previous concerns about the implications Brexit on European security, due to the misplaced perception that it would herald an era of isolation. The same concern had been shared in many European capitals and featured prominently throughout the Remain campaign.
For our friends on the Continent, that worry has now been supplanted by the fear that Britain is taking too strong a role in collective European security, exposing their own disunity and equivocation. There is a sense that we are undermining the Franco-German cartel by strengthening the more hardline security approach of Holland, Poland and the Baltic states.
The reality is that the Franco-German axis does not work when it comes to security. And while the governments in Berlin and Paris may not be ready to accept this view, Washington’s foreign policy establishment is rapidly coming to the same conclusion. The axis’s inadequacy is best demonstrated by the Normandy Format – a grouping of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine, established in the wake of Russian aggression in Crimea to discuss the way forward – which has clearly failed to deter Putin.
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