According to EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the fall of Kabul to the Taliban and the chaotic international evacuation effort shows that Europe needs to develop its own military capacity independent of the United States.
In an interview with AFP, Borrell said European powers would struggle to evacuate their citizens and Afghan allies before the United States ends its operation at Kabul airport — perhaps as early as 31 August.
NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg confirmed on Friday (20 August), as without the protection of the 6,000 US troops deployed at the airport, European operations may have to cease.
European policy makers fear that Kabul will not be a one-off and that future crises in Iraq or in the Sahel region of West Africa could require similar military missions to secure European citizens and interests — perhaps without US support, Euractiv.com reports.
“I regret greatly the way in which things have gone, but no-one asked for the opinion of the Europeans,” Mr Borrell said. “Some countries are going to have to ask themselves questions about an American ally which, as Joe Biden said, doesn’t want to fight other people’s wars for them. “The Europeans don’t have a choice. We must organise ourselves to deal with the world as it is and not the world that we dream of.”