Rebooting the West: The US, Europe and the Future of the Western Alliance (WHP 72)
Whitehall Paper, 6 Nov 2009
By Christopher Coker
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The West is in bad shape. In Afghanistan, it is committed to fighting a war that it probably cannot win. It confronts a resurgent Russia and an ever-rising China – the latter deemed by many to herald the beginning of a post-American world. It now needs to accommodate itself to the new rising powers on the block, few of whom share its vision of the future. One senses that the West is entering its twilight years. Its best days lie behind it.
Christopher Coker argues that the West needs to be ‘re-booted’. It needs new ideas, as well as a new idea of itself. In the face of inevitable wear and tear, no institution can persist for long without renewal and renovation. Unless it regrounds itself, it may lose purchase on the imagination not only of the rest of the world, but its own citizens at home. This is far more challenging for Europe than for the United States. America can probably live without the West; Europe probably cannot. This paper sets out to reassure the reader that the world will be a better place if the Western powers can reaffirm the principles that brought them together in the dark days of 1941.
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