The Swiss illusion

By Hans Kundnani, European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), September 19, 2012

At the end of last week I attended the Riga Conference, an annual Transatlantic foreign-policy conference that goes back to the 2006 NATO summit. For me one of the most extraordinary moments of the conference came during a panel discussion on the diminishing importance of Europe and the future of the West. The panelists included Julianne Smith, deputy national security adviser to US Vice President Joe Biden, and Hans-Friedrich von Ploetz, a former German ambassador to Russia and the UK. During the discussion, a member of the audience asked whether Europe might be becoming a greater Switzerland – rich but neutral and strategically irrelevant. Von Ploetz’s simple response was: “Switzerland is not such a bad country!”… (more)  http://ow.ly/1mwQeD

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Filed under Defense and Military Engagement, European Foreign Policy, European Union, Think Tank

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