BRUSSELS – Ulrike Franke is a self-proclaimed German millennial who is a defense analyst who worries about his generation’s allergy to the military, especially when it comes to power.
“After 30 years of peace,” she wrote last year in a widely read essay, “The German millennial generation has difficulty adapting to the world we live in today. We struggle to think in terms of interests, we struggle with the concept of geopolitical power, and we struggle with military power as an element of geopolitical power.”
She and others say that Russia’s overt and massive military threat to Ukraine is currently shaking up feelings of complacency among young and old in Europe, who have never known war, hot or cold. For some, at least, this moment was a wake-up call when the threat of war became a reality.
But how far Europe is ready to go to move away from a world where peace and security are taken for granted remains to be seen. For decades, Europeans have spent relatively little money, lives or resources on their defense – and with even less attention, sheltering under the American nuclear umbrella left over from Cold War.
That debate has begun to shift in recent years, even before Russia threatened Ukraine, with discussion of a more resilient and independent European defense and strategic posture. But the crisis exposed Europe’s weakness in security matters and strengthened its sense of unity.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/18/world/europe/30-years-of-post-cold-war-peace-in-europe-is-being-shattered-by-ukraine-crisis.html Thirty years of peace after the Cold War in Europe are being disrupted by the Ukraine crisis.