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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
True to its authors’ claims, this book’s title is easy to digest, yet the subtitle requires careful examination, as the resurgence of Putin’s Russia poses new challenges to the European Union’s (EU) defense policy. This is the principal idea in The Return of Direct Defense in Europe: Meeting the Challenge of 21st Century Authoritarian Powers by Robbin Laird and Murielle Delaporte. As the Allied commitment to promoting peace and stability in the North Atlantic area is a resolved and united effort for collective defense, it now faces a big challenge and must be re-examined as it faces both internal and external threats. While the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) works closely with the EU in matters concerning security and defense, this book focuses on the dynamics of change in Europe triggered by the return of direct defense and less on the role of Washington and its policies.
As experts in foreign policy, Laird and Delaporte provide a sharp viewpoint on the geopolitical implications of the EU’s direct defense and even trace back case examples of security relations such as the Gordievsky Affair. They pull no punches in explaining how Europe is responding to the new challenges posed by Putin’s Russia, even soliciting the ideas of key military and political leaders who have a relevant say on the matter, which puts great credibility on their work. The Return of Direct Defense in Europe is a must-read for anyone who wishes to be informed about the geopolitical affairs of Europe, and how its states, collectively or individually, are responding to external threats through the EU or NATO. It is an imperative concern that demands attention. As the years ahead are uncertain, this book also gives an idea as to how EU’s Direct Defense might change if Russia takes more aggressive steps in the future.