Soleimani killing: how should Europe respond?

The US government prepared and carried out the drone strike against Iranian general Qasem Soleimani without informing its EU and Nato allies. Commentators see Europe torn between loyalty to the Alliance and the desire to demonstrate its own political and diplomatic strength.

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Postimees (EE) /

A tough call to make

Postimees finds the White House's unilateral action worrying and sees Europe's loyalty to its partner the US put to the test:

“Donald Trump is by no means the first American president to have started a war. European countries have always supported the 'first fiddle' of Western security in these decisions - albeit cautiously or even silently at times. But never before has a US president taken decisions that could lead to war in such a small entourage. ... Europe's major powers are therefore slow in their reactions to the killing of Soleimani. So much so that US Secretary of State Pompeo had to call on Britain, France and Germany to show more willingness to help.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

A weak and lonely Europe

Europe lacks the means to counter the US's unilateral actions, Brussels correspondent Andrea Bonanni warns in La Repubblica:

“Only a few weeks after celebrating in London the seventieth anniversary of the Nato, which Emmanuel Macron called 'brain dead', the American president has brought the world to the brink of a devastating war without consulting either Congress or his European allies ... So we must be aware that we are alone, and that this isolation results in diplomatic weakness. ... In a year's time American voters will decide whether this divided West can be reunited, hopefully this time without outside interference. In the meantime, weapons have the say in the world. And Europe is forced to remain silent.” (PL) /

Stand by the US

The Europeans shouldn't sympathise with the US's enemies, wPolityce believes:

“With the escalation of the conflict in the Middle East, the global left and a significant part of the right are beginning to unpack their old rhetoric about a terrible, aggressive and violent America without which, they argue, the world would be a better place. ... But we must not forget that a world in which America's dominance is ended or severely limited is extremely dangerous for countries like Poland. A redistributed power structure or a new hegemon (whereby only China could assume this role) will not strengthen our independence in the way the United States does. And this is true not just since today: without President Reagan, communism could have lasted several decades longer.”