11:50 Aug. 4, 2016
No region of Europe is more emblematic of the Continent's precarious security situation than eastern Ukraine, says Nolan Peterson in his article
Whether referring to Russian aggression in the east or to the threat of Islamist terrorism in the West, Europe's political, media, and religious elite are increasingly using the word "war" to describe the Continent's security challenges.
The day after the July 14 terror attack in Nice, in which a man drove a large truck into a crowd, killing 84, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said France was at war, "both abroad and on our soil."
"For years, we have lived, fundamentally, with a kind of insouciance, as though war could not catch up with us, as though history was not tragic," Valls said. "But war is here, and it is different from the ones that we knew in the 20th century."
Less than two weeks later, Pope Francis echoed Valls' remarks when he said the "world is at war."
Some claim the myriad security challenges facing Europe indicate the Continent's 7-decade-old experiment in guaranteeing peace through economic interdependence, collective defense, and multiculturalism is faltering.
"The current security architecture in Europe, which relied on both the Helsinki Final Act and the Paris Charter, has now collapsed, following Russia's aggression in Ukraine," Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said in September 2014 as Russian tanks were blitzing across eastern Ukraine.