I agree. I think it is a big problem, that Europeans view so many foreign policy issues in regard to its effects on Europe's relationship with the big brother/uncle/cousins on the other side of the Atlantic.
The quality of strategic debate on Afghan affairs in EU capitals is far lower than that in Washington. "We ask what pulling out of Afghanistan would mean for the transatlantic alliance," one respected French strategist admits, "but not what it'd do to Afghanistan."
He could go further. Although European commentators are typically well-informed about Pakistan's instability, they rarely put "AfPak" in a wider strategic regional context. How would a NATO failure in Afghanistan affect relations between China and India? What impact would it have on Russia's Central Asian ambitions, or Iran's defiance of the West? These are not questions you are likely to hear seriously discussed in Europe. (.)European analysts who see Afghanistan in transatlantic terms ("What does this do to NATO?") are in denial on this point. The future of Afghanistan is clearly of far greater significance to the triangular strategic relationship between China, India and the United States than it is to European affairs. But no-one likes to admit they are a second-order issue.
Endnote: Check out on this topic: Towards a post-American Europe: A Power Audit of EU-US Relations. No more special relationships: Europe is wasting its "Obama Moment"