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"The European Onion"

No typo in the headline. Professor Julian Lindley-French repeatedly refers to the EU the "European Onion" in Can Europe's Small Leaders Make Big Strategy?

Thus, as Panetta takes high office China's 2010 White Paper on China's National Defence (CND10), published earlier this year, offers essentially more essential reading than the increasingly irrelevant and misnomered European Security Strategy and, dare I say it, the 2010 NATO Strategic Concept. Whilst China is unabashedly nationalist and strategic, both the European Onion and the Atlantic Alliance have become unashamedly astrategic. A gap between words and deeds now yawns. In that context how one organises the transatlantic relationship or indeed the Onion is beside the point - the re-organisation of the irrelevant by the incapable in pursuit of the unattainable.

You would need to read his earlier article at the Atlantic Council to understand why: "Being genetically prone to common sense Yorkshire folk call the EU the Onion because it is opaque, multi-layered and has a centre that stinks."

I appreciate the bold criticism: "re-organisation of the irrelevant by the incapable in pursuit of the unattainable." Very clever and witty. Nevertheless, I get pretty tired of the same old criticism by so many think tankers, journalists and bloggers on both sides of the Atlantic. Why don't they outline a new vision for the EU, NATO or the transatlantic partnership in general? Sure it is much harder, but it would be more constructive than repeating the criticism in ever more clever ways. Too harsh? Maybe, but has anyone seen any paper with a feasible vision or realistic strategy from those who get paid to think?

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