Walter Laqueur: The Weimar Union
Walter Laqueur is a Distinguished Scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. His most recent book is Harvest of a Decade.
THE PUBLIC DISCUSSION of Europe’s economic crisis has carried a curious air of repression: When commentators have worried about worst-case scenarios—the scenarios that harken back to the dark moments in the Continent’s history—they have generally been dismissed as alarmist.
But there are good reasons to treat these dire warnings with the gravest seriousness—to place them within the realm of plausibility. One of these reasons can be found within the file cabinets of the U.S. government. In 2004, the U.S. National Intelligence Council, the government’s premier agency for strategic intelligence analysis, published a report arguing that the European Union might not survive to see the year 2020. The report worried about restrictive labor laws and aging populations, not debt and the unraveling of the currency union. (The report also saw the main danger as Germany’s economic weakness, which makes for curious reading eight years later.) Still, it is bracing to consider that the U.S. government has worried about the worst-case scenario with the same intensity as the so-called alarmists.
With Europe in such a precarious condition, it should be clear that the current economic and political arrangements can’t last much longer. That reality ought to focus our attention on the question of what arrangements will take their place. We would do well to recognize that Europe has a range of possible futures in store, some much more disastrous than others....
comments powered by Disqus
- Poll: Majority Of Americans Say Obama Is Mixed Race, Not Black
- New technology helps paleontologists see Ice-Age bee in intricate detail
- History textbooks in crosshairs of Australia's curriculum wars
- Archaeologists' findings may prove Rome a century older than thought
- 150 years of medical journals to go online
- She Came All the Way from Melbourne to Attend the OAH
- The 7 Most Popular HNN Videos from the 2014 OAH
- U.Va. Historian Alan Taylor Wins 2014 Pulitzer for Book on Slaves and War -- His second Pulitzer!
- UW Professor Stephanie Camp, 46, feminist historian, dies
- Italian forces in WW2 were not soft and Mussolini wasn't a clown, British historian claims