Strategic Insights: Is the European Union Really That Important to U.S. Security Interests?   [open html - 32KB]

"Questioning long-held assumptions and challenging existing paradigms in U.S. security policy can be a useful way to ensure that American leaders are not pursuing strategies that do not 'actually' support and promote U.S. interests. However, on the question of whether the European Union's (EU) existence is in U.S. interests, the evidence is consistently clear. It most definitely is, and undermining it-for example, by promoting Brexit or suggesting other countries would or should follow the United Kingdom's (UK) exit from the EU-risks the further unraveling of the international order that is central to American prosperity and security. As scholars have known for some time, officials and decision-makers are typically reluctant to abandon long-held beliefs or theories about the world around them.2 When most officials are confronted with new information or data that challenges their worldview, they are likely to try to ignore it, dismiss it, or fit it into their existing notions and theories about how the world works. This kind of cognitive bias-known as confirmation bias-can have disastrous consequences for international security and of course for U.S. foreign policy, often because it can make officials blind to gathering storm clouds. For this reason, periodically questioning the central tenets of one's understanding of the world is critically important. Just because there has been a long-standing consensus on a given policy or strategy does not necessarily mean it should command blind adherence or loyalty forever."

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Army War College (U.S.). Strategic Studies Institute: http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/
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