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Andreas Kluth

A European Army? It’ll Never Happen.

The dream of an EU alternative to U.S. protection is just that. NATO remains as essential as ever.

Unarmed, but festive.

Unarmed, but festive.

Photographer: Axel Schmidt/AFP

As NATO allies gather near London this week, existential questions hover in the air above the swanky Grove Hotel: How long will we be around as an alliance? Do we still look united enough to deter aggressors? And can a “European army” spring up to supplement, perhaps even replace, our transatlantic league?

The short answer to that last question is no. Tragically, there won’t be a European army soon, or ever. European leaders should admit that honestly, and all members the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, above all the Americans, should accept that they’d better do their level best to dispel doubts about the alliance. The reality is that, for the foreseeable future, NATO is the only credible military shield Europe has.