"…But even among more mainstream Republicans, and within the Democratic Party, there are those for whom Europe poses one question above all: Why bother? At a recent meeting here of the Council for the United States and Italy, a group that brings together influential folk from both sides of the Atlantic, America’s often withering view of Europe was as clear as the light on the lagoon.
That view may be summarized as follows: a Continent reluctant to spend on defense, offering only “postmodernist” armies useful enough as peacekeepers but next to useless as warriors, given to earnest blah-blah about the pre-eminence of international law, inhabited by a declining and evermore aged citizenry living in overregulated economies that have not shown significant growth for at least five years.
Contrast that image with another offered at the meeting: that of an India growing at over 7 percent a year, inhabited by more than 500 million people under the age of 25, busy buying hundreds of advanced aircraft, convinced that armies are still created to fight, churning out English-speaking high-tech graduates by the million each year, and persuaded by Islamic terrorism that its strategic goals and America’s are often identical or at least complementary.
So, which of these parts of the world is more worthy of the attention of the United States? Which is a compelling affair: the intensifying and fast-changing relationship with India, or the largely stagnant alliance with Europe that served above all a cold-war strategic challenge now overcome?.."