The image of the last American military officer leaving Kabul does not only stir ominous thoughts about the future of Afghanistan.

It does not simply confront US President Joe Biden with the first major crisis for his administration.

It sends a clear message that the “policeman” of the world has retired.

The US is definitively abandoning its efforts to export democracy and is focusing on its own modernisation in order to avert Chinese geopolitical predominance.

Europe cannot pretend that it does not understand. The challenges that lie ahead are not limited to the management of the next flow of refugees. It must decide how to react if Putin’s Russia attacks Kiev and if Biden’s America declares that it is not concerned with the issue.

It is telling that the 20th century geopolitically began in 1914 with the start of WWI in Sarajevo.

One might say, mutatis mutandis, that the 21st century began in August, 2021, in Kabul.

In this century, Europe is confronted with major economic and political uncertainties. The pandemic has left a heavy shadow on economic growth, and both Germany and France have crucial elections ahead.

The withdrawal of the US now confronts Europe with yet another pending issue – the creation of a European army.

A united Europe will either become strategically autonomous or dissolve.

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