“US Armed Forces have packed up and left Europe in the wake of the Pivot to Asia and the collapse of NATO due to Europe’s refusal to take part in war with China.”
This sounds far-fetched, and it is. Europe has never more been under the thumb of the USA than it is now. Thanks to the collapse of the Soviet Union, the opportunistic defection of former communist elites to their new American masters, the cowardice of Western European politicians, and the willingness of the US State Department to micromanage the internal affairs of its European “allies”, the continent has been reduced to little more than an American protectorate, a collection of satrapies of various strength and power. What US political and economic projection can’t control or influence, American soft power can.
It’s not as if European leaders are unaware of this situation. The French under Macron have publicly proclaimed the desire to seek ‘strategic autonomy’ for the continent, which would loosen the American grip. The Germans are more than content with the situation, as it allows them to amass economic power by not spending money on defence (outsourced to NATO), and to dodge any foreign adventures due to its own somewhat recent history. The Balts, the Poles, and the Romanians all rushed to join NATO to draw a clear line between themselves and their former masters in Moscow.
Other than the French, for the reason stated above, it seems that elites in other European countries are largely content with the increasingly rapid Americanization of their societies even if they campaign against some of its attributes. The uniqueness of Western European cultures remained intact during the whole of the Cold War despite US forces being on the ground in many locations. Post-Cold War it was first a trickle of Americanization seeping in thanks to cheaper communications and free trade, only to now become a flood, with present examples such as academia aping US social and political trends (once again, the French are an exception). Those of us opposed to continued (and increasing) US dominance of the continent must contend with these facts.
Some arguments from Americans or the pro-American camp are correct as well. The most obvious one of them all is that the American umbrella has brought peace to most of the traditionally-quarrelling-and-warring continent. A rapid withdrawal of US forces and political influence from European soil would see conflict break out almost overnight in a few cases, and literally overnight in at least one, if a continent-wide security architecture was not put into place beforehand.
The Prospects For War On the Continent
Kosovo is to the Serbs what Jerusalem is to the Jews. To paraphrase Slobodan Milosevic, almost the entirety of Serbia’s Medieval history took place in Kosovo. Its most important monasteries are there, and it is the site of the 1389 Battle on the Field of Blackbirds in which the Serbian Kingdom fought the Ottomans to a draw but from which they could never recover, with Serbia gradually disappearing from the map of Europe.