Stanley R. Sloan
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External threats and internal challenges
in Defense of the West (second edition)
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This chapter inventories the external threats and the internal challenges, while examining the interactive dynamic between the two categories and dis­cussing the circumstances under which NATO and EU member states may, or may not, be successful in dealing with them. The chapter sets the stage for considering the future of the transatlantic alliance and the West more broadly, examining the external threats to the West, including those from Russia, Middle Eastern instability, terrorism, cyber and information warfare, and China. It then assesses the internal challenges arising from the vulnerabilities of liberal democracy, consequent illiberal tendencies, British departure from the EU, and Donald Trump’s autocratic nationalism and retreat from international leadership. It concludes that “while the external threats to the West are real—far more than ‘risks and challenges’—internal weaknesses could block Western democracies from working together to deal with them. If transatlantic solidar­ity fails, then the future of the West would be in doubt.”

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Defense of the West (second edition)

Transatlantic relations from Truman to Trump


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