from John Mauldin
George Friedman writes the free weekly column “This Week in Geopolitics” (http://www.mauldineconomics.com/subsc…) for Mauldin Economics. Subscribe now and get an in-depth view of the forces that will drive events and investors in the next year, decade, or even a century from now.
Geopolitical expert George Friedman wasn’t surprised when terror struck Brussels this week. He thinks the European Union, institutionally paralyzed and unable to respond properly, will stay in the crosshairs.
Speaking in this Mauldin Economics video, Friedman says Europe isn’t immune from history. It was supposed to bring peace and prosperity, but the continent has neither.
According to Friedman, no one can defeat terrorism, but governments can minimize it. Doing so will take intrusive measures the Europeans don’t seem willing to take.
The return of internal border controls spells the end of passport-free travel but won’t stop terrorists. It is simply impossible to screen so many people effectively. Even if it were, evading the checkpoints is laughably easy.
The latest plan to stop Mediterranean refugee flows won’t help, either. It is yet another attempt to outsource enforcement to someone else, this time Turkey. It is far from clear that Turkey can or will keep its part of the deal.
Each terror attack strengthens Europe’s far right parties. Their anti-Muslim rhetoric further isolates the Muslim population and enables more attacks.
The economic reality is that Europe needs Muslim labor, but Europeans increasingly don’t want Muslims in their midst. Since they can’t have it both ways, Friedman says the chaos will continue.
The European Union as an institution is tearing itself apart. Terrorism is only part of its problem. Unemployment in southern Europe is at staggering levels, and the EU member states can’t agree how to solve it. So they do nothing.
Despite all this, Friedman doesn’t expect an EU breakup. He thinks it will simply fade away into irrelevance, issuing edicts everyone ignores.
The once-powerful fantasy that Brussels could reshape Europe into a centralized union is dead. As such, no one should expect the EU to stop terrorism. It can’t and it won’t.