Is the fall of Kabul the kick European defense needs?

“Afghanistan has shown that the deficiencies in our strategic autonomy comes with a price,” European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said after an informal meeting of defense ministers on Thursday. “And that the only way forward is to combine our forces and strengthen not only our capacity, but also our will to act.”

A day earlier, Borrell used sharper words in an editorial in The New York Times, calling the recent developments in Afghanistan a “debacle” which should serve as “wake-up call” for Europe and “catalyze history.”

In particular among the most recent developments, US President Joe Biden’s rejection of a European call to keep Kabul’s airport open past August 31 to enable more evacuations has left a bitter taste in European mouths.

European Council President Charles Michel has weighed in as well, speaking Wednesday at the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia. “As a global economic and democratic power, can Europe be content with a situation where we are unable to ensure unassisted the evacuation of our citizens and those under threat because they have helped us?”