By: Hans Binnendijk

What is the kernel of the issue?

The United States has security commitments in both Europe and the Indo-Pacific region, meaning that major new security developments in either region could force US attention to concentrate on one area at the expense of the other.  

Why is the issue important?

China is the United States’ greatest strategic challenger, and there are many potential scenarios for a conflict breaking out in the Indo-Pacific region. Such a conflict would necessarily draw US forces out of Europe, potentially weakening deterrence against Russia and putting European NATO allies at risk.  

What is the recommendation?

The Biden administration should work through NATO to conduct a series of strategic wargames to analyze the effect of an Indo-Pacific conflict on European security. Such exercises would help defense planners better assess gaps in European security and plan for multiple contingencies.  

Related Experts: Hans Binnendijk