An uneasy relationship with Europe threatens U.S. interests in China, and the world


Why does the United States need European allies, and why is it getting more difficult for those allies to partner with Washington in standing up to China, pushing back against Russia, and pursuing other common interests around the world? This book addresses the economic, demographic, political, and military trends that are fundamentally upending the ability and willingness of European allies to work with Washington. Brexit and its impact on Britain’s economy and its military, Germany’s seemingly relentless economic and political rise, France’s continuing economic malaise, Italy’s aging population and its withdrawal from major overseas operations, and Poland’s demographic decline and single-minded obsession with Russia will combine to make partnership with Washington nearly impossible. In short, the constellation of allies and partners the United States has relied on since 9/11 will look very different a decade from now. How should Washington respond? It doesn’t hold all the cards, but this book offers an array of practical recommendations for American leaders. By leveraging these proposals, U.S. policy-makers can avoid the worst-case scenarios and make the most of limited opportunities.

John R. Deni is Research Professor of JIIM Security Studies at the Strategic Studies Institute.

“John R. Deni’s Coalition of the Unwilling and Unable is an uncompromising assessment of Europe’s readiness and will to address with the United States the military challenges defining this decade and beyond. Written by a committed transatlanticist, this work provides a rare combination of strategic assessment and actionable recommendations.  …Coalition of the Unwilling and Unable is a 'must read' for American analysts and policy makers involved in the shaping of US defense strategy.”
—Ian Brzezinski, Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO Policy

- Ian Brzezinski

“Deni’s cautionary book… dives into the challenges the Biden Administration will face as they seek European partners to contend with multiple challenges. Deni assesses the assets and constraints of five major US European allies – the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Poland. He does a deep dive into each country’s thinking about national security, and the economic, demographic, and technological strengths and weaknesses that inform it. It’s a compelling picture. Deni has written a strong, valuable, and sobering analysis.”
—Daniel Fried, Weiser Family Distinguished Fellow at the Atlantic Council, former U.S. Ambassador to Poland, and former Assistant Secretary of State for Europe

- Daniel Fried

“Deni takes a much broader look at how our major allies use their power–military, diplomatic, and economic–to advance their interests and American interests. In addition, he considers whether our allies’ individual economic strengths would allow them to do more.”

—Ambassador (ret.) John A. Cloud

- Ambassador (ret.) John A. Cloud

“. . . solidly documented and grounded in a material, economic understanding of the roots of military power.”

—Zachary Selden, University of Florida

- Zachary Selden, University of Florida