Who Will Defend Europe?

An Awakened Russia and a Sleeping Continent

October 2024 9781911723486 280pp
Forthcoming Pre-order
Available as an eBook
EU Customers


Who will defend Europe? The answer should be obvious: Europe should be able to defend itself. Yet, for decades, most of the continent enjoyed a defence holiday, outsourcing protection to the United States while banking an increasingly illusory ‘peace dividend’. Now, after three decades of reducing armed forces and drawing down defence industries, Europe finds itself close to unprotected—while Russia is intent on continuing its war of expansion, and the US is distracted and divided.

In this urgent, vital book, Keir Giles lays out the stark choices facing leaders and societies as they confront the return of war in Europe. He explains how the West’s unwillingness to confront Russia has nurtured the threat, and that Putin’s ambition puts the whole continent at risk. He assesses the role and deficiencies of NATO as a guarantor of hard security, and whether the EU or coalitions of the willing can fill the gap. Above all, Giles emphasises the need for new leadership in defence of the free world after the US has stepped aside— and warns that the UK’s brief moment of setting the pace for Europe has already been squandered.


Keir Giles has advised governments worldwide on the Russian threat. A senior fellow with Chatham House’s Russia and Eurasia Programme, and Director of the Conflict Studies Research Centre, he is a regular commentator for the BBC and international media. His prescient books include What Deters Russia and Moscow Rules.

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