As the US begins to focus more on Asia and less on Europe there is a new reality for the people of Europe that they are defenseless. Couple the US pivot to Asia with the fact that the economic crisis has forced many european governments to slash budgets and you have a situation in Europe where it is hard to see how they can defend themselves. One might ask who exactly the enemy is they should be defending against? While the answer is not necessarily obvious like it was during the Cold War there are capability gaps in european defense that need to be addressed. First, europe is already within range of Iranian missiles so it would seem that missile defense should be a priority. It also begs the question of why the US should be considering paying to provide europe with a missile defense? The only possible answer would be to defend Europe in case the US strikes Iran but to me that should still mean that Europe should pay and not the US. Europe also has no ability to project real power around the globe. I dare say that they would even be hard pressed to be able to protect their interests abroad should they be threatened by even the most feeble of opponents. Also Europe needs some credible military capability to at least be able to conduct operations with the US when it is in their interest too. From enforcing future no fly zones or combating terrorism or piracy Europe should have some ability to at least be a contributing partner to future coalitions. Lastly Europe should be thinking of ways to intervene (not miltarily) in collapsed european states in the near future. Sooner or later if the situation does not improve in countries like Greece or worse Spain the EU will have to consider how they might deal with countries where the national government ceases to function effectively. No, it has not come to that yet but if the economic crisis does not resolve itself soon it would be foolish to think that it could not happen.