Here's an interesting story that makes some interesting connections between the war in Iraq and Europe's weakened defense posture. While I'm loathe to accept American blame for such a thing (and the author does make it seem like some heinous act we've conducted), the argument does make a sort of sense.
Essentially, it goes like this: Europe turned over its defense to the US, to build up its welfare economies. Now, the US is involved in a war with Iraq, and thus less able to defend Europe. That leaves the EU more vulnerable to Russian and Iranian threats. Thus, the story says, Europe should increase energy taxes to reduce consumption and thus harm both the Russian and Iranian energy economies.
Now, I think there's some logic there, as far as it goes. But to me, it raises the more interesting question of why the US has for so long been Europe's protector? Is it because we've simply not trusted them to provide for their own security? After all, one would have reason for doubt following WWII.
Or, did we do so to maintain influence over Europe? If so, then we've squandered that influence as we watch Europe devolve into future potential Islamic states.
I have no idea at this point, but it's something to ponder. If anyone has an obvious explanation that I'm missing, feel free to chime in.