Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

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Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-14 01:33am

This was first raised in the Trump foreign policy thread, after Macron floated the idea ahead of Trump's visit to France, but it seems a significant enough development, particularly if it is gaining support from Germany as well France, to warrant its own thread:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... opean-army
Angela Merkel has said EU leaders should one day consider “a real, true European army” shortly after Donald Trump ramped up a Twitter attack on Emmanuel Macron over the same idea.

Speaking to the European parliament in Strasbourg, the German chancellor backed the bold step in European defence policy, as part of a speech extolling the need for EU cooperation in migration, climate change and counter-terrorism. “The times when we could rely on others is past,” she said.

To a mix of applause and jeers from Eurosceptic MEPs, she said: “We have to look at the vision of one day creating a real, true European army.” The chancellor said the idea would complement Nato, but gave no details on when the ambitious idea could become reality.

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Her words echoed those of the French president, who in an interview said Europe needed to better defend itself.

Trump took umbrage at what he saw as a call by Macron for a European army as protection against the US, conflating earlier comments from the French president on cyber threats. The US president escalated his attack on Tuesday with a number of insulting tweets.

Nigel Farage, leader of the Eurosceptic group in the parliament, seized on Merkel’s remarks, claiming they showed the EU wanted to become an empire, while accusing the bloc of starting a cold war with the US. “I think Brexit becomes a necessity after this,” he said.

Merkel had earlier brushed aside heckling from Eurosceptic MEPs with a smile, saying the opposition showed she was in a parliament. “This is great, I am annoying some people,” she said.

During her 25-minute speech, the chancellor mentioned Brexit only once, describing it as a “deep wound”. She was echoed by the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, who said Brexit was “a tragedy, a historical error [and] a mistake”.

Merkel was the 12th EU leader to address MEPs, as part of a series on the future of Europe, with six more scheduled before the European elections.

The theme of the speech was a call for solidarity, whether in defence, migration policy or for the EU to find a single voice on foreign policy. “Solidarity always means that we have to overcome national egoism,” she said, adding that it had taken Germany “far too long” to realise that refugee policy was a European issue.

Solidarity also required a commitment to the rule of law, she said, a coded reference to member states, such as Poland and Hungary, that stand accused by the EU institutions of backsliding on democratic values.

She was speaking shortly after Romania was given an unusually strong rebuke by the commission for “backtracking” on the fight against corruption and the creation of fully independent judiciary.

One of the EU’s newest member states, Romania has been on the EU’s critical list, since new laws changing the judiciary and abolishing some anti-corruption offences were introduced last winter, sparking mass street protests.

Romania, which will take over the EU’s rotating presidency from 1 January, was told to suspend a justice law that has been criticised by independent observers for violating judicial independence. Brussels also called on the Romanian government to re-start the process to appoint an independent anti-corruption prosecutor, after the previous one, was sacked.
Any of our European members care to comment on the feasibility of this, or what its larger effects might be?
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-11-14 02:54am

Hmm. You know when the Brexit referendum was still to come and the campaigns where still on going I had a stridently pro-brexit co-worker and one the reason he gave was that 'you young people will be conscripted into an EU Army to fight Russia if we don't leave'.

Now obviously this is a long way off that but it is closer than I ever expected to get.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-14 03:03am

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-11-14 02:54am
Hmm. You know when the Brexit referendum was still to come and the campaigns where still on going I had a stridently pro-brexit co-worker and one the reason he gave was that 'you young people will be conscripted into an EU Army to fight Russia if we don't leave'.

Now obviously this is a long way off that but it is closer than I ever expected to get.
You can thank the Leavers American and Russian friends for that.

Edit: Wow, France building an army with Germany, potentially to defend them from Russia and the US. We really have done a 180 from 1945, haven't we?
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by Tiriol » 2018-11-14 03:18am

As long as most EU countries are tied to NATO, unlikely. However, if Trump manages to erode NATO's standing and prestige enough, there is a possibility that this will go through in the long run, if member states are fully committed. It depends on how much solidarity EU is able to muster and if a certain critical mass of favourable public opinion, resources allotted and political will can be achieved.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-11-14 12:48pm

It also depends on the credibility of a russian
/turkish threat.

The geopolitics being what it is, that huge long plain from france to russia will always be a place where a large mobile army can be very effective (compared to Scandinavia or crossing alps southwards).

Last decade or two there has been no capable army to sweep westwards. A russia that can afford to do so and a willingness to do so is still questionable, (the demographics of russia dont support it long term, even though they can survive economically as Chinas petrostate and quarry).
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-11-14 12:57pm

I can see a future where the Euroglot troops are deployed as "peacekeepers" in the Balkans trying to "support" some tin pot fascist voted in by people terrified of the sprawing tent city "on the other side of the fence"


Edit. But i think this may happen anyway, i just think troop deployment less likely if no consolidation of armies
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by Tribble » 2018-11-14 04:28pm

I imagine France's WMDs will not fall under EU army control.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-11-14 05:42pm

Tribble wrote:
2018-11-14 04:28pm
I imagine France's WMDs will not fall under EU army control.
Not if Marcon wants to keep his head. The generals would scream bloody murder, even if no one else does.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2018-11-14 06:08pm

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-11-14 05:42pm
Tribble wrote:
2018-11-14 04:28pm
I imagine France's WMDs will not fall under EU army control.
Not if Marcon wants to keep his head. The generals would scream bloody murder, even if no one else does.
Given that the US didn't go around handing out nukes to NATO members either... yeah, no, any WMDs held by member nations of most global organizations tend to stay in those countries. If nothing else, it looks bad to appear as though you're almost using WMDs as currency!
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by Batman » 2018-11-14 07:00pm

Wasn't their a ton of US nukes in Europe during the Cold War?
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by Tribble » 2018-11-14 07:09pm

Batman wrote:
2018-11-14 07:00pm
Wasn't their a ton of US nukes in Europe during the Cold War?
And other non-nuclear nations like Canada, yes. But the nukes remained under control of the USA, not the countries that housed them.

Again I doubt a hypothetical EU army would have control of France's nukes.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by The_Saint » 2018-11-14 07:37pm

No discussion about the current EuroCorps units?

Admittedly I always thought of them as state level combined units tagged for use as part of the EU common defence treaties but the fact that there already exists a Franco-German brigade and other multi-nation units is basically halfway to a "European Army"
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-11-15 02:44am

Batman wrote:
2018-11-14 07:00pm
Wasn't their a ton of US nukes in Europe during the Cold War?
Pershing IIs and, I think, Honest Johns before that. And Matador drone bombers/cruise missiles back in the 50s and 60s.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by Spoonist » 2018-11-15 09:36am

This concept is as old as the change from the Coal & Steel union to the Messina conference.

So it is old news but in a new political climate.

The concept has had limited political traction before since NATO has been seen as a more practical approach.
The last time it was a hot topic was during the Krimea and Ukraine crisis, where it was clear that the geopolitical landscape shifted regarding NATO and US.
So with continued current political shifts from the US then it follows that options to NATO are being talked about and political ideas tested again for traction.




Some references for the curious:

Here is the pleven plan from the 50's
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_es ... _Community

The balkan (Yugoslav) conflicts gave the rise of the
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Fo ... ity_Policy


But ignoring history and focusing on current affairs then there is currently three so called EU forces already in place

The Eurocorps "a force for EU and NATO"
https://www.eurocorps.org/
acting under article 42.3
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content ... A12008M042
"Article 42
3. Member States shall make civilian and military capabilities available to the Union for the implementation of the common security and defence policy, to contribute to the objectives defined by the Council. Those Member States which together establish multinational forces may also make them available to the common security and defence policy."

The European Military Committee
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_ ... _Committee
https://eeas.europa.eu/topics/crisis-re ... gencies_en

And within the PESCO
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permanent ... ooperation
you now have the growing initiative of what sometimes is called the EURFOR or euro force
https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/3 ... -press.pdf

Etc.



There is also some military initiatives where non EU members are part of defensive strategies (what would be called pacts back in the old days). Switzerland and Norway being prime examples. But where some treaties with the Ukraine might be the most debated due to Russia.

It should be noted though that the above are mostly paper tigers and that the real power is in unilateral cooperation.

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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-11-16 08:57am

Interesting stuff Spoonist. Thankyou
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by Beowulf » 2018-11-18 09:23am

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-11-15 02:44am
Batman wrote:
2018-11-14 07:00pm
Wasn't their a ton of US nukes in Europe during the Cold War?
Pershing IIs and, I think, Honest Johns before that. And Matador drone bombers/cruise missiles back in the 50s and 60s.
More than that. Still have B61s in several countries, with those countries Air Forces trained and qualified to deliver them. American munitions troops in bases in those countries to put them on the planes, and hand over the arming instructions.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-11-18 09:55am

Did not know the Matador was still in service.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by TimothyC » 2018-11-18 10:29am

U.P. Cinnabar wrote:
2018-11-18 09:55am
Did not know the Matador was still in service.
B61 is a gravity bomb. The B-61 Matador was redesignated the MGM-1 in 1962, which is also the year it was retired.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-11-18 11:07am

Oh, okay. My bad.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by Thanas » 2018-11-19 06:28am

It is a good idea and follows several recent moves between Germany and France to consolidate defence projects, such as:
- Germany taking over the development of a joint Main Battle Tank
- France taking over the development of a joint new fighter aircraft

The main question underlying this is if it is a spur of the moment thing based on the fear of Trump and Putin, or whether it is a more serious shift of strategy. Much of that will depend on who the next US president will be.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by FireNexus » 2018-11-19 10:30am

Thanas wrote:
2018-11-19 06:28am
It is a good idea and follows several recent moves between Germany and France to consolidate defence projects, such as:
- Germany taking over the development of a joint Main Battle Tank
- France taking over the development of a joint new fighter aircraft

The main question underlying this is if it is a spur of the moment thing based on the fear of Trump and Putin, or whether it is a more serious shift of strategy. Much of that will depend on who the next US president will be.
I think that’s fair. But I think it’ll depend on more than that. It’s becoming pretty clear on our side of the pond that the rot is deeper than Trump, and the rotten are seemingly working to make it so when he goes they can polish the top and nobody will look any deeper. If we get a congressional root canal along with dumping Trump, I suspect Europe will be able to forgive (if not fully forget) should we say the right things.

If Trump goes and we pretend everything is back to normal, stick a fork in the relationship. Because it’s done.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-19 04:23pm

Indeed. Trump is as dangerous as he is because he is being enabled by a majority of the Senate (and until January, the House), which is only possible because our electoral system is both obsolete and deliberately sabotaged.

But to give a sense of just how deep the rot goes, look no further than Illinois's third district. This is a district which is basically Chicago suburbs, which Republicans did not even try to contest because it was so Blue. Which is how an avowed Neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier who opposes interracial marriage and school segregation was able to get the Republican nomination in an uncontested primary. This was a fucker so bad that even Ted Cruz told Republicans to vote Democrat or do write-in votes rather than vote for him.

He got 25% of the vote. That might not sound so bad, but think about it: An avowed Neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier got 25% of the vote-over 50,000 votes-in one of the Bluest places in the country, when even someone as far Right and seemingly amoral as Ted Cruz was saying "nope, this is the line". And this happened in the most powerful country, with the most powerful military, in the world.

That should fucking terrify everyone.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by Gandalf » 2018-11-19 04:47pm

FireNexus wrote:
2018-11-19 10:30am
If we get a congressional root canal along with dumping Trump, I suspect Europe will be able to forgive (if not fully forget) should we say the right things.

If Trump goes and we pretend everything is back to normal, stick a fork in the relationship. Because it’s done.
Able to forgive, sure. But should they?
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-19 04:57pm

Pragmatically? Yes. Because a US and Europe perpetually at each other's throats is not in anyone's best interests.

That said, speaking as an American and a globalist (of sorts), Europe should never again make the mistake of being dependent on the US for its basic security.
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Re: Merkel supports Macron's proposal for a unified European Army to protect Europe from Russia, China, and the US.

Post by K. A. Pital » 2018-11-22 01:12am

Just some neocolonialists unhappy with the fact US does most of the plunder and attacks others unilaterally as it pleases.

So they want their seat at the plunder table, but they need a war machine to make themselves look strong and big.

We've been here before. It's Dr. Strangelove, and sorry but no love for the military.
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