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  • European Defense Force

    http://www.euobserver.com/index.phtml?sid=13&aid=13577

    From what it says it looks like the EU is going to set up a defense force. But it looks like the Europeans have agreed to limit its capabilites outside of NATO which makes no sense since the force will not have full autonomy therefore just making it a NATO Army with a European name. I read a few months ago that there was going to be a separate EU HQ but when Blair started whining and Powell started complaining Germany and France broke and agreed not to set up an independent planning center. My thoughts on the matter is that it is stupid for the US to say it supports European defense and then begins whining when Europeans act on it saying that it threatens "NATO" (i.e. US dominance in Europe) and it is ridiculous that the Europeans always get back in line like little children when that happens. What do you guys think?

  • #2
    Well, it doesn't ease tensions between the US and Europe. I see it as a political move by Chirac and Schroeder. It's hard to view any other way. The best thing the US can do is try to convince France and Germany this organization would likely further degrade support for NATO both in the US and in Europe. Americans will say "screw Europe." And Europeans will reject the organization led by an outside entity they don't approve of. Both moves would not be anyone's interest.

    The United States and Europe do need to readjust their relationship. We should have done that a long time ago, instead of waiting until there was tension. Even if France and Germany's objective's are benign, their timing suggest otherwise. I believe it is imperative both sides work to ease tension.
    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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    • #3
      Europe needs to build a independent defense policy, which doesn’t mean to become the America’s enemy. And I would say security policy instead of defense policy. Defense is too restrictive here, and means that Europe still waits that the USA takes charge of the European military/strategic affairs, particularly outside Europe.
      But even if Europe doesn’t want and doesn’t need to become an opponent to the USA, it is normal that at the same time the build of its security policy provokes contentions with the Americans. Since WW2 the USA have played a important role in Europe, in its diplomacy and its geostrategy, and this role is vital for its security and its power. It is a necessity for the Americans that Europe still needs them for its defense and for its strategic interests in the world, they need that Europe still be subject to them. The Americans want to follow their own interests first, and then want that Europe fit to their own interests first. But if Europe follows its own interests, by definition, it will not be the American interests, even if EU and US don’t become enemy for that. The France-German attitude before the war on Iraq showed that perfectly. To continue on that the Americans want the European support on everything, because they will be stronger with it, they don’t want that Europe decides not to participate to something that they desire. But that doesn’t mean that America and Europe will enter in war with each other the day when Europe will have a real security policy, and a real European army which would have nothing to see with NATO (an American toy). to the contrary, Europe and America will understand that they have to decide together and listen what the other says.

      But another time a coherent European security policy is not for tomorrow.

      LaPalice.
      Monsieur de La Palice est mort
      Mort devant Pavie.
      Un quart d'heure avant sa mort
      Il était encore en vie...

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      • #4
        Its long overdue

        So we have a international force to balance off against the USA.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by LaPalice
          Europe needs to build a independent defense policy, which doesn’t mean to become the America’s enemy. And I would say security policy instead of defense policy. Defense is too restrictive here, and means that Europe still waits that the USA takes charge of the European military/strategic affairs, particularly outside Europe.
          But even if Europe doesn’t want and doesn’t need to become an opponent to the USA, it is normal that at the same time the build of its security policy provokes contentions with the Americans. Since WW2 the USA have played a important role in Europe, in its diplomacy and its geostrategy, and this role is vital for its security and its power. It is a necessity for the Americans that Europe still needs them for its defense and for its strategic interests in the world, they need that Europe still be subject to them. The Americans want to follow their own interests first, and then want that Europe fit to their own interests first. But if Europe follows its own interests, by definition, it will not be the American interests, even if EU and US don’t become enemy for that. The France-German attitude before the war on Iraq showed that perfectly. To continue on that the Americans want the European support on everything, because they will be stronger with it, they don’t want that Europe decides not to participate to something that they desire. But that doesn’t mean that America and Europe will enter in war with each other the day when Europe will have a real security policy, and a real European army which would have nothing to see with NATO (an American toy). to the contrary, Europe and America will understand that they have to decide together and listen what the other says.

          But another time a coherent European security policy is not for tomorrow.

          LaPalice.
          The United States played a critical role in stablizing Europe after the Cold War. We gutted our armed forces in part to pursue a policy many Americans had little concern for. Our contribution to those efforts helped provide many leaders in Europe with the appropriate conditions to expand their own policies. Indeed, if Americans wanted Europe to be slaves to us, the way to go would have been to maintain a degree of instability.

          Having said that, the problem with both Europe and America is that one doesn't appreciate the importance of the other. Americans tend to believe that our commitment to such efforts as those in the Balkans demands Europe repay the favor.

          This independent European Defense strategy is not independent. This will not be a point defense policy. Defense today usually requires the establishment and control of favorable conditions far from one's border. As leaders seek to maintain an acceptable climate, they will need to become more involved in local politics, economy, social issues. At some point someone will likely resist those conditions. And that's where all kinds of trouble start.

          Europe is making the same mistake so many criticize America for. Acting unilaterally in the modern world is difficult given the number of countries and expanse of individual interest. It is very difficult for one country to act and not end up stepping on someone else's toes. Should Europe find themselves in trouble, the US will not be able to just sip back and "teach lessons." We'll have little choice, but to intervene in favor of our allies to return conditions favorable to our own interest.

          Corrective power is a critical element of any venture. I don't believe Europe has this element, thus making whatever unilateral effort it embarks on America's business more than many would like to accept.
          "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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          • #6
            I would have to agree with Deltapooh Europeans and Americans depend on each other more than they would like to admit.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Priest
              I would have to agree with Deltapooh Europeans and Americans depend on each other more than they would like to admit.
              Yes of course, but the problem is that the Europeans would now like to be considered as allies who take part in the decision, not as smply brought into alignement with what the Americans decide.

              LaPalice.
              Monsieur de La Palice est mort
              Mort devant Pavie.
              Un quart d'heure avant sa mort
              Il était encore en vie...

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