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3/12/15

Making NATO defunct: Is EU Army intended to reduce US influence in Europe?

An EU Defense Force? Why not.
An EU military force is being justified as protection from Russia, but it may also be a way of reducing US influence as the EU and Germany come to loggerheads with the US and NATO over Ukraine.

While speaking to the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced the time has come for the creation of a unified EU military force. Juncker used rhetoric about “defending the values of the European Union” and nuanced anti-Russian polemics to promote the creation of European army, which would convey a message to Moscow.
 
The polemics and arguments for an EU Army may be based around Russia, but the idea is really directed against the US. The underlying story here is the tensions that are developing between the US, on one side, and the EU and Germany, on the other side. This is why Germany reacted enthusiastically to the proposal, putting its support behind a joint EU armed force.

Previously, the EU military force was seriously mulled over was during the buildup to the illegal Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003 when Germany, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg met to discuss it as an alternative to US-dominated NATO. The idea has been resurrected again under similar circumstances.

In 2003, the friction was over the US-led invasion of Iraq. In 2015, it is because of the mounting friction between Germany and the US over the crisis in Ukraine.

Franco-German differences with the US began to emerge after Tony Blinken, US President Barak Obama’s former Deputy National Security Advisor and current Deputy Secretary of State and the number two diplomat at the US Department of State, announced that the Pentagon was going to send arms into Ukraine at a hearing of the US Congress about his nomination, that was held on November 19, 2014.

As the Fiscal Times put it, “Washington treated Russia and the Europeans to a one-two punch when it revealed its thinking about arming Ukraine.”

Realizing that things could escalate out of control, the French and German response was to initiate a peace offence through diplomatic talks that would eventually lead to a new ceasefire agreement in Minsk, Belarus under the “Normandy Format” consisting of the representatives of France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine.

Pessimists may argue that France and Germany opted for diplomacy in February 2015, because the rebels in East Ukraine or Novorossiya, as they call it, were beating Kiev’s forces. In other words, the primary motivation of diplomacy was to save the government in Kiev from collapsing without a fair settlement in the East. This may be true to an extent, but the Franco-German pair also does not want to see Europe turned into an inferno that reduces everyone in it to ashes.

Note EU-Digest: NATO was a good thing after the second world war but seems outdated today and dragging Europeans into US military adventures outside Europe. A EU conscript military would probably also be helpful in the unification process of Europe. As long as they call it a defense force meant soly to defend the territory of the the EU I would be for it.

Read more: Making NATO defunct: Is EU Army intended to reduce US influence in Europe? — RT Op-Edge

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