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Thread: German proposes a European army

  1. #1
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    German proposes a European army

    German proposes a European army

    BERLIN: : Kurt Beck, leader of the Social Democrats, called Monday for a European army with a single command, the first time a German political party has proposed such a structure. If adopted, it could lead to the European Union pursuing a security and defense policy independent of NATO.

    The proposal was immediately rejected by President Lech Kaczynski of Poland, who said in Vilnius on Monday that the EU should build an army of 100,000 that would remain linked to NATO. Alliance officials said NATO supported the EU playing a greater security and defense role.

    In his first major foreign policy speech since becoming leader of a party that is joined in coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc, Beck said Europe should become a "global peace power" with its own military command and goals.

    That goal has eluded European governments in the past and there is no agreement on it now. Still, security analysts said the proposal from Beck, who became party leader last May, reflected unease in Germany and elsewhere in Europe about NATO's identification with U.S. leadership.

    Today in Europe

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    However, instead of "following" or "adhering" to the United States, he said, the Europeans should establish a partnership "based on quality. This is the particular challenge for Europe."

    In the long term, Beck said, "Europe's security and defense policy would have a single military command."

    Pal Dunay, security expert at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said Monday: "The problem is not with NATO as such but how the alliance has become almost a tool box for the U.S."

    An EU move toward establishing its own force, Dunay said, could lead to more efficient defense spending at a juncture when countries are reluctant to increase military budgets while being asked by the United Nations in particular to join peacekeeping missions.

    "At the moment, you have separate national planning headquarters, separate logistic centers and separate military headquarters. It would mean getting rid of some of these," Dunay said. "Giving up those would hurt some countries. I could imagine that the U.K. would hate the idea of an integrated European defense force and single command."

    The EU is already involved in peacekeeping missions independent of NATO. Next January, it will for the first time have its own military planning cell in Brussels, which can plan missions involving up to 2,000 soldiers.

    "Moving toward creating a European armed forces is a work in progress," said Giovanni Grevi, defense analyst at the EU's Institute for Security Studies in Paris. "It should be a serious, constructive and incremental approach. What is at issue is the political control and accountability of those armed forces and the command structure."

    Germany is preparing to take over the rotating presidency of the EU in January. Its Defense Ministry is trying to define how and when the German Army should intervene in trouble spots during peacekeeping or crisis prevention missions.

    By airing the idea of an integrated European force, Beck has revived a debate that only three years ago was seen as a threat to the basis of the trans-Atlantic relationship.

    At that time President Jacques Chirac of France; Gerhard Schröder, who was chancellor of Germany, and the leaders of Belgium and Luxembourg, all of whom opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, proposed an EU military headquarters. NATO said that would be a direct threat to the alliance and the trans-Atlantic relationship.

    Since then, the idea had been placed on the back burner because Britain, Poland and some other countries opposed a single European command, arguing it would be at the expense of NATO.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/11/06/news/germany.php

  2. #2
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    The day the EU controls the British army will be the day hell freezes over.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    EU issues stern warning to Turkey on progress
    Global reaction to vote is muted by sense that Bush era is waning
    EADS has big loss on A380 delayBeck told delegates during a special meeting in Berlin that such defense ambitions for the EU would not rupture the trans-Atlantic relationship because, without the United States, "we cannot solve global problems."
    How nice of him to say that.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  4. #4
    -{SpoonmaN}-
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    Quote Originally Posted by knockers View Post
    The day the EU controls the British army will be the day hell freezes over.
    I doubt they would, I think their goal is to build a seperate super-national military independent of national military forces, which I would imagine would take ages but it could prove quite prodcutive for the EU.
    Essentially, they're not going to be able to "control" national militaries, because for a start, the UK and France would never give up control of their nukes to another entity, no matter who it was. So instead it probably isn't a bad idea, like the EU could pretty much have a three-layered defence system, with the EU's own directly controlled volunteer forces at the top, then the multi-national force groupings like the ERRF and EuroCrops, which require consent from the parent nations for their troops to be deployed, and then after that the national Military Forces like the Bundeswerh and Crown Armed Forces who would remain under the direct control of their governments but who could generally be counted on in a major emergency such as a direct threat to and EU member (I would hope).
    Basically, this might be the only way to have a real common defence policy (something you're all going to need if you want to remain a force to be reckoned with) without treading on too many feet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by -{SpoonmaN}- View Post
    I doubt they would, I think their goal is to build a seperate super-national military independent of national military forces, which I would imagine would take ages but it could prove quite prodcutive for the EU.
    Essentially, they're not going to be able to "control" national militaries, because for a start, the UK and France would never give up control of their nukes to another entity, no matter who it was. So instead it probably isn't a bad idea, like the EU could pretty much have a three-layered defence system, with the EU's own directly controlled volunteer forces at the top, then the multi-national force groupings like the ERRF and EuroCrops, which require consent from the parent nations for their troops to be deployed, and then after that the national Military Forces like the Bundeswerh and Crown Armed Forces who would remain under the direct control of their governments but who could generally be counted on in a major emergency such as a direct threat to and EU member (I would hope).
    Basically, this might be the only way to have a real common defence policy (something you're all going to need if you want to remain a force to be reckoned with) without treading on too many feet.
    Too many layers, my fellow Senior Member ()... Even for Europe, 3 layers would be massively over-complicated and wasteful.

    A supra-national EU army plus national forces makes sense in some ways, but it then raises the spectre of it (at some stage) being used against a member state. Britain would never be happy to have an EU army used under Qualified Majority Voting, when Britain might disagree with the deployment.

    There are elements in Europe that want it to be a military power in its own right. If thats what you want, then it does make perfect sense. In fact, in such circumstances you would really want to downgrade national armed forces to "home guard", "coast-guard" type organisations and reap the benefits of having unified procurement/equipment.

    As an example - Rafale or Typhoon, saving $40 bn in duplicated development...

    But, outside of a few politicians in Berlin and Paris, damn few people in Europe want this, and nor is it likely to happen.
    Nemo Me Impune Lacessit - Scottish Motto

    "They that approve a private opinion, call it opinion; but they that dislike it, heresy; and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion” Thomas Hobbes - Leviathan


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PubFather View Post
    Too many layers, my fellow Senior Member ()... Even for Europe, 3 layers would be massively over-complicated and wasteful.

    A supra-national EU army plus national forces makes sense in some ways, but it then raises the spectre of it (at some stage) being used against a member state. Britain would never be happy to have an EU army used under Qualified Majority Voting, when Britain might disagree with the deployment.

    There are elements in Europe that want it to be a military power in its own right. If thats what you want, then it does make perfect sense. In fact, in such circumstances you would really want to downgrade national armed forces to "home guard", "coast-guard" type organisations and reap the benefits of having unified procurement/equipment.

    As an example - Rafale or Typhoon, saving $40 bn in duplicated development...

    But, outside of a few politicians in Berlin and Paris, damn few people in Europe want this, and nor is it likely to happen.

    Doesn't have to be so hard, the EU's directly controlled Forces could only be a relatively small organisation dedicated to being a deployable first response force for external missions, and you could simply write into the constitution that they could only deploy inside the EU at the request of a member Government. It could be funded directly by the EU, while the National forces would be funded and organised by their own nations.
    And I see no reason why it would have to be outside of NATO, indeed it would increase NATO's deployability, something the yanks would probably like.
    This way the main advantage is that the EU wouldn't need to depend upon consensus of member governments about deploying troops to places, as they do now since they need the governments to actually stick their necks out and committ the troops and the funds. The ERRF and EuroCorps still require this as far as I know, so they're effectively a second wave, with heavier equipment because it would take longer to get the greenlight to deploy enough of them, and then finally you have the old national forces who could be committed to EU operations as desired by their parent governments. So basically it'd be like a paramid, with the smallest, relatively lighter formation at the top, ready to go as the EU Parliament desires (outside of the EU anyway), then the existing Multi-National Force Groups who are already organised for deployment but still require political wrangling to get around, and who are larger and have more heavy gear, and then finally the gold old fashioned national forces who have the heaviest equipment, the most people but would require more time, money and negociation to be able to be sent anywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by -{SpoonmaN}- View Post
    Doesn't have to be so hard, the EU's directly controlled Forces could only be a relatively small organisation dedicated to being a deployable first response force for external missions, and you could simply write into the constitution that they could only deploy inside the EU at the request of a member Government. It could be funded directly by the EU, while the National forces would be funded and organised by their own nations.
    And I see no reason why it would have to be outside of NATO, indeed it would increase NATO's deployability, something the yanks would probably like.
    This way the main advantage is that the EU wouldn't need to depend upon consensus of member governments about deploying troops to places, as they do now since they need the governments to actually stick their necks out and committ the troops and the funds. The ERRF and EuroCorps still require this as far as I know, so they're effectively a second wave, with heavier equipment because it would take longer to get the greenlight to deploy enough of them, and then finally you have the old national forces who could be committed to EU operations as desired by their parent governments. So basically it'd be like a paramid, with the smallest, relatively lighter formation at the top, ready to go as the EU Parliament desires (outside of the EU anyway), then the existing Multi-National Force Groups who are already organised for deployment but still require political wrangling to get around, and who are larger and have more heavy gear, and then finally the gold old fashioned national forces who have the heaviest equipment, the most people but would require more time, money and negociation to be able to be sent anywhere.
    Possibly an idea - but certainly not the idea of the Germans who wanted 100,000 men in the army. I dont really see the need for a small, rapid force under EU control. For it to be used, there would almost certainly need to be a vote in the council of ministers. If a vote to use it could be passed (requiring a majority vote) then at least one of the major EU powers (almost certainly at least two) would need to back it.

    With two powers backing it, Europe doesnt actually lack for light forces - its deployable "medium" forces that are the problem. So a major power sponsoring the deployment could resource it from its national forces.

    I think the Germans are proposing this as a way to circumvent both public feeling and legal difficulties over posting German troops abroad. If its an EU decision, it takes some of the responsibility away from a German government...
    Nemo Me Impune Lacessit - Scottish Motto

    "They that approve a private opinion, call it opinion; but they that dislike it, heresy; and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion” Thomas Hobbes - Leviathan


  8. #8
    -{SpoonmaN}-
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    Quote Originally Posted by PubFather View Post
    Possibly an idea - but certainly not the idea of the Germans who wanted 100,000 men in the army. I dont really see the need for a small, rapid force under EU control. For it to be used, there would almost certainly need to be a vote in the council of ministers. If a vote to use it could be passed (requiring a majority vote) then at least one of the major EU powers (almost certainly at least two) would need to back it.

    With two powers backing it, Europe doesnt actually lack for light forces - its deployable "medium" forces that are the problem. So a major power sponsoring the deployment could resource it from its national forces.

    I think the Germans are proposing this as a way to circumvent both public feeling and legal difficulties over posting German troops abroad. If its an EU decision, it takes some of the responsibility away from a German government...

    Then it's worth doing, Germany does possess the largets land force of the EU, (at least they will until Turkey eventually gets accepted, as they sooner or later will) and it'd be in the EU's interest to be able to free up more of them for deployment. I guess with my idea it'd just be easier for the EU in general to deploy troops overseas without civilians having a cry about it, it'd be a luxury similar to that which the French have with being able to deploy the Foreign legion without worrying as much about public concern over casualties, since for some retarded reason people seem to think there's a whole lot of difference between people depending on which side of the imaginary line they were born on.

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