Does Europe Need its Own Military?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Falcon, Feb 20, 2016.

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  1. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

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    Tony Blair says that a European military might be needed to deal with security threats that the U.S. doesn't want to get involved with.
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/02/02/blai-f02.html

    Czech President Milos Zeman said that a European Military is needed to deal with the migrant crisis.
    http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/zpravy/eu...otect-eu-border-czech-president-zeman/1315503

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wants a European Army to deter aggressive powers like Russia.
    https://news.vice.com/article/the-european-union-wants-an-army-of-its-own

    It looks like people are doubting NATO and think something else is needed. The U.S does not have as many troops in Europe as it did during the cold war. The U.S. is shifting its assets to East Asia and the Indian Ocean, Europe is no longer a top priority in the minds of U.S. strategic thinkers. With all of this going on does the EU needs its own military? Can this idea even work?
     
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  2. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    The EU has 18 battlegroups, which also included non EU members like Norway - part of the Nordic Battlegroup, which also included Baltic nations Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. But not all EU nations participate, nor is every European nation an EU member. Denmark decided not to participate in the Nordic Battlegroup, despite being a Nordic nation.

    The problem isn't the lack of a military in Europe, it's command, control, training and coordination that's been the concern. How closely do the individual battlegroups cooperate? Now many soldiers does each have and are they a sufficient deterent against a larger power? The Nordic Battlegroup only has 2500 soldiers:

    • Sweden: 1900
    • Finland: 60
    • Ireland: 170
    • Estonia: 50
    • Latvia: 150
    • Lithuania: 50
    • Norway: 50
    Yeah, 50 Norwegians isn't going to cut it, but we're a contributing NATO partner so our priorities are elsewhere. But this is Europe's problem. Everyone is preoccupied elsewhere and thus don't put too much focus on collective defense. Germany is occupied with their economy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Estonia are focused on a Russian threat, Norway with NATO and France with North and Central Africa... everyone's doing something else, no one is focused on a NATO-type structure for Europe.

    And for the record, I do think the EU needs its own NATO. The US brings a lot of contention to Europe, even though I welcome their presence many others don't. Having the US support, but not being the primary party or contributor to European defense is a preferred option for our continent.
     
  3. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Right, Europe is a big content with about 50 countries each with its own history, identity, often times language, and unique security threats. Spain faces completely different threats from Germany. Greece faces different threats from Hungary so having a unified EU military would be difficult. There could be a significant EU coast guard and border protection force. Instead of having a collage of various nations contributing forces to build these border and coast guard forces it could act as a force of its own. It buys its own equipment, sets its own standards, creates its own training schema, and operates under the authority of the European Parliament. European countries would be required to send a certain amount of soldiers to the force in order to fill its ranks.
     
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  4. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    I like the idea of a shared border protection force and Coast Guard, but even here we run into European politics and differing views on immigration, refugees and economics. Already we are having European Union members, an organization that promised Freedom of Movement in the EU, closing their borders to other EU members due to the influx of refugees coming from Africa and the Middle East. The EU's bylaws and constitution don't agree with its member nations, and the result if members forging their own path, thus undercutting the purpose of the EU charter.

    Perhaps this discord is expressed no better than in this Polandball comic:

    [​IMG]

    Without a common consensus or platform, even forming a unified policing action is difficult. The Baltic and Icelandic Air Patrols work because of NATO command running each, but a common EU Coast Guard and border protection force? I can't image the EU agreeing on where to go for lunch, let alone manpower contributions, each nation's funding requirement, and a set of rules or guidelines to govern each's actions. No two nations in Europe agree on any of these points, and even with central EU tenants like Freedom of Movement, some nations are already starting to shirk the EU bylaws that they signed up to because of their unique situation.

    Hard for me to imagine the EU coming up with a second set of bylaws that everyone could agree with and would follow
     
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  5. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Some people are saying that the EU will not even survive in its present form, perhaps only the free trade agreements. In the Middle East countries are looking to become more independent with regard to their regional security affairs, in the future it is likely that Europe will do the same. Lets wait and see if Russia drives a wedge right through NATO with the Turkey-Syria debacle.
     
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