French president Emmanuel Macron is calling for a new European army
capable of defending the EU from authoritarian threats such as Russia, China and, yes, the United States of America. Macron plainly sees a world that is possibly stumbling toward war.
Macron, who has pushed for a joint EU military force since his arrival in power last year, said Europe needed to reduce its dependence on American might, not least after US President Donald Trump announced he was pulling out of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty.
"We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America," Macron told Europe 1 radio.
"When I see President Trump announcing that he's quitting a major disarmament treaty which was formed after the 1980s euro-missile crisis that hit Europe, who is the main victim? Europe and its security," he said.
"We will not protect the Europeans unless we decide to have a true European army," he said in the interview, recorded Monday night in Verdun, northeast France, as Macron tours the former Western Front during week-long World War I centenary commemorations.
...He also warned of "authoritarian powers which are reemerging and rearming within the confines in Europe".
Macron has been warning of rising nationalism as he prepares to host dozens of world leaders, including Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Sunday to mark 100 years since the World War I armistice.
He repeated his warning Tuesday that he was struck by similarities between the world today and the financial crisis and "nationalism playing on people's fears" of the 1930s.
"The peace and prosperity which Europe has enjoyed for 70 years are a golden moment in our history," he said, warning that this was the exception rather than the rule.
"For millennia, it has never lasted so long."
I guess he sees himself as the new leader of Europe since Merle is leaving. Eventually he'll be wanting to build a multinational wall. And if the fear Russia isn't enough to scare the populace the wall could also be used to stop the immigrant crisis. He might be right about the rise of nationalism.
There have been some, Willy, who see today's bloated EU fracturing along two axes.
The East-West divide would hive off most of Warsaw Pact Europe from the original NATO Europe. That would be the liberal democracy versus illiberal divide.
There's also talk of a North-South split triggered by climate change. Just as many Canadians worry about US designs on our lands as the American south reels from the impacts of climate change, northern European states worry about an influx of climate refugees from the Meditteranean EU contingent.
It's easy to dismiss both scenarios as implausible but the tensions are palpable and the future dark and uncertain.
There is going to be enormous change in the 2020s, a good bit of it no longer within human control. Welcome to Chaos.
I am most afraid of the plausible move from the South as Canadians bury their heads in the sand. By that I mean..."it cannot happen here attitude". Anyong
Somehow I can't see the U.S. going to war with the western European countries at this point in history
...we shared too much together in recent decades---all that culture, media, movies, television shows, science, medicine, literature
...if we went to war with England again U.S. officials might ban works by The Beatles, George Orwell, Charles Dickens. The Rolling Stones would be banned form entering the U.S..
And all the other incremental Euro-influences from the neighboring countries as well ...
This is just too surreal. Please, world, quit making me "sorry I lived this long".
Macron is stating the obvious. NATO is well integrated into the defense establishment of the countries of Western Europe. But the security interests of the US and EU are not the same, have clearly been of late a source of (minor) conflict, which may get worse in the future. For example, if there had been a working endemic European defense establishment, surely they would have considered the consequences to Europe of the American led campaigns of removing Qadaffi or Assad. America doesn't have to deal with all those refugees. But Europe has to deal with the refugees as well as the consequences: Golden Dawn, the Northern League, Sweden Democrats and AFD and so on.
Even without considering current conflicts, it is not in America's long term interests to have Europe rival its hegemonic military dominance. In other words America has a real strategic interest in keeping conflicts with Europe's neighbours hotter than they otherwise might be.
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