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Alzoc

European Union common defense thread

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This shall be the general dump thread for anything related to common EU defense.

 

I found this 2017 document of the European Commission on general reflections on the future of the common European defense, and realized that we had no thread where it seemed relevant.

 

Contains some interesting figures on military spending put in perspective with the US

Although I don't know how the hell they come with a number of 4 different destroyers/frigates for the US (and the pictures show aircraft carriers, and everything but MBTs for both the EU and the US)

 

Also if it seem apparent that EU citizens ask for more security and military spending than ever, I personally find it's shame that it's mostly because of immigration and terrorism rather than a will for more EU influence in the world although I guess it was supposed to be expected (especially when respondents were asked to pick their two main concern among the list).

 

The document finally propose 3 different scenari (a, b and c) with increasing cooperation between member state.

I hope that we will at least manage to achieve the goals of the b scenario and it seem reasonable to do so within the next decade or so.

C scenario would be ideal but seem unachievable yet within the current institution (The EU doesn't have enough power for that and can be too easily blocked by a minority of member states).

 

Anyway it seems to be the perfect time to build up European defense now that the UK is out (they were always opposed to it afraid that it would collide with NATO) and that some major member states are pushing for more integration (Germany, Italy, France and Belgium among others).

On the other hand several country have major governance problems like Germany and Italy which will have a weak government due to inconclusive elections (basically they have to form coalition governments without a large majority).

Also European elections are coming in 2019 and depending on the results it could strengthen the current dynamic or completely put it to a halt.

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It would be nice to see all the countries of Europe come together like the USA (somewhat sovereign states answering to a larger central body, with a combined military and economy), but that will most definitely not happen. It’s kinda sad really, a combined EU would be quite a formidable global force. 

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1 hour ago, Mighty_Zuk said:

I assume Germany would the strongest supporter of such a move. I heard they are planning to double their tank force and service a whole platoon.

 

^^

 

More seriously, Germany, France, Belgium and Italy are traditionally extremely pro EU country and they all cooperate on armament program and in operations.

 

However, there is one big problem with Germany which is that they have been extremely traumatized by WWII and by the Nazi (rightfully so) and so their public opinion often take an anti-militarist or at least non-interventionist stance.

We've had an operational Franco-German brigade for  2 decades now but in practice it is impossible to engage it since the German parliament is extremely reluctant to send forces in live operations.

 

Another major problem for Germany is that the availability of their material is always rock bottom (at the beginning of this month only 10 out of their 128 Eurofighters were available for example).

But that's a problem where having common material can help (since you can pool the maintenance which will cost less improving the reliability).

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8 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Suspect this will be a small & underfunded thread.

 

Whatever, it will be here if ever needed^^

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6 hours ago, Lord_James said:

It would be nice to see all the countries of Europe come together like the USA (somewhat sovereign states answering to a larger central body, with a combined military and economy), but that will most definitely not happen. It’s kinda sad really, a combined EU would be quite a formidable global force. 

 

Give it time, it wasn’t really until the US civil war that the federal government asserted its dominance.

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5 hours ago, Ramlaen said:

 

Give it time, it wasn’t really until the US civil war that the federal government asserted its dominance.

 

Does that mean Germany has to start another world war? 

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10 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

 

1280px-Flag_of_the_United_States.svg.png

 

Can't deny that it is the case for now^^

 

But there is a need to get out of this situation since there is no guarantee that the US will remain well inclined toward the old continent in the long run, Trump presidency made that very clear.

Or rather it reminded that fact to those who conveniently put that though in the back of their head.

 

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/_yxAYDtg2_A/maxresdefault.jpg

 

Right now the commission is trying to see how to bypass American sanctions concerning Iran.

They activated this old regulation, originally created as a negotiation tool regarding the Cuba embargo, today.

Basically it forbid any EU  bank or company to comply with US court rule regarding that matter

It will be the first time that it will be put in action but that's more of a declaration of intent than a practical tool.

 

The only practical way is to cut the dollar out of loop by renegotiating all the contracts in euro and making them go through the ECB which would be the next step if negotiations fails.

It most likely won't work for large scale international company since the US could always decide to target them with a roundabout way but it could work for small to medium size company which don't do a lot of business with the US.

 

 

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So what happens when military allies enter a trade war?

 

Let's watch & see! 

 

PS @Alzoc  Are you aware what happens to countries that 'drop the dollar'?  If not maybe you should check out Muammar Gaddafi's handy guide to getting the living shit bombed out of your country and a bayonet shoved up your ****!

 

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7 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

So what happens when military allies enter a trade war?

 

Let's watch & see! 

 

PS @Alzoc  Are you aware what happens to countries that 'drop the dollar'?  If not maybe you should check out Muammar Gaddafi's handy guide to getting the living shit bombed out of your country and a bayonet shoved up your ****!

  

 

Well the goal is not to enter a trade war with the US since quite frankly it would damage both sides seriously:

 

Spoiler

http://www.sankey-diagrams.com/wp-content/gallery/x_sankey_217/dynamic/us2015_trade_remake3.png-nggid041251-ngg0dyn-0x0x100-00f0w010c010r110f110r010t010.png

 

Just that this time around pulling out of the Iran deal was a pretty stupid move and goes against our interests on top of that (both economical and strategic).

So if we have a chance to avoid having the US dictating us our foreign policy this time around, I'll take it.

 

We are just talking about bypassing the sanctions here by simply contracting in euro.

The dollar is de facto the international currency since it's stable, there is a lot of currency available and that it's linked to big economy. But if the US keep pissing off all it's major trade partners at the same time (China and the taxes, EU and the tax + the Iran sanctions,  Refusing to sign the new NAFTA) they might say to kindly fuck off at some point.

In a polite manner though^^ (you don't openly show the middle finger to a military powerhouse)

 

As for cutting the dollar out of the loop completely (in general), we are not there yet.

Like I said it's not possible do it on a large scale for now since when you need a large amount of money from a bank, the dollar is the most available currency and thus the US holds the reigns on most international trade.

Small scale you can do it since they won't be a lot of currency involved.

 

Right now the share of the € in international trade is only about 25% while the $ sit about 64%. The $ share is steadily decreasing and the € share steadily increasing so if things keep going that way the US will lose it's uncontested top position sooner or later.

And that's the end goal, to achieve a relative parity with the US and China in the long term. Relationships are in general much healthier when both party are on equal footing. And there is no way for European countries to get there without pooling our resources, otherwise we lack the critical size.

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Europe does need to get it's act together for security quite badly but there are many hurdles in the way, particularity in what the function of a united military will be.

 

From what I've read on the matter in geopolitical circles;

 

France wants an EU army that will act as a counterweight to USA but also perform similar interests, so that would mean EU units fighting jihadists in North Africa or far abroad elsewhere, non-state actors, hybrid warfare etc, that is something many others in the EU do not want to be involved in.

 

Germany is allergic to any military action save a direct attack on Europe by a nation state, Germans anti-military stance is something that has bled into the European project itself given Germany's grip over the EU institutions and bureaucracy. Really the best you could hope from Germany would be to only contribute money and technology & they stay a back seat partner in a unified EU military like some of the smaller member states. Germany at the centre core of an EU military is a terrible idea & a recipe for inaction were the force will have it's hands tied behind it's back then blindfolded.

 

The Eastern Europeans (Poland and others) are in favor of a unified military but, such a force would be used to discourage Russia or Turkey from getting any ideas and would only be used to protect the EU homeland no far abroad action, but it would also actively repel migrants from the borders (using force), this is something the likes of France/Germany will never agree too (well so long as their political establishments stay in place). Also such an EU army command structure should be in Eastern Europe not Western and to be fair they have a point, any EU military should be kept as far away from Brussels as possible to remain an effective fighting force.

 

The UK establishment is fundamentally opposed to any EU army and will do whatever it can to undermine this, the UK does not want any hard power in Europe that will eclipse it though that's going to happen anyway given the terminal decline the UK military is in and the British public has no stomach for the funding required to counter that decline. This is why the UK has made defense deals with Poland and is now cozying up to Turkey an increasingly aggressor to Europe.

 

The UK leaving the EU is a very good thing in this regard as they are one of the major obstacles but will still try to act as a spoiler.

 

Some of the smaller countries are in favor & others are borderline useless. But then you also have situations like Greece who in the aftermath of the migrant crisis refused to allow EU frontex border patrol agency to operate in Greece citing sovereignty even though they were supposed to be helping secure Greece's own border.

 

The EU itself, no-one in the security/military space trusts the EU, it is riddled with no borders bleeding heart liberals who care more about rolling out the red carpet then actually defending Europe, at least that's the perception. I'm inclined to agree with that and it would take a lot of initiatives that would require dialing back liberalism in order to win that trust among those who take security seriously.

 

The Eastern Europeans would be better off forming their own unified military then possibly roping in more friendly countries like Italy & Austria ignoring France/Germany until they can no longer resist on their terms (if they want in).

 

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@Carscan

 

That's a fairly good description of the current issues (although they are others and it's not always as clear cut as you present it) and everybody will have to put water in his wine to make it work.

Obviously it will require some sovereignty transfer to the EU parliament and/or the commission and that will be a major hurdle as well (not everybody is ready to accept that).

 

For me the main priority right now are standardizing and increasing the operational and financial efficiency, which is one of the reason for the common defence fund.

Standardized equipments are obviously cheaper to acquire and maintain and makes operational integration much easier.

 

The other main priority is to create and/or incrementally increase decision making capabilities of the EU institutions.

Even if they are not functional due to political reasons for now, it will be much easier to increase their power in the event of a crisis than starting from zero in a panic.


As for the Eastern country forming their own military alliance and "forcing" Western country to ultimately join in, I'm inclined to think it will be the other way round (if this kind of event happen that is) since most of the money comes from western Europe (but I'll admit that I'm biased on this one).

But the idea of a few core country cooperating to be later joined by the others on a voluntary basis and at different levels of involvement is certainly one practical way to make things move forward.

 

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I am honestly very skeptical of the European Union. I love the idea, but it has several weaknesses that I can't ignore. 

Why hasn't anyone considered Sweden or Finland? 

Sweden has always been strictly neutral (ignoring their trade of course). They refused to join NATO, so why would they approve a European Army Alliance? 
Most EU members are a part of NATO, which are obliged to help any other member that is attacked. I assume the same would be for a European Alliance.  This would break one of Sweden's core policies. Same goes for Finland, which will not join NATO, unless Sweden does, and I assume the same of a European Alliance.  

 

Post-war,
Norway, Sweden,Denmark and Finland almost entered a Scandinavian Defense Alliance.  However, because of Soviet influence on Finland, American influence on Norway, and Swedish neutrality, this failed.   
So I am not sure if EU will succeed. 

 

Though Norway is not part of the EU, we are part of the EØS/EFTA. Anti-EFTA and Pro-EU sentiment is growing. Some people want to leave EFTA, since they claim it controls too much of our trade and that we can benefit from controlling our own trade. Some people also feel it removes our sovereignty, because EU law supersedes national law. Simplified, it is a Brexit/Norxit question. 

 

On the other side, people want to join the EU, because they feel EFTA is basically like being a EU member without having a saying. They claim by becoming a fully fledged member, we can become more influential and profit even more from the trade with the EU. 

 

But most do not care, and are happy with the current situation. 

 

I for one am not very sure.  The EU lacks unity, a proper leader and a solid economic system. 
Common issues people have seems to be:
-Too much power around Germany/France.
-Richer countries profit off poorer countries.
-Lack of unity, no group identity, no nation building, people seem to scattered. 
-Lack of a known head of state, or government. People have no idea who leads the EU. The closest figure is Merkel. 
-Lack of consistency from politicians between countries. People don't trust politicians when they make grand promises in, for example France, while much milder suggestions in Eastern/Northern Europe. 
-Fear of imperialism. The EU for some feels like a power grab by larger European powers. People are afraid that agreeing will eventually lead to loss of sovereignty and and all power.
-EU Immigration policy.
-In the case of Norway, we have been the Danish sphere of influence until 1397-1814, the Swedish sphere of influence from 1814-1905, the English sphere of influence from 1905-1918, the German sphere of influence from 1918-1945, and currently under the American sphere of influence. Being transferred to the EU sphere of influence would not really be that attractive. 

 

I fun though experiment would be if Sweden,Denmark and Finland left the EU, and joined in a Nordic Union with Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Åland, Faroe Islands, Gotland and Svalbard. With combined economy, military and politics. Regarding the Baltic states (Lithuania, Estinoia and Lativa), I am not sure. Estinia has really tried to make itself a Nordic country, but it might crash with a European Union Army. 

 

Why this would be a fun though experiment is that a Nordic Union could declare Neutrality, acting as a huge (in size) buffer-state, and as a bridging state, improving relations between Russia and the EU. The same may be for the US and Europe, considering how relations are souring. Though not sure if this would ever happen. 

 

 

I wish for the EU to succeed, as long as it does not become the Franco-German union diplomatically annexing Europe. 
 

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2 hours ago, Xoon said:

Why hasn't anyone considered Sweden or Finland? 

Sweden has always been strictly neutral (ignoring their trade of course). They refused to join NATO, so why would they approve a European Army Alliance? 
Most EU members are a part of NATO, which are obliged to help any other member that is attacked. I assume the same would be for a European Alliance.  This would break one of Sweden's core policies. Same goes for Finland, which will not join NATO, unless Sweden does, and I assume the same of a European Alliance.  

 

I think that's why the easiest way to do it is by starting with a few core country and expanding on a voluntary basis.

If we try to get an agreement with the 27 it will be nigh impossible.

Also technically I guess that Sweden signed the mutual defence clause when joining the EU, though it's only a defence clause much like NATO.

 

2 hours ago, Xoon said:

On the other side, people want to join the EU, because they feel EFTA is basically like being a EU member without having a saying. They claim by becoming a fully fledged member, we can become more influential and profit even more from the trade with the EU.

 

That's my personal view on the subject, and why I always though of Brexit as an irrational decision. Basically the way it's going they'll keep some level of defence cooperation going, keep paying to access the open market but won't have any say on various EU policy they'll have to respect to enter the common market.

But well, that was a democratic decision so we'll just have to roll with it.

 

2 hours ago, Xoon said:

I for one am not very sure.  The EU lacks unity, a proper leader and a solid economic system. 

 

That's also the point of view of the government in France.

Macron is pushing for an EU government both to improve the efficacy of the institution and to create a feeling of citizenship of the EU.

It's mostly on a good way for my generation, much less for older generations.

The sociology of the Brexit referendum is an excellent indicator of that trend.

Creating an "EU army" could also potentially strengthen the feeling of an EU citizenship.

Right now we need symbolism equally as much as practical applications.

 

As for the fear of Imperialism and of France/Germany taking over the EU, those are legitimate concerns and the institutions will have to be build in such a way to prevent that.

Most natural way to do that would be through an European constitution (the timing will have to be chosen wisely to avoid repeating the 2005 fiasco).

 

2 hours ago, Xoon said:

Richer countries profit off poorer countries.

 

For this one, I don't really get what you mean, since richer country financial support is basically the only thing that keep some country like Poland or Greece afloat.

That this financial support comes with strings attached however is true, for Poland that would be respecting the rule of law and for Greece very severe cuts on public spending.

I perfectly understand that it can be perceived as a form of imperialism by the populations of those country but nothing is free.

For example if I dislike the fact that the EU is relying solely on the US for it's protection, I completely agree with Trump when he says that EU country can't just have the benefits of this protection without participating proportionally to their resources (the 2%).

 

2 hours ago, Xoon said:

People are afraid that agreeing will eventually lead to loss of sovereignty and and all power.

 

Sovereignty transfer will obviously have to be done if we want something operational by the end of the day.

Saying the contrary would be lying, you can't have any sort of federalism without sovereignty transfers to the federal entity.

But my personal opinion is that in the long run, outside the EU there will be no sovereignty anyway, without a proper political union able to make it's own decision on the international stage (and any significant international policy must be backed by a credible military force). Outside the EU I fear that we are doomed to become/remain a protectorate of either the US or China in the long run.

 

2 hours ago, Xoon said:

Why this would be a fun though experiment is that a Nordic Union could declare Neutrality, acting as a huge (in size) buffer-state, and as a bridging state, improving relations between Russia and the EU. The same may be for the US and Europe, considering how relations are souring. Though not sure if this would ever happen

 

I think that it would satisfy Russia and it could possibly work for Nordic country (for some time at least).

I'm not sure Eastern country populations would be happy however to be used as buffer states between Russia and the EU without their consent.

That's why the idea of @Carscan to place some command structure of an European defence in eastern Europe would be a strong guarantee that any attack on those country would de facto become a direct attack against the EU and give them confidence that the common defence will be activated.

 

As for the different view on what should be the missions of an "EU army" maybe we can reconcile both by placing some command structure and forces in country neighbouring Russia and Turkey (static homeland defence) and simply turn the French army (and other voluntary military forces) into an EU expeditionary corp with the other member states providing logistical support (because, realistically, no ambitious international policy can be credible without being backed by projection capability).

 

Finally on the immigration problem I'm a partisan of simply following the law as it exist.

Those who can benefit of political asylum should be integrated (ideally assimilated) those who are economical (illegal) migrants should be sent back to their country of origin.

If the ratio is the same in France than in the rest of Europe it would be approximately 1/3rd of political refugee and 2/3rd of economical migrants.

The problem atm is that those who can't have the refugee status are not effectively sent back to their country of origin.

 

A common defence is a complicated problem really, but also a vital (I might go up to existential) necessity.

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1 hour ago, Xoon said:

 

Why this would be a fun though experiment is that a Nordic Union could declare Neutrality, acting as a huge (in size) buffer-state, and as a bridging state, improving relations between Russia and the EU. 

 

This is exactly why that will never happen: The EU gets off by blaming everything on Russia. Whom are they going to blame when Russia is a friend? 

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36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

I think that's why the easiest way to do it is by starting with a few core country and expanding on a voluntary basis.

If we try to get an agreement with the 27 it will be nigh impossible.

Also technically I guess that Sweden signed the mutual defence clause when joining the EU, though it's only a defence close much like NATO.

"This obligation of mutual defence is binding on all EU countries. However, it does not affect the neutrality of certain EU countries and is consistent with the commitments of EU countries which are NATO members."

I believe this is why Sweden signed it. Not sure what this line entails, but the only way of not affecting the neutrality of a nation, is that they can't promise to help. 

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

That's my personal view on the subject, and why I always though of Brexit as an irrational decision. Basically the way it's going they'll keep some level of defence cooperation going, keep paying to access the open market but won't have any say on various EU policy they'll have to respect to enter the common market.

But well, that was a democratic decision so we'll just have to roll with it.

I am honestly not sure what the British were thinking with the "Norway model". They won't really get to take advantage of leaving the EU without another model.  Unless they wanted to reduce immigration. 

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

That's also the point of view of the government in France.

Macron is pushing for an EU government both to improve the efficacy of the institution and to create a feeling of citizenship of the EU.

It's mostly on a good way for my generation, much less for older generations.

The sociology of the Brexit referendum is an excellent indicator of that trend.

Creating an "EU army" could also potentially strengthen the feeling of an EU citizenship.

Hopefully the EU will continue this development. 

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

As for the fear of Imperialism and of France/Germany taking over the EU, those are legitimate concerns and the institutions will have to be build in such a way to prevent that.

Most natural way to do that would be through an European constitution (the timing will have to be chosen wisely to avoid repeating the 2005 fiasco).

A constitution better be made openly for people to critique and improve. There are so many ways a constitution can be exploited and used for evil. Simply copying the US constitution won't work this time. 

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

For this one, I don't really get it since richer country financial support is basically the only thing that keep some country like Poland or Greece afloat.

That this financial support comes with strings attached however is true, for Poland that would be respecting the rule of law and for Greece very severe cuts on public spending.

I perfectly understand that it can be perceived as a form of imperialism by the populations of those country but nothing is free.

Part of the problem is the lack of protectionism for the member states. In my area for example, it is very common for a huge German business to sweep in and buy up a local company with a revolutionary new technology.  Then move the company abroad, to Germany or Eastern Europe for cheaper labor. Then the local company is gone, the workers lose their job, and country loses another income source it has spent lots of resources developing. 
This really kills any industry development in the region, forcing us to import from abroad, which again, Germany which is one of our biggest trade partners, profit from. 

 

For the Eastern European countries, they get all their factories bought up by foreign companies.  Essentially having everything bought up and dictated by foreign investors. 

 

A huge fear in Norway is that, large European companies could sweep in at buy up critical infrastructure like the energy sector and jack up the power cost. 

 

Ironically, the EU is extremely trade protectionist against outside members, meaning it conserves the companies that reside inside it, meaning the bigger companies in the more industrially advanced and technological advanced countries eat up the smaller ones in the smaller members without any competition from similar sized or larger companies outside the EU. 

 

As you said, nothing is free. Free trade creates large profits for the companies in the joining member initially, then it gets eaten by a bigger foreign company, killing local business. 
This is what the workers fear. 

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

For example if I dislike the fact that the EU is relying solely on the US for it's protection, I completely agree with Trump when he says that EU country can't just have the benefits of this protection without participating proportionally to their resources (the 2%).

While this is true, the US has a very good reason for keeping military presence in Europe. It makes a collective or regional less attractive (Nordic Defence Union, European Army). They provide protection for favorable trade deals and political support. It gives them political leverage in the countries in the affected countries, just watch when the US goes on another War on Terrorism or similar, right behind is the countries they provide protection for. We like to call them the coalition. If a country refuses, the US can pull out its military support, making the country vulnerable, and at the mercy of other regional powers (Russia for example, in the case of Europe).

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

Sovereignty transfer will obviously have to be done if we want something operational by the end of the day.

Saying the contrary would be lying, you can't have any sort of federalism without sovereignty transfers to the federal entity.

The fear is that the region loses any saying in laws and politics, and suffers economically as a consequence.

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

But my personal opinion is that in the long run, outside the EU there will be no sovereignty anyway, without a proper political union able to make it's own decision on the international stage (and any significant international policy must be backed by a credible military force). Outside the EU I fear that we are doomed to become/remain a protectorate of either the US or China in the long run.

This is a very sad truth.

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

I think that it would satisfy Russia and it could possibly work for Nordic country (for some time at least).

It would ease the tension in the Baltic sea and the killzone up in Svalbard. Though, the arctics are becoming increasingly more valuable and more and more nation are arguing over their claims. 

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

I'm not sure Eastern country populations would be happy however to be used as buffer states between Russia and the EU without their consent.

The idea was not to make them buffer states, but a large Neutral Union would make the Russians more at ease. Being trapped in the Baltic, or in at the Danish strait, or in North Sea encourages them to invade their neighbors to secure their core. 

 

Here is NATO's border with Russia. As you can see, they are completely boxed in:
CQBw5gN.png

Blue= NATO.
Light Blue= Possible Future NATO member.
White= Neutral
Orange= Russian Allies not forced to join a war with Russia. 

 

 

Here is the EU border with Russia, they in-boxing is even worse:
9CH8DTs.png

Green= EU
Yellow= EFTA/possible future EU members.

 

 

Nordic Union, Russia suddenly has some breathing space in the North (economically), and the front line is only Latvia:
MXtENRa.png

Neutral= White
Green= EU
Orange = Russian Allies.
Light Blue = Possible Future NATO.

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

That's why the idea of @Carscan to place some command structure of an European defence in eastern Europe would be a strong guarantee that any attack on those country would de facto become a direct attack against the EU and give them confidence that the common defence will be activated.

This is a great idea. 

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

As for the different view on what should be the missions of an "EU army" maybe we can reconcile both by placing some command structure and forces in country neighbouring Russia and Turkey and simply turn the French army (and other voluntary military forces) into an EU expeditionary corp with the other member states providing logistical support (because, realistically, no ambitious international policy can be credible without being backed by projection capability).

This sounds like a good start.

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

Finally on the immigration problem I'm a partisan of simply following the law as it exist.

The biggest issue is the fear that the member country will lose control over the immigration into its borders. 

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

Those who can benefit of political asylum should be integrated (ideally assimilated) those who are economical (illegal) migrants should be sent back to their country of origin.

If the ratio is the same in France than in the rest of Europe it would be approximately 1/3rd of political refugee and 2/3rd of economical migrants.

The problem atm is that those who can't have the refugee status are not effectively sent back to their country of origin.

As long as the country can reliably handle it. Taking in too many only results in poor integration, which leaves many with poor language skills, poverty or homelessness. 
Also, refugees, as in people fleeing war, needing a asylum until the war or event in question is over, should not travel past several countries that give them asylum just to get to the richer welfare states. 

 

36 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

A common defence is a complicated problem really, but also a vital (I might go up to existential) necessity.

Equipment commonality is a good start. Fighters, ships, AFVs, infantry equipment etc. 

 

 

1 hour ago, Lord_James said:

 

This is exactly why that will never happen: The EU gets off by blaming everything on Russia. Whom are they going to blame when Russia is a friend? 

Probably the US or China. 

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22 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Personally I reckon your entire threat axis is wrong.....I'd be looking at Turkey & the Med.

 

PS - @LoooSeR Any indications Vlad is planning on invading us at all?

If you are referring to me, then my point was not to defend against Russia, just to simply ease up the growing pressure from the EU and NATO on Russia. 

For North Europe, Turkey and the middle east is not really relevant. 

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Fair comment.....I still stand by my statement in the broader picture, there are quite a lot of rather disgruntled homeless people just to the south of the lines I depicted, I suspect that some of them might have 'designs'.

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    • By Collimatrix
      Our good friends and Kremlin-controlled propaganda instruments independent journalists at Southfront have just produced a video about the developing situation in Moldova:


       
      Moldova is caught in the ongoing power struggle between Russia and the US-led West for control of the former Warsaw Pact.  The US took major strides in expanding its influence with the 1997 addition of the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary to NATO, followed seven years later by Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Bulgaria.  The expansion of NATO Eastward was particularly alarming to Russian leadership, and they claim violated an informal agreement they had with the United States that NATO would not expand.
       
      In the case of Czechoslovakia and Hungary, dissatisfaction with Russia was longstanding, and some Westward gravitation of certain former Warsaw Pact states was inevitable.  The situation in Moldova is more complicated, however, where there is a pro-EU government nominally in control of the government, but a breakway region called Transnistria on the Ukrainian border that prefers closer ties with Russia:
       

       
      (I will give Tied a moment or two to wipe away his tears of joy and nostalgia)
       
      The situation in Transnistria is complicated by the civil war in Ukraine.  Security in Transnistria is overseen by a joint force of Transnistrian, Russian and Moldovan forces.  But Russia is on the other side of Ukraine from Moldova, and Ukraine has disallowed the transit of Russian peacekeeping forces to and from Transnistria.  Additionally, the unclear legal status and porous border between Transnistria and Ukraine has made it an attractive base for gunrunners supplying weapons to the Ukrainian civil war.
       
      In the rest of Moldova things have not been going swimmingly either.  A gigantic fraud and money laundering scheme has siphoned at least $2 billion from the Moldovan economy over the last ten years, which is enormous in a country with a GDP of less than $8 billion:




      Other forms of corruption are rampant, and the economy remains extremely backward compared to the rest of Europe.  The GDP per capita of Moldova is less than half that of Albania's, for instance, and everyone knows how horrible and backwards Albania is.  It is easy to see why there would be widespread discontent. 
      The European Parliament has demanded that Russia cease its involvement in the growing Moldovan crisis, although exactly how this is supposed to work vis a vis Transnistria and what the hell they think they're going to do when the Russians do not listen is unclear.  The Russian government is following the situation, but it is unclear at this time what their response will be.
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