« Isaac Asimov’s easiest prediction for 2014 | Main | Is Venezuela a threat to U.S. national security? No, but that does not matter »

March 12, 2015

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I think the biggest issue is that there are too many divergent interests for a true EU army/airforce. You could perhaps get a subset of EU countries pooling their militaries together along the lines of the 1952 treaty but this would likely exclude the UK (for very obvious reasons) and perhaps also France (independent nuclear power, desire for a separate military force to carry out missions of French interest such as in Francophone Africa, for much the same reasons as it rejected the prospect in 1953) and some Central European states (which might not wish to integrate their armed forces any more tightly as a result of having regained a lot of freedom to act independently from the Soviet sphere).

Plus there are the neutral countries like Sweden, Finland, Ireland and Austria which would likely not join suit since there would be the sticky question of how such a European army relates to NATO (the 1952 treaty explicitly ties it to NATO which was not a problem since all the prospective members were basically NATO members or fell under NATO's umbrella anyway). I can't see the neutral 4 signing up for a unified army which may have NATO commitments when they themselves do not and I can't see any NATO members signing up for a unified army which would be a neutral, non-NATO force in order to accommodate the neutral 4.

So we are left with...probably Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Denmark and perhaps some eastern and central European states like Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia and Romania (I can't see Orban's Hungary signing up for this).

But then any unified European army with Germany at its core will probably have to follow the Bundeswehr tradition of not being in engaged in anything except NATO operations, defensive operations and peacekeeping operations. Even then Germany declined to participate in NATO's Libyan operations and presumably Germany would not be comfortable with a unified European armed forces that it participated in doing so either at the time. A number of the other potential contributors DID participate in Operation Unified Protector and so would probably not be okay with the German post-war tradition for use of the armed forces.

So ultimately the core group of countries where this concept could work would probably be the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Denmark and perhaps some eastern and central European states like Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovakia and Romania. This is already a fairly fragmented group and is even more so without Germany, France and Poland in the mix.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)