European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recently called for a unified European Army. Jane’s then pointed out that the real efficiencies would come from a single European Air Force. An official U.K. spokesperson then predictably said no, even though London really can’t stop other countries from going ahead: “Our position is crystal clear that defence is a national, not an E.U., responsibility and that there is no prospect of that position changing and no prospect of a European army.”
There are many fine arguments against a united European military. But, perhaps predictably, a British analyst advanced what is quite possibly the stupidest. “There’s no point in talking about an army unless you're talking about a federal state.”
Oh, for f--k’s sake. Back in 1952, six governments wrote 86 goddamned pages explaining exactly how you could build a single army without a federal state. It would be useful to explain why it would be a bad idea to take the 1952 treaty off the shelf and apply it today. (Article 10, for example, would need extensive rewriting.) It would be useful to explain why the treaty creates a federal state by stealth. (AFAICT it doesn’t, but if Mr. Keohane thinks it does I would be fascinated to hear why.) It would be useful to explain why the idea is a political nonstarter in 2015. (It is, but I do not understand the reasons.)
But we just get some handwaving. The fellow doesn’t even seem to realize that Europe came within a few French votes of a single military 63 years ago.
The ignorance of history is breathtaking.
Anyway, a call to our friends at AFOE: why does a resurrection of the EDC appear to be off the table?