by Soeren Kern • November 7, 2021 at 5:00 am
- The call for a supranational army, part of a push for Europe to achieve “strategic autonomy” from the United States, is being spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron, who, as part of his reelection campaign, apparently hopes to replace outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel as the de facto leader of Europe.
- Many EU member states disagree with Macron. Eastern European countries, some of which face existential threats from Russia, know that neither the EU nor France can match the military capabilities offered by NATO and the United States. Other countries are concerned about a panoply of issues ranging from financial costs to national sovereignty.
- “If the EU Army undermines NATO, or results in the separation of the U.S. and Europe or produces a paper army, Europe will be committing the most enfeebling and dangerous act of self-harm since the rise of fascism in the 1930s. An EU Army will amount to European de-arming.” — Bob Seely, Tory MP.
- “It will be hard to convince some member states that collective EU defense would bring the same security as NATO’s U.S.-backed defense arrangement.” — Richard Whitman, professor of politics and international relations at the University of Kent.
- “Few share France’s willingness to splurge on defense, or its expeditionary military culture. (Germany, especially, does not.) Nobody agrees what ‘strategic autonomy’ actually means.” — The Economist.
- “The EU is not a credible substitute for what NATO represents. You will not see any appetite for the European army amongst member states.” — Kristjan Mäe, head of the Estonian defense ministry’s NATO and EU department.
- “Even if national capitals wanted to lunge for a common army, there are so many technical, legal, and administrative differences between their militaries that it would take decades to produce a smoothly functioning force…. Conclusion: any talk of creating a fully-fledged common army, even within the next generation, is just that: jaw-jaw and not real-real.” — Brooks Tigner, analyst, Atlantic Council.