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A "European Army" is now a real possibility

This is a discussion on A "European Army" is now a real possibility within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Europe's most powerful countries call for elected EU president - Telegraph In a document released on Tuesday after a meeting ...


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Old September 19th, 2012   #1
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A "European Army" is now a real possibility

Europe's most powerful countries call for elected EU president - Telegraph

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In a document released on Tuesday after a meeting between 11 foreign ministers in Warsaw, the bloc, which includes all the largest European countries outside Britain, charted a vision for the "future of Europe".

As well as calling for a single, elected head of state for Europe, the bloc demanded a new defence policy, under the control of a new pan-EU foreign ministry commanded by Baroness Ashton, which "could eventually involve a European army".

In order to "prevent one single member state from being able to obstruct initiatives", a reference to British opposition to a European army, the German-led grouping demanded an end to existing national vetoes over foreign and defence policy.

This would give the EU the power to impose a decision on Britain if it is supported by a majority of other countries.
I'm just going to let you all digest that one, personally i'm furious. The following is a key point

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This would give the EU the power to impose a decision on Britain if it is supported by a majority of other countries.

The plan, which has the backing of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Holland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg and Portugal the plan, is likely to fuel calls for a British referendum on membership of the European Union.
I know posting articles without commentary is frowned upon, but i'm at a loss for words at this, I just hope to God it's not true.
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Old September 19th, 2012   #2
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"... the plan, is likely to fuel calls for a British referendum on membership..."
I would re-phrase it: "
"... the plan, is likely to fuel calls for a lot of referendums on membership ..."
It is too difficult to treat the subject without going too deep into politics, so that...
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Old September 19th, 2012   #3
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"... the plan, is likely to fuel calls for a British referendum on membership..."
I would re-phrase it: "
"... the plan, is likely to fuel calls for a lot of referendums on membership ..."
It is too difficult to treat the subject without going too deep into politics, so that...
Indeed, whilst the political power of those listed countries may be behind it, I believe that the populations of those countries might have a thing or two to say about it, before they get lumped into European battle groups.
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Old September 20th, 2012   #4
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I'm going to get shot down in flames for this, but I actually see advantages in an European Armed Forces & an European Federal State. No individual nation state within the EU has the chance of, economically or militarilly competing with the big boys like the US & China. Where the EU as a whole would have great economic & millitary influence throughout the world.
As a Brit I get increasingly disheartened with the 'special relationship' with the US becoming more of a one way relationship everyday. Within Europe we will always to continue to have a big say in the running of things & having a world renowned Armed Forces, this influence would be the same within an EU army if not even more so.
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Old September 20th, 2012   #5
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I'm going to get shot down in flames for this, but I actually see advantages in an European Armed Forces & an European Federal State. No individual nation state within the EU has the chance of, economically or militarilly competing with the big boys like the US & China. Where the EU as a whole would have great economic & millitary influence throughout the world.
As a Brit I get increasingly disheartened with the 'special relationship' with the US becoming more of a one way relationship everyday. Within Europe we will always to continue to have a big say in the running of things & having a world renowned Armed Forces, this influence would be the same within an EU army if not even more so.
The UK will never need to take on countries the size of the US or Russia or China on their own anyway, but at least we have the option to chose which conflicts we get involved in and how we go about it.

With this proposal, there's a potential for British lives to be lost over an interest of no significance to Britain just because there was an overriding majority.

Then there's the flipside, if Britain has a dispute (similar to the Falklands) which other nations wouldn't be keen to have their servicemen killed over and therefore veto EU army involvement overruling the UK, do we just roll over? Or do we then get stuck in every time an EU member has a dispute?

How hard would it be for Britain to extricate it's units from this "European Army" and go about conducting independant operations should the need arise (if the rest of the EU doesn't want in?)

The biggest point is that because of this, Britain will have less say in the EU Army than it has at the minute in regards to EU defence policy. Currently Britain can veto EU defence policy and essentially keep itself out of disputes with no significance to Britain (i believe), with this new initiative we could kick and scream all we want but because there's a majority against us then we are treaty bound to commit our Armed forces.

Basically, the deployment of our armed forces will be decided by the proposed EU president and their foreign ministry and not the UK prime minister, no matter what we say.
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Old September 20th, 2012   #6
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i don't see the point with regards to actual european army but centralised training and procurement maybe a step forward.Take the jsf if the whole of europe including the UK had purchased it together surely it would be cheaper.
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Old September 20th, 2012   #7
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i don't see the point with regards to actual european army but centralised training and procurement maybe a step forward.Take the jsf if the whole of europe including the UK had purchased it together surely it would be cheaper.
Well, the Eurofighter is arguably the JSF of Europe with UK, German, Spanish and Italian involvement and AFAIK hasn't been a particularly swift or efficient one. Ultimately it'll produce a very competent multirole aircraft but the key word is ultimately.

Personally, in terms of defence procurement i'm more favourable of it in terms of ground vehicles, the PzH2000 and Leopard 2 are gorgeous.
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Old September 20th, 2012   #8
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The UK will never need to take on countries the size of the US or Russia or China on their own anyway, but at least we have the option to chose which conflicts we get involved in and how we go about it.

With this proposal, there's a potential for British lives to be lost over an interest of no significance to Britain just because there was an overriding majority.

Then there's the flipside, if Britain has a dispute (similar to the Falklands) which other nations wouldn't be keen to have their servicemen killed over and therefore veto EU army involvement overruling the UK, do we just roll over? Or do we then get stuck in every time an EU member has a dispute?

How hard would it be for Britain to extricate it's units from this "European Army" and go about conducting independant operations should the need arise (if the rest of the EU doesn't want in?)

The biggest point is that because of this, Britain will have less say in the EU Army than it has at the minute in regards to EU defence policy. Currently Britain can veto EU defence policy and essentially keep itself out of disputes with no significance to Britain (i believe), with this new initiative we could kick and scream all we want but because there's a majority against us then we are treaty bound to commit our Armed forces.

Basically, the deployment of our armed forces will be decided by the proposed EU president and their foreign ministry and not the UK prime minister, no matter what we say.
I don't feel we have much choice in regards to which conflicts we can get in to, within the 'special relationships' we have with the US

I agree a EU Army would have issues & maybe we won't have reason to go up against the 'big boys', though Russia seems to be able to assasinate people UK soveriegn soil, with impunity. Don't you feel the extra millitary muscle being part of a large, well trained, well equipped Armed Forces would give us, might be worth a few concessions.
I wouldn't want to abandon the history & herritage of our regiments, but I'd hate to see us become a country that's scared of the big dogs in the world. We find it hard to keep hold of our own citizens when America demand we extradite them
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Old September 20th, 2012   #9
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I don't feel we have much choice in regards to which conflicts we can get in to, within the 'special relationships' we have with the US

I agree a EU Army would have issues & maybe we won't have reason to go up against the 'big boys', though Russia seems to be able to assasinate people UK soveriegn soil, with impunity. Don't you feel the extra millitary muscle being part of a large, well trained, well equipped Armed Forces would give us, might be worth a few concessions.
I wouldn't want to abandon the history & herritage of our regiments, but I'd hate to see us become a country that's scared of the big dogs in the world. We find it hard to keep hold of our own citizens when America demand we extradite them
Whilst it is true in certain aspects like Iraq and Afghanistan, the more crucial part is we are able to conduct independent operations without having to defer to any other country to do so, like we would as part of an EU Army. Even if the EU Army existed before the Iraq and Afghan conflicts we would have been brought in anyway so there'd be no difference.

I highly doubt that it would give us anything in terms of extra muscle that doesn't already exist, the muscle wouldn't increase by any measure and i'm sure there would already be more than enough security in the current systems like NATO and other defence agreements that spontaneously happen in a crisis like with Lybia.

That was an example of what European (and US) cooperation could do on the fly at short notice, so what could a EU Army (I assume all air forces and navies would be amalgamated as part of this) have possibly done any better than the current set-up?

As to Russian assassinations, that's an MI5/MI6 issue primarily.

The more sensible approach rather than an EU Army would be EU procurement, but there's already examples which prove that too many conflicting interests or requirements or whatever can hinder rather than help.
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Old September 20th, 2012   #10
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Whilst it is true in certain aspects like Iraq and Afghanistan, the more crucial part is we are able to conduct independent operations without having to defer to any other country to do so, like we would as part of an EU Army. Even if the EU Army existed before the Iraq and Afghan conflicts we would have been brought in anyway so there'd be no difference.

I highly doubt that it would give us anything in terms of extra muscle that doesn't already exist, the muscle wouldn't increase by any measure and i'm sure there would already be more than enough security in the current systems like NATO and other defence agreements that spontaneously happen in a crisis like with Lybia.

That was an example of what European (and US) cooperation could do on the fly at short notice, so what could a EU Army (I assume all air forces and navies would be amalgamated as part of this) have possibly done any better than the current set-up?

As to Russian assassinations, that's an MI5/MI6 issue primarily.

The more sensible approach rather than an EU Army would be EU procurement, but there's already examples which prove that too many conflicting interests or requirements or whatever can hinder rather than help.
I guess I'm just getting a bit overly concerned about our role in the world (our meaning British). I see an advantage in a Federal Europe & a unified Armed Forces without fully realising what we'd lose. I still feel it's the way to go & I feel we should move away from an American allegiance & put more effort in to the EU, but in a way that doesn't undermine us.

I agree the Russian possible assisination of Litvinenko is an issue for MI5/6, but I don't feel that they would have acted in such a way were we a credible military threat to them.

Obviously the EuroFighter was a success, with maybe a couple minor concerns. So at least if we combined our financial & scientific might in building & developing the best equipment for our respective armies' soldiers. Maybe even a joint deffence strategy & maybe even missile deffence, that isn't reliant on NATO.
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Old September 20th, 2012   #11
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I guess I'm just getting a bit overly concerned about our role in the world (our meaning British). I see an advantage in a Federal Europe & a unified Armed Forces without fully realising what we'd lose. I still feel it's the way to go & I feel we should move away from an American allegiance & put more effort in to the EU, but in a way that doesn't undermine us.

I agree the Russian possible assisination of Litvinenko is an issue for MI5/6, but I don't feel that they would have acted in such a way were we a credible military threat to them.

Obviously the EuroFighter was a success, with maybe a couple minor concerns. So at least if we combined our financial & scientific might in building & developing the best equipment for our respective armies' soldiers. Maybe even a joint deffence strategy & maybe even missile deffence, that isn't reliant on NATO.
That's the entire issue about it though, this movement put together definitely will undermine British 'authority' (for the want of a better word) inside the EU as it'll give other nations the power to give us the two-fingered-salute and say "there's more of us than you, so do your share!" and any future ideas of the same basis will include that particular feature for sure.

Well we've got nuclear weapons, can't get much more of a credible military threat there, but it's still more of a political issue than a military one. I'm fairly sure the UK tried to extradite their suspect but clauses in the Russian constitution prevented his extradition, but that's getting into politics which is a messy affair. Either way, EU Army or not, it still would have been done as what would an EU Army have done? Declared war on Russia?

EDIT: Just saw on BBC News, a Litvinenko inquest is due to begin early next year, seems very serious with terms like "state sponsored nuclear terrorism" being thrown around.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19660441


The EU definitely has the financial and intellectual capacity to develop top of the line equipment and is currently doing so. But specifically in regards to the Typhoon, the product is exquisite but the extremely poor mismanagement of the project is it's main feature which will be remembered with regards to EU defence collaberation.

Management of the Typhoon Project - National Audit Office

Specifically about missile defence, i'm in 2 minds. It's good that the Dutch are advancing the SMART-L radar (+ in turn the S1850) development for ABM work and I recall reading somewhere - sounds bad, i know - that Raytheon have blocks in place which would enable SM3 to work with S1850 (i'll look for the link) but on the flipside, why should we pay for ABM technology when we've got a neighbour across the pond who's more than happy to foot the bill?

That last bit's really tongue in cheek.

Last edited by RobWilliams; September 20th, 2012 at 05:13 PM.
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Old September 20th, 2012   #12
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I raged so hard I had to register and reply..

This is bullshit, The European union is hellbent on a non-democratic dictatorial European Police state.

Britain doesn't even need the rest of Europe IMO:
War Machines
Yesterday
Yesterday we asked "Who is most powerful?" from a list of countries excluding the US. Here is the answer...

The Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing ranked countries in many areas according to GDP, military power, military training, military technology, diplomacy, capital strength, technological power, natural resources, human resources, government coordination and control capability, informatio
n and communication infrastructure and capability to defend/use offensively that infrastructure. The results are displayed below and as you can see, the UK was the correct answer to our question!

1) United States - 90.62
2) United Kingdom - 65.04
3) Russia - 63.03
4) France - 62
5) Germany - 61.93
6) China - 59.10
7) Japan - 57.84
8 ) Canada - 57.09
9) South Korea - 53.2
10) India - 50.43
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Old September 20th, 2012   #13
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The Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing ranked countries in many areas according to GDP, military power, military training, military technology, diplomacy, capital strength, technological power, natural resources, human resources, government coordination and control capability, informatio
n and communication infrastructure and capability to defend/use offensively that infrastructure. The results are displayed below and as you can see, the UK was the correct answer to our question!

1) United States - 90.62
2) United Kingdom - 65.04
3) Russia - 63.03
4) France - 62
5) Germany - 61.93
6) China - 59.10
7) Japan - 57.84
8 ) Canada - 57.09
9) South Korea - 53.2
10) India - 50.43
You got a link to this release? I'd be very interested to read about it, but a quick google (it's late here! ) brought nothing up.
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Old September 20th, 2012   #14
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This Euro-Military agreement, not hat its going to happen, may very well spell the end of NATO. Which would be a disaster for Europe. It would be one to just to combine military assets for a unified strike/defensive force but we all know its not that easy.

Whats that saying? "To make cooks spoil the broth"? The fact is that Europe is still a collection of Nation states with different national priorities, let alone opinion, and its two most powerful states, France and Britain, will never go along with it. Even if they did it would only increase the dissension in the group.

When body bags start coming home, or even the threat of it, Nationalism will rise and weaken the collective strength of the unified military. If they even are able to agree on force use in the first place. Let alone force structure, individual budget responsibilities, leadership selection, who gets what defense contracts....ect I see either the economic strongest nations holding sway ; IE Germany, or coalitions binding together. Its all so unworkable.

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As a Brit I get increasingly disheartened with the 'special relationship' with the US becoming more of a one way relationship everyday. Within Europe we will always to continue to have a big say in the running of things & having a world renowned Armed Forces, this influence would be the same within an EU army if not even more so.
This perplexes me. I cant understand either thing you said and you havnt explained why your saying it. Please go into detail if you get a moment.

I get it. They want to do Libya's and Yugoslavia's without US involvement and they want to distance themselves from US policy. But they even want to do that to varying degrees. They cant even agree on that.
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Old September 20th, 2012   #15
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You got a link to this release? I'd be very interested to read about it, but a quick google (it's late here! ) brought nothing up.
Just requested the link to the study/investigation from the admin of the page who posted it, a few more interesting posts regarding my previous post:
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Sam Moreton This is called the index of comprehensive national power, it measures absolutely everything, ranging from demographics to ease of doing international business, really shows how powerful the UK still is based on solid factors like cultural extent whilst the US position is based on more volatile factors such as economics and military, both of which will shortly be overtaken by china.
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Which is why it's more acurate than something like this: www[.]globalfirepower.com/Global Firepower - 2012 World Military Strength Ranking for example because this only takes into acount a certain range of things compared to the vast range of figures covered by my original post.

Even so, according to that list we are still 5th in the world and the strongest in europe except for russia (If you would count them as europe).
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