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This is a discussion on Nato within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by GermanHerman I think a lot of people misunderstand the current state of the Union and its momentum ...


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Old June 26th, 2017   #16
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Originally Posted by GermanHerman View Post
I think a lot of people misunderstand the current state of the Union and its momentum in general. The european unification is no goal that can be achived by one generation and the EU is not done growing. The goal is to creat a european superstate.
Yes, I understand the ultimate goal and I agree it will take at least 2 generations to accomplish this, maybe longer given language and cultural issues. In fact, look at some of the US states or Canadian provinces and you can see how difficult things can be. Even with minimal language issues (this is changing somewhat in the US) and minimal cultural differences many polarizing issues pop up between states. In Canada we have interprovincial trade issues, as if we didn't have enough trade issues already internationally.

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When you look at it from that perspective the whole argument about brussels extra layers of burocracy gets invalid as this layers of burocracy will end up replacing the levels of burocracy on the level of the member states.
I don't buy that argument and the UK didn't.

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Of cause a unification process like this is extremly complicated and has to overcome problems. There are no historical examples for such a progress that I'm aware of.
Certainly none that were democratic.

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And you are right, one of the biggest problems is that member states have to give up certain sovereign powers. But this isn't just the case in defence matters but in all fields.
Yes, and maybe future generations will buy into this.

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When you talk about the industrial sovereignty keep in mind that 19 states already came together and gave up the sovereignty over their currencies. The Federalisation of the EU is something that has been worked on for years now and which will take a lot more work but is ultimately something that is wanted by the ruling factions through most europe.
One could say that giving up sovereignty over currency hasn't been so popular in certain countries, e.g. Greece, because it does restrict a national government's options. I wonder what government finance heads say in private regarding the Euro.

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Part of that is the european army. An Idea that is also unpopular amongst the majroity of the european population but is nevertheless still pursued by politiciens for years and we see that there are processes of greater cooperation between european forces. To catch up to your submarine argument, the polish and german u boat fleets will be operated from a joint command center soon.
Can't see the German and French doing the same with subs. Certainly the UK never would although this moot given the Brexit outcome.

Concerning the formation of a European army, yes it offers advantages. Probably the biggest obstacle is using an EU army for operations outside Europe. Lets face it, several NATO missions didn't enjoy total enthusiasm amongst all NATO missions. Perhaps this obstacle will disappear in 1-2 generations as a true EU state emerges without the local national interests. Won't be around to see how it all turns out.
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Old June 26th, 2017   #17
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Originally Posted by GermanHerman View Post
IAnd you are right, one of the biggest problems is that member states have to give up certain sovereign powers. But this isn't just the case in defence matters but in all fields.

When you talk about the industrial sovereignty keep in mind that 19 states already came together and gave up the sovereignty over their currencies. The Federalisation of the EU is something that has been worked on for years now and which will take a lot more work but is ultimately something that is wanted by the ruling factions through most europe.
So a fundamentally anti-democratic proposition? And what of those EU members who are uncomfortable with the current level of control the EU is attempting to exercise over their sovereignty on issues like accepting refugee or maintaining separate economic and diplomatic relationships with countries that other EU members might find problematic?
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Old June 27th, 2017   #18
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All this stuff about the EU being a bunch of not elected bureaucrats is nonsense.

The leading organs of the EU are either voted directly or are installed by the democratically elected governments of it's memberstates.

It's not like the members of the commission couldn't be fired and replaced in a whimper by the memberstates.

The EU has lots of flaws. Making it look as if this is some self inflicted intra EU bueraucracy problem and not because the memberstates molded it into it's current form is delusionary.

It's the same nonsense which got spouted in the UK before (and after) the referendum. Especially with the UK bueraucracy often enough being more than happy to implement harsh and/or stupid regulations way above what the EU required just to blame it all on the EU when the backlash hits them...
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Old June 27th, 2017   #19
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All this stuff about the EU being a bunch of not elected bureaucrats is nonsense.

The leading organs of the EU are either voted directly or are installed by the democratically elected governments of it's memberstates.

It's not like the members of the commission couldn't be fired and replaced in a whimper by the memberstates.

The EU has lots of flaws. Making it look as if this is some self inflicted intra EU bueraucracy problem and not because the memberstates molded it into it's current form is delusionary.

It's the same nonsense which got spouted in the UK before (and after) the referendum. Especially with the UK bueraucracy often enough being more than happy to implement harsh and/or stupid regulations way above what the EU required just to blame it all on the EU when the backlash hits them...
Therein lies the issue. The current arrangement has the EU operating by consensus. In other words, it's more then democratic. But in such a form, it has no legal means and only some political means for forcing consensus. And many of it's current member states are happy with that arrangement. If we're talking about changing that to federalize the EU and form some sort of nation-state like system, the immediate question is how? Getting consensus would mean that ALL of the EU members would have to VOLUNTARILY sacrifice their sovereignty. A less then likely proposition given that many of them are unhappy with current EU attempts to control issues like immigration and foreign policy. Some of it takes the form of quiet sabotage, some of it is open defiance. But either way there is already a political conflict between those who want the existing benefits of the EU without paying a higher cost in terms of giving up their independence, and between those who want to see the other members tow a line set by the more powerful actors.

Consider the internal situation in Poland. What chances are there of a democratic transition to federal rule by the EU, with the realization that this means they will have to taken as many "refugees" as Brussels tells them to? If they get a say, then you can forget a federal union. And if they don't, democracy goes out the window.
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Old June 27th, 2017   #20
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Consider the internal situation in Poland. What chances are there of a democratic transition to federal rule by the EU, with the realization that this means they will have to taken as many "refugees" as Brussels tells them to? If they get a say, then you can forget a federal union. And if they don't, democracy goes out the window.
Well the refugee situation is a prime example for the benefits of a unified european union. I think most people are not into german politics enough to know and understand how the decisioun arose to open the borders with all its consequences so here we go:
In fact germany wanted to seal of its border. Police had orders prepared and were in present in the area in seizable numbers. When the order to close the border was to be issued how ever Merkel didn't want to take personal responsibility and asked if one of her ministers could give her a guarantee that this action was legal and wouldnt be brought before a court. Of cause no such guarantee can be given and no one else wanted to take the responsibility.
That the orders were not given and the borders left open was the sold to the public as a humanitarien deciosion because, well, what else is a politician supposed to do?

At this point a majority of euorpean leaders already voiced their concern and a majority of the european population was clearly against taking in more refugees. A centralized european government would have voted / ruled against taking in more and no one in germany would had to take responsibility for closing of the border. The whole situation would have been avoided thanks to good old brussels.

So yeah, the problem is infact that there is no such thing as a centralized goverment and especialy now countrys like hungary and polan understand it. As a single state they can be bullied and forced by a more powerfull german state but as a block they are strong. But they can't project their power as single states they need brussel as a tool to project their power in the EU.

People on the street might hear a different tune and sing a different song, but the logic of realpolitik points straight this way.

I think this answers also your argument about the anti-democratic EU. And after all, democracy will always leave to a big minority of people beeing unrepresented. Look at the last US election once again. One half of the country was happy while the other was disappointed. All those who voted for HRC are surely dont feel represented by trump, but would you consider them oppressed and unfree?
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Old June 27th, 2017   #21
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Can't see the German and French doing the same with subs.
Wouldn't make much sense either. Operationally, you have a group of five European NATO members in the North operating submarines (UK, Germany, Norway, Netherlands, Poland - ~27 subs) and five European NATO members in the South (France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal - ~27 subs). The only submarines "inbetween" those are the French SSBNs.

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I particularly like the A400M example, just imagine the chaos of having 27 members in Brussels managing that program.
Do people even realize that A400M is first and foremost a procurement programme for the EATC, which will be its sole dispatching user? And the EATC does have that little coat of arms with all that blue and the 12 stars...
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Old June 27th, 2017   #22
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Well the refugee situation is a prime example for the benefits of a unified european union. I think most people are not into german politics enough to know and understand how the decisioun arose to open the borders with all its consequences so here we go:
In fact germany wanted to seal of its border. Police had orders prepared and were in present in the area in seizable numbers. When the order to close the border was to be issued how ever Merkel didn't want to take personal responsibility and asked if one of her ministers could give her a guarantee that this action was legal and wouldnt be brought before a court. Of cause no such guarantee can be given and no one else wanted to take the responsibility.
That the orders were not given and the borders left open was the sold to the public as a humanitarien deciosion because, well, what else is a politician supposed to do?

At this point a majority of euorpean leaders already voiced their concern and a majority of the european population was clearly against taking in more refugees. A centralized european government would have voted / ruled against taking in more and no one in germany would had to take responsibility for closing of the border. The whole situation would have been avoided thanks to good old brussels.

So yeah, the problem is infact that there is no such thing as a centralized goverment and especialy now countrys like hungary and polan understand it. As a single state they can be bullied and forced by a more powerfull german state but as a block they are strong. But they can't project their power as single states they need brussel as a tool to project their power in the EU.

People on the street might hear a different tune and sing a different song, but the logic of realpolitik points straight this way.

I think this answers also your argument about the anti-democratic EU. And after all, democracy will always leave to a big minority of people beeing unrepresented. Look at the last US election once again. One half of the country was happy while the other was disappointed. All those who voted for HRC are surely dont feel represented by trump, but would you consider them oppressed and unfree?
Then how do you explain the continued attempts by Germany to try and force some of the eastern European EU members to take on migrants?
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Old June 27th, 2017   #23
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Bleeding heart lawyers that think Western countries are bottomless wells of money and spineless pollies that don't have the balls to say enough. Even if there was a functioning EU government that wasn't subject to former sovereign interference, pollies and lawyers would still stuff things up. The USA has the same problem as a unified government, mind you these days the functioning part is debatable. Canada isn't much better.
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Old September 2nd, 2017   #24
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What if? The nightmare scenario.

https://youtu.be/_D3vCiYbXFE
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Old September 2nd, 2017   #25
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What if? The nightmare scenario.
A nightmare would be if Russian jet was not shot down by NATO forces.
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CIMSEC op-ed

The Baltic: Grey-Zone Threats on NATO's Northern Flank
A very nice article about situation in the Baltic Sea region. Some new circumstances are underlined.
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The European unification is no goal that can be achieved by one generation and the EU is not done growing. The goal is to create a European superstate.
From my point of view, the goal itself is a pure fantasy.
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Second point. Why have the claims actually been done on Germany? This is the question. And what about other NATO countries which spend much less than 2% of GDP on defence?
Not only on Germany. And, after all, Germany is the second economy power in NATO after USA. If Latvia spends less than 2%, nobody worries much. But If Germany, Italy, Canada and Spain spend significantly less than 2%, it becomes a problem of a strategic scale.
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Old September 6th, 2017   #26
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Originally Posted by John Fedup View Post
Bleeding heart lawyers that think Western countries are bottomless wells of money and spineless pollies that don't have the balls to say enough. Even if there was a functioning EU government that wasn't subject to former sovereign interference, pollies and lawyers would still stuff things up. The USA has the same problem as a unified government, mind you these days the functioning part is debatable. Canada isn't much better.
As one of the lawyers, I think you grossly mischaracterize us. Rember that favorite Shakespeare quote: "first kill all the lawyers?" Problem is that it isn't the entire sentence: "If you plan on revolution, first you must kill all the lawyers." We keep people honest. Legislatures pass laws which on occasion governments violate their constitution or laws, and we are ultimately the gate keepers. Without a thriving legal system you get Tyrnanery.

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