Is it time to think international relations and security beyond NATO?

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,055
Welsh Marches
What he says about French resentment at being freed by the 'Anglo-Saxons' is undoubtedly true, but there is a factor that he leaves unmentioned that complicates the issue, namely that if being allies in two world wars did nothing the bring the French and English any closer, perhaps even having the opposite effect, it is largely because there is such a lack of affinity between them. It is the great irony of the history of the last two centuries that the British became enemies in two world wars of the European people with whom they were the most natural allies!
 
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
EU armies are joke. Only Brits are capable of any foreign intervention, probably also French with their Foreign legion but even they can't send more than a group of few battalions.

My state is in hands of extreme left which wishes to demolish army so army is underpaid and underequipped, meeting no standards and we are not paying even 1% of our gdp. I suppose Nato should kick us out.

Anyone wishing to occupy Slovenia may do it in a time of one working day because nobody will defend our corrupt immoral leftist state.
In Sweden (maybe I shouldn't be writing this as the reputation of my country seems to be sliding in many circles, why help the process?) we are officially capable of defending ourselves in one place of the country for one week. This became a national sensation 5 or so years ago, when our then Chief of Staff went out and spoke about enveckasförsvaret - "the one week defence".

How the mighty have fallen... we had the world's 4th biggest airforce back in the 60s for a while and 800 000 men that could be mobilized in relatively short order.

We do currently have a major intelligence co-operation deal with the US though, by basically spying on traffic from Eastern Europe (the fiberoptic cables conveniently go through Swedish territorial waters). So I suppose this is some kind of security guarantee, but the question is how much it is worth in practice.
 
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Baldtastic

Ad Honorem
Aug 2009
5,340
Londinium
The EU itself doesn't have any units at all. All forces belong to the member states themselves. At the EU level there exist pretty much just overall military planning and HQ elements - so not that different from NATO actually. The Eurocorps is subject to the unanimity of the countries contributing forces and not even part of the EU structures - though it is due to the contributing countries closely tied with it.

Let's go through what you linked to. The very article your link points to makes it explicitly clear that: "The forces are under the direct control of the Council of the European Union." Meaning they are not under EU control (i.e. EU Commission) but under the control of a council consisting of the governments of the EU member states should there be unanimity towards the use of those forces. Every single member state has a veto on that.
You’re just proving my assessment correct – the EU is built upon, cannot maintain support without, plausible deniability.

The EU doesn’t need to raise it’s own army, it uses member states then directs these forces within the wider EU power structure*, or as you put it, “At the EU level there exist pretty much just overall military planning and HQ elements”; “just” overall military planning! Do you even hear these words yourself?!

Then the deniability continues, this time admitting to a counter-point as soon as a point is made, “The Eurocorps is subject to the unanimity of the countries .. not even part of the EU structure - though it is due to the contributing countries closely tied with it”. Not “closely tied” under direct economic and political control of the EU itself.

The European Council is part of the EU, to somehow deny this is quite staggering.

.
The Council of the European Union, referred to in the treaties and other official documents simply as the Council[a] is the third of the seven Institutions of the European Union(EU) as listed in the Treaty on European Union.[1] It is part of the essentially bicameral EU legislature (the other legislative body being the European Parliament) and represents the executive governments of the EU's member states.[2][1] It is based in the Europa building in Brussels.[3] .
Council of the European Union - Wikipedia

*as this is a history form, I should point out this is how armies were raised in Medieval Europe; vassals had to supply troops to their liege-lords, with their lords then deciding the “overall military planning and HQ elements”. Not an exaggeration; an apt comparison.
 
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
What he says about French resentment at being freed by the 'Anglo-Saxons' is undoubtedly true, but there is a factor that he leaves unmentioned that complicates the issue, namely that if being allies in two world wars did nothing the bring the French and English any closer, perhaps even having the opposite effect, it is largely because there is such a lack of affinity between them. It is the great irony of the history of the last two centuries that the British became enemies in two world wars of the European people with whom they were the most natural allies!
Yes! This is awfully true, even though there seem to be some Anglo-Philes in France (the former leader of the UMP Francois Fillon seems a good candidate) and some Franco-Philes in England (Churchill perhaps qualifies?) you are probably right.

The impact of poor German foreign policy decisions... really, at times I think you could make a plausible case that all of the 20th century is really the fault (or credit, if you feel so inclined) of Wilhelm the Second...
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,055
Welsh Marches
... also of course of the way in which Bismarck brought about the unification of Germany (although I greatly respect him im many way and am quite certain that he would never have allowed Germany to get embroiled in a general European war). For Bismarck and his kind, British 'liberalism' was all that they most disliked and opposed.
 
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Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
... also of course of the way in which Bismarck brought about the unification of Germany (although I gretaly respect him im many way and am quite certain that he would never have allowed Germany to get embroiled in a general European war). For Bismarck and his kind, British 'liberalism' was all that they most disliked and opposed.
Yes. Bismarck was an operational genius, but I agree that Germany would probably have benefited from adopting certain aspects of British (or even other German but non-prussian, as some of the German states had constitutional solutions more similar to England) parliamentary governance, and making the executive accountable to some other body. Wilhelm's father was quite influenced by British liberalism from what I've understood, but he died rather prematurely of throat cancer...

This entire process is one of my favourite arguments against "structuralist" historians who like to claim that "it is all seen in the long run, individuals are all billiard balls on a plane" etc. Chance and individual actions certainly seem to matter.
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,055
Welsh Marches
I agree very much with that, European history would have followed an entirely different corse if had not been for the calculating genius of Bismarck, or the cancer that killed Wilhelm's father, or Wilhelm's own idiosyncrasies (which followed in turn to an important extent from the circumstances of his birth that caused him to have a withered arm). One can never overestimate, in my view, the part that accidents and contingencies play in history, and the the undoubted existence of 'great men' who force history along a path that it would not otherwise have taken belongs among those contingencies.
 
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
I agree very much with that, European history would have followed an entirely different corse if had not been for the calculating genius of Bismarck, or the cancer that killed Wilhelm's father, or Wilhelm's own idiosyncrasies (which followed in turn to an important extent from the circumstances of his birth that caused him to have a withered arm). One can never overestimate, in my view, the part that accidents and contingencies play in history, and the the undoubted existence of 'great men' who force history along a path that it would not otherwise have taken belongs among those contingencies.
Agreed! Even though these great men no doubt act within some "structural constraints" (at least I believe so) these are often clearer - at least if you're reasonably analytically minded - than the actual space within which the various actors as well as chance has a real role to influence the course of history. God works in the details.
 

Vaeltaja

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
3,687
You’re just proving my assessment correct – the EU is built upon, cannot maintain support without, plausible deniability.
Wrong. The EU is merely what the member states want it to be. Nothing more.
The EU doesn’t need to raise it’s own army, it uses member states then directs these forces within the wider EU power structure*, or as you put it, “At the EU level there exist pretty much just overall military planning and HQ elements”; “just” overall military planning! Do you even hear these words yourself?!
Wrong again. The EU doesn't have such powers. The EU only has powers which the member states have explicitly given to it - it simply doesn't have those wider powers which you described. The whole agreement comes directly from the approval of the member states, the EU can not decide on the matter by itself, the member states need to do so. This seems rather difficult concept for you to grasp. The current EU 'HQ' is there just for planning training missions. By existing plans it might be possible for it to control a deployment of an European battlegroup by 2020 (i.e. 2 500 men) but it doesn't have such capability as of yet. So it really is just planning & other paper pushing HQ stuff what it does. European Union Military Staff - Wikipedia
Then the deniability continues, this time admitting to a counter-point as soon as a point is made, “The Eurocorps is subject to the unanimity of the countries .. not even part of the EU structure - though it is due to the contributing countries closely tied with it”. Not “closely tied” under direct economic and political control of the EU itself.
No. The Eurocorps is explicitly outside of the EU control. Neither can the EU control the military forces of its member states. Not politically or otherwise. Again similar system to NATO in fact. Forces of the NATO member states are not subject to NATO control - what i mean by this is that they can act outside of NATO as well.
The European Council is part of the EU, to somehow deny this is quite staggering.
It is only the one organ that is completely under control of the member states. And per its own rules it can not make decisions such as the utilization of the EU forces without unanimity from the member states. Which means that every single EU member state has full veto right. So trying to depict that as if the EU (i.e. the commission, the 'faceless' bureaucrats) could decide anything with regards to that is folly - only the member states can, and even they if and only if they are able to reach consensus without any dissenting voices.
*as this is a history form, I should point out this is how armies were raised in Medieval Europe; vassals had to supply troops to their liege-lords, with their lords then deciding the “overall military planning and HQ elements”. Not an exaggeration; an apt comparison.
Except in this case any of the 'vassals' can simply say 'no' and that would end the whole show. Nothing can happen unless the 'vassals' all agree on it - or at very least none of them opposes it. So there really are no parallels to the medieval example you posted.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,075
Europix
Be very careful with the comparison you just made, you are very close to sounding like the EU is a sovereign entity in its own right - a nation state. If so, we are in agreement!
I don't have to be careful: it is not I talking about "Europe"/"EU" not being able to carry operations, having an army and all the rest.

As much as You dislike the simple idea of EU, as much as You might be more than justified in Your dislike, as much as we agree or disagree, there are a couples of things that simply aren't true.

Simply false parallels.

Example: "vassals".

We are talking about today, about NATO, about modern states. The US army is the US army, not a gathering of militias from the states. The UK is the UK army, not Queen's guards plus militias from Nothinham and Lord's Gloucester's troops. France's army, Germany's army, Slovenia's army are their armies. With their policies, with their priorities, with their expenditures. Not "Europe's" or "Eu's". Point.

Let's be honest and not, as our common friend said, just poppycock.
 
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