…from Sputnik News, Moscow
[ Editor’s Note: Many will agree with Macron’s comments about NATO, whose main purpose is to perpetuate itself by creating threats that will assure its relevancy and funding.
But the flip side is that the EU, with its flatline 1.2% growth economy, heading for less than 0.5% over the next two years, and the European Central Banks printing money à la Federal Reserve, is in no position to build a credible military defense in less than a generation.
Merkel may be onboard the project, but she forgets that VT and others read the report that it could take up to five years just to bring the number of boots needed for the army to the minimum of two pairs per soldier.
And where is the EU going to get its nuclear deterrent? How long will it take to get a credible missile shield? Is it planning to just steal hypersonic technology from Russia to get into that game?
The EU citizens are struggling now, like the French farmers committing suicide over their dire financial future. Would the European army’s main purpose be to keep control of its unhappy citizens?
France does not even want to take back its ISIS PoWs from Syria, and is afraid to have them back in the country; and yet, Macron thinks he has the stature to lead an EU NATO replacement. Has he lost his mind, or is he waking up each morning after a night of grand dreams that he acts out during the day? … Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … November 07, 2019 –
US President Donald Trump in July asked NATO countries to contribute more to the alliance in terms of defence spending, as it is not “fair” that “many countries [are] nowhere close to their 2% commitment” while “the US is paying for 90% of NATO”.
The United States is turning its back on the European project, according to the French president. It’s time to wake up, Emmanuel Macron told The Economist.
The French president warned fellow European countries that they could no longer rely on the United States to defend North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies, adding that there is no coordination of “strategic decision-making” between the allies.
“None. You have an uncoordinated aggressive action by another NATO ally, Turkey, in an area where our interests are at stake”, Macron said in an interview with The Economist, adding “What we are currently experiencing is the brain death of NATO”.
The president also expressed doubts about the effectiveness of Article 5 of the NATO treaty that an “attack on one member of NATO is an attack on all of its members”.
“I don’t know”, he said, “but what will Article Five mean tomorrow?”
NATO, according to Macron, “only works if the guarantor of last resort functions as such”.
“I’d argue that we should reassess the reality of what NATO is in light of the commitment of the United States”, the French president added.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated that she disagrees with Emmanuel Macron’s stance on NATO.
Creating a European Army
In November 2018, Emmanuel Macron voiced an idea about creating an European Army for EU member states that could provide the bloc with protection against the United States, China, and Russia.
According to Macron, Europe will not be able to perform its role if it does not face the threat of major powers, does not act with even greater responsibility to its own defence and security, and accepts a secondary role on the world stage.
The French president noted that many powers are trying to “push Europe out of the game”, criticising public debate, open democracy, and leading to discord. In such a world the only true power of Europe is its unity, he concluded.
Merkel swiftly welcomed the idea, adding that “the times when we could rely on others are over”. She, however, stressed that the future EU army would complement NATO and in no way call into question Europe’s ties with the alliance. Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has said that the European Union opposes it. US President Donald Trump also criticised the concept.
Relations between NATO and the EU were institutionalised in the early 2000s, building on steps taken during the 1990s to promote greater European responsibility in defence matters (NATO-Western European Union cooperation), according to the NATO website.
In July 2018, the two organisations agreed to focus on rapidly developing the areas of military mobility, counter-terrorism, and strengthening resilience to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear-related risks as well as promoting women, peace and, the security agenda, NATO said.