Von der Leyen wants EU Army

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  • I think we would have an interest in a large military force being formed across the channel/north sea from ourselves. The Command and Control structures would be complex and cumbersome and it would soon become apparent that operational effectiveness and troop deployment decisions would need to be streamlined leading to a few, probably unelected officials having power over an enormous force and weaponry.


    I think that it would be perceived as a hostile force once the sovereign authority of the constituent parts of this force have been over-ridden. Look at the nutters at the top of the EU, would you want them having control over you? As you know outside the political arena we don't really have any problem with our European neighbours and we can have diplomatic relations with them all for domestic stuff. But a giant military force is not something that should be welcomed as it will destabilise the western alliance that had held strong for 70 or so years.


    Furthermore in the potential case of Scottish independence and the re-admittance to the EU of Scotland the security of the new EU/England border would almost certainly be used as an excuse for troop deployment as the Scots would have no defence force of their own. Maybe the SNP welcome the idea of EU troops on what was UK soil keeping the vile English out but I cannot see the upside to that TBH.

    And in this post lies the very reason why the Europeans can never trust the English. Scots, yes. United Ireland, certainly. England...? Not a chance at this time.


    Just look at the rhetoric above: "Look at the nutters at the top of the EU, would you want them having control over you?" ........."Scottish independence and the re-admittance to the EU of Scotland the security of the new EU/England border would almost certainly be used as an excuse for troop deployment"............... "Maybe the SNP welcome the idea of EU troops on what was UK soil keeping the vile English out but I cannot see the upside to that"


    Where do we even start with this...? AS says he would like a military alliance with the Europeans and yet, he immediately labels them as "nutters". Not exactly diplomatic language, is it..?


    The perception that a military alliance would be some sort of sly attempt to put foreign (rather than "allied" troops on FORMER British soil..!! As if there is some secret plot to invade England hidden in the desire for a military alliance. Sheesh.... where does THAT kind of paranoia come from..?


    For the Europeans, any alliance that included an English government that thinks along such lines would be doomed to failure from the start. The English will not accept that anybody but them can be a part of the Command structure. It would have to be England in command, giving the orders. The Europeans won't accept that. Sure, England would have a say in military matters, and control over its own troops. In a crisis situation, I'm sure the English command structure would have a role to play, but that wouldn't be enough for us. We would demand that other countries put their troops under our command.


    That'll go down like a lead fart all over the continent.


    And if an independent Scotland did indeed allow European ALLIED troops into Scotland, to defend Europe's northern flank for the English to show such hostility towards them would be the complete antithesis of everything that a military alliance stands for.


    There is also the little matter of the Faslane nuclear submarine base. The SNP are profoundly anti-nuclear. An independent Scotland is likely to tell England where it can stick its nukes. That would be an entirely different political ball game.


    I don't think the English (that is, the English part of the former United Kingdom) would bring anything positive to a European military alliance under the present regime. The only thing that would come with us at this time is division, dissent and disruption.


    Until such times as the mentality that prevails in England at this time is eradicated, and we have re-joined the EU as a fully committed partner, with a pro-European government (probably a coalition one) elected under PR and therefore not dominated by hard line right wing extremists , Britain would not be welcomed. Indeed, the whole project would be better off without us.

  • As you know outside the political arena we don't really have any problem with our European neighbours and we can have diplomatic relations with them all for domestic stuff. But a giant military force is not something that should be welcomed as it will destabilise the western alliance that had held strong for 70 or so years.

    And there's just no political will to do it, in any case.


    As I said, I think this is just a way for Germany to try and expand it's military interests, but do it under the auspices of the EU.

  • And there's just no political will to do it, in any case.


    As I said, I think this is just a way for Germany to try and expand it's military interests, but do it under the auspices of the EU.

    That's an interesting slant.


    So...... what exactly ARE these German military interests..?


    It seems odd to me that a country that - you suggest - wants to "expand it's military interests" should abolish national service, as Germany did in 2011.


    Below is a list of conflicts that Germany has been involved in since re-unification, and the number of personnel committed. It doesn't seem to me to be an attempt to rule the world....


  • I don't disagree with your list Jenny, but without getting into too general discussion about the EU and Euro, do you truly believe that the EU is made up of equal states with equal powers, or do you think some are more dominate than others? And if some are more dominate, is there one country that is more dominate than anyone else?


    Which country had a almost 100% 1 to 1 conversion rate of its currency to the Euro?


    If you take out the words EU in many documents that the Germans produce and put in Germany instead, things take a very different slant.


    Note: I was always originally an advocate for the EU, primarily because it meant that Britain could peg back Germany's ambitions after its reunification. Obviously, things have turned out as they are.

  • What does it matter to Britain..? It's got nothing to do with us any more. Our opinion is invalid in the argument because we gave up our seat at the EU table. We have no say in the matter.

    It matters because this could end up undermining NATO.


    EU countries have failed to make their 2% contributions for many years - how would they find the money for an EU army? The likelihood would be that they would pull out of NATO and contribute to the EU defence machinery instead. A fragmented NATO is a weaker NATO. Russia and China would be delighted.


    No, it does affect us. This is not a Brexit issue, it’s a NATO issue.

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  • I'm not keen to drift off topic here, but just for this one point I'll reluctantly take the bait.



    I would agree wholeheartedly that Germany is the dominant nation within the EU. That's a given. But I see it as having more of a leadership role than being a political master.


    Germany contributes the most in monetary terms, has the greatest industrial output, has taken the most refugees, has the most status and political clout globally and has been the most politically stable - and indeed, astute country (especially under Merkel) in the union. This puts them in a good place to assume the generally accepted leadership of the EU, with the overwhelmingly willing compliance of almost all member states.


    Given that the European Parliament does not form a government in the traditional sense of a parliamentary system, its politics have developed along consensual lines rather than majority rule of competing parties and coalitions. Indeed, the whole structure is more along the lines of a "Grand Coalition" of European political groupings.


    Of course, Germany has a strong voice in the Grand Coalition, but it does not have an overall majority. It therefore cannot dominate in the way that, say, the current Conservative government in UK can. Consensus politics, with the overriding principle of working in the interests of the European people as a whole is the name of the game.


    As you well know, where treaty issues are concerned, every member nation has a veto. This means that even Luxembourg alone could prevent Germany from passing this or that. Every treaty ever passed in the EU has done so with a unanimous verdict.


    Tell me........... what is undemocratic about a unanimous agreement...?




    When was a British Parliament ever made up of such a diverse spread of political interests...?

    eu-parliament.jpg



    Anyway.......... let's get back on topic. We can discuss the EU elsewhere. This is meant to be about a European Army.

  • Of course, Germany has a strong voice in the Grand Coalition, but it does not have an overall majority. It therefore cannot dominate in the way that, say, the current Conservative government in UK can. Consensus politics, with the overriding principle of working in the interests of the European people as a whole is the name of the game.

    I broadly agreed with you, until this.


    And I mentioned before about the replacement of a democratically elected prime minister (or was it two...) at Merkel's behest.


    Germany welds its power carefully and it does it via the Euro, which it controls. At the moment, Germans don't fancy taking on the debts of poorer EU countries, so we're not quite across the red line yet, yet. But he who controls the money, controls. And the natural step after financial control, is military control.

  • My view is that Germany will eventually get what Hitler strived for, minus the UK and Russia. It’s only a matter of time before Germany has all the power over Europe. Fortunately, we managed to escape that trap by the skin of our teeth.

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  • I broadly agreed with you, until this.


    And I mentioned before about the replacement of a democratically elected prime minister (or was it two...) at Merkel's behest.


    Germany welds its power carefully and it does it via the Euro, which it controls. At the moment, Germans don't fancy taking on the debts of poorer EU countries, so we're not quite across the red line yet, yet. But he who controls the money, controls. And the natural step after financial control, is military control.

    You still haven't answered my question about exactly what these perceived military ambitions are.


    Your argument would indicate a certain kind of political maneouvering, but for what purpose..? As far as I can see, it could only be internal to the EU if, and I stress, "if", this was indeed the case. But how could manipulation via the Euro influence external military ambitions..?

  • My view is that Germany will eventually get what Hitler strived for, minus the UK and Russia. It’s only a matter of time before Germany has all the power over Europe. Fortunately, we managed to escape that trap by the skin of our teeth.


    Ireland still owes the German banks billions going back to the 2000s. Our house prices have certainly shot through the roof since joining the Euro, along with a number of other goods and services. Though there may be other factors involved there, I don't know.


    Given our policy of neutrality, I don't think we'd ever be joining an EU army. Our small forces are solely committed to patrolling the seas for trafficking, smuggling, boats fishing illegally - along with the occasional UN peacekeeping mission. That said, it probably wouldn't make much of a difference to the EU as we are not a large military power like Britain or France.

  • You still haven't answered my question about exactly what these perceived military ambitions are.


    Your argument would indicate a certain kind of political maneouvering, but for what purpose..? As far as I can see, it could only be internal to the EU if, and I stress, "if", this was indeed the case. But how could manipulation via the Euro influence external military ambitions..?

    If you view the EU as a union of equal states, then of course there is no ambition, but if, as you concede that Germany is dominate, it's ambition will naturally move into the military arena under the auspices of the EU. Why? Because it can.


    It's like a big boy on the block who wants to flex his muscles and bully the little one. Why does he want to do it? Because he can. Simple as that. Law of the jungle.


    In my opinion, Germany is playing a long game here, in a way similar to what China is doing, a geo-political one. It's difficult to see day by day, or even year by year, but decade by decade, it becomes clearer.


    The powerful bigger countries will always dominate the smaller, weaker ones. It's basic human nature. It doesn't make it right, it's just how it is. And because of the history, Germany can never be trusted again. Never. Even though we are a Germanic people ourselves, speaking a Germanic language. But we're not German any more. The schism was created by Germany's actions and that will never heal.

  • Ireland still owes the German banks billions going back to the 2000s. Our house prices have certainly shot through the roof since joining the Euro, along with a number of other goods and services. Though there may be other factors involved there, I don't know.


    Given our policy of neutrality, I don't think we'd ever be joining an EU army. Our small forces are solely committed to patrolling the seas for trafficking, smuggling, boats fishing illegally - along with the occasional UN peacekeeping mission. That said, it probably wouldn't make much of a difference to the EU as we are not a large military power like Britain or France.

    But in the end, would Ireland have a choice? The EU could demand it. What then?


    Step back and look at the big picture. It doesn’t look pretty.

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  • But this is why I'm so glad we're out of this mess. (the EU)


    First it was about trade, then common policies on various things and laws and now its heading (perhaps, but I doubt it) to a military alliance.


    As we have always said, and some laugh at us when we go on about it, as soon as you get a flag, an anthem, a foreign minister (or whatever the hell they call it) it starts to look like a country.

  • And people mustn't think that I'm anti-German either, because I'm not. This site is hosted in Germany using German technology and software.


    And nor do I think stormtroopers will goose step their way into other countries, but Germany is powerful and it's only natural that the next step will be to expand its military via the EU. Everything is via the EU... And that is why I am glad we're out of the EU. Taking orders from Brussels is bad enough, but taking orders from Berlin would be beyond the pale.

  • Horizon

    Changed the title of the thread from “Von Der Leyen wants EU Army” to “Von der Leyen wants EU Army”.
  • Hmmmm..... there is a lot of assumption and paranoia there. The sort of paranoia of a small man who feels threatened by a bigger man, even when there is no apparent threat whatsoever, when asked to explain what he's afraid of, can only say "Because he's bigger than me".


    There is no actual reason or grounds for his fear, but his own insecurities and sense of inferiority.


    I'm glad you said that this was only your personal opinion because truly........ there is no indication that Germany has the sort of ambitions you attribute to them. Sure, they want Europe to be strong. Certainly they want to have the leadership role and perhaps this is where you're missing or misinterpreting something.


    Perhaps you are equating 'leadership' with 'power'. Leadership is not about dominating those around you with force of personality. Rather, it is a set of skills that enable an individual to get the best out of the wider team, These skills include:


    .

    All of these things are conspicuously lacking in Britain's current regime and goodness knows, we could do with somebody in charge who had ANY of these attributes.


    The good leader has a plan. He / she explains that plan, listens to suggestions from the team, utilises the skills that are available within the team, constantly reviews that plan and adjusts it when and as necessary.


    And when the plan comes to fruition, everybody benefits.



    I think a lot of Britain's problem with the EU in general, and Germany in particular, is that we as a nation have a sense of grievance and resentment that Germany built itself up far more quickly, and much more effectively, after the war was over. Continental Europe suffered devastation on a far greater scale than anything Britain suffered during the blitz, and yet, West Germany was almost completely rebuilt by the late 1950's. In Britain however, my dad told me as a child how he and his mates used to play on bomb sites left over from the Blitz well into the 1960s.


    Germany benefited from Marshall Aid far more than Britain did. Germany had an "Economic Miracle" while Britain lost its empire. Germany became an industrial powerhouse while Britain became "The Sick Man of Europe".


    Germany rose back up after the war far more rapidly and effectively than Britain did.


    Little wonder then, that Britain should resent Germany. We won the war, you know. We did it all alone (yep, a lot of Brexiters really think that). We "stood alone" and would "never surrender". Good old Winnie brought us through our "darkest hour". Such phrases are constantly on our lips. We regurgitate movies and TV series about the war relentlessly. The Germans just don't talk about it. In Germany, remembrance for their war dead is solemn, dignified and occurs over a relatively short period of time. In Britain, we go on about it for months, the poppy is not just a flower of remembrance, it has replaced the red rose as a defining national symbol. As for dignified, well, the sight of van drivers in vehicles festooned with Spitfires and falling poppies has become a garish national embarrassment.


    For Britain, the fighting part of the war may be over, but the conflict with Germany has never ended, and for one reason: We think we are still owed the spoils of victory. For Britons, the war will never be over until we have had what we believe to be our just due........ and in the British mentality, that means that we must be seen to be victorious over the Germans not only militarily, but in terms of riches, glory and power.


    But that's not going to happen and it rankles. The Germans have moved on and are constantly going forward. We're stuck in a national mindset of resentment and a misplaced belief that WE should be Lords of all we survey.


    Because we won the war.


    Now........ Imagine this as a purely hypothetical scenario: Britain agrees to rejoin the EU on the sole condition that we are given permanent status as "Leader Of The Union", with the British Prime Minister as Permanent President Of The European Commission. Britannia would rule Europe..!! We would be the boss...!! THEY would have to take orders from US...!!


    We'd go back in like a shot.


    Britain's antipathy towards the EU has nothing to do with pan-European co-operation or being a trading bloc, or even sovereignty. Our resentment is due to the fact that we have to treat foreigners - and worse than that, Europeans - and even worse than that, Germans - as equals. Britain is not in charge.


    And that will not do. We believe acknowledgement of British superiority is our due, as the spoils of victory.


    Because we won the war.

  • I disagree. Yes, we did stand alone against Hitler, but we only won the war because the US ended up fighting alongside us. I think most people understand that.


    Most people don’t resent a stronger Germany rising from the ashes, as long as it remains a democracy. And with its electoral system of proportional representation, it will always be more concerned about keeping the coalition government together than world domination.


    I regard Germany as a friendly country nowadays. The Nazi period was a one-off, which is unlikely to be repeated. The remnants of Nazi-ism are now regarded as extremists in that country, and thank God for that.


    I wish Germany well in its leadership of the EU, as long as it doesn’t move towards the confrontational approach we’ve seen from Macron and Von der Leyen.

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  • I've not got time to respond to this now.... I have to get off to work. Interesting comments though. Will come back later.

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