Why Britain’s security is put at risk by the euro army
Eurofacts poses – and answers
-Some pertinent questions about the European rapid
“Full and frank exchange” is the diplomat’ euphemism for a row. So
presumably the words “severe”, frank, intense” – the US Secretary of State
Colin Powell’s description of the talks over the EU’s defence plans on 5th
December 2003 – denotes a row of seismic proportions. It was also clear from
Powell’s subsequent comments that the row remains unresolved.
At root, the disagreement reflects the US awareness that the EU’s
defence plans would destroy NATO and that no matter how they are dressed-up,
are part of Europe’s wider ambitions to provide a counterweight to the US
For those who have difficulty understanding the ongoing rumpus we
provide answers to some pertinent questions.
What is the military rationale for the new force?
There is not one; it is impossible to think of a conflict or crisis,
which could not be better dealt with by other means.
Well why was it created?
Because it is regarded as an essential building block in the creation
of a unitary European state. Many in Brussels also believe that there will be
no agreement on a common foreign policy unless there is a common defence.
So, this new force isn’t intended to provide
protection against new threats?
No, it will distract attention from the need to deal with the most
urgent and compelling threats to our security, namely international terrorism
and ‘rogue’ states with weapons of mass destruction. The Rapid Reaction
Force will not make any contribution to solving these problems.
12,500 troops, 18 ships and
72 combat planes. But we have also indicated that we will be prepared to put in
additional men and material if, as expected several of our partners, fail to
meet their commitments.
What do the members of our armed forces think about
Members of our armed forces owe their loyalty to the Crown and also
understand the importance of esprit de corps. They don’t like the idea of a multi-national force
answerable to Brussels in which standards are likely to be set by the least
efficient units. Experts refer to this tendency as the ‘multi-national troop
In time, in our out of the EU, why couldn’t European
states develop their own armed forces, instead of being reliant on the US?
In theory they could, but the reality is that Europe freeloaded on the
US during the Cold War, and has neglected its defences since. The one remaining military power- the US –
spends 3.5 per cent of its GDP on defence compared to less than 2 per cent for
EU states and its plans to raise defence spending by 30 per cent by 2009. In
the words of the NATO Secretary General George Robertson, “Europe is
a military pygmy”
He is too polite to point out that, relative to the US, it is a
shrinking pygmy with a broken spear. For Europe to bridge the gap would mean
cancelling welfare entitlements, raising taxation, slashing other forms of
public expenditure- all of which is politically impossible.
Couldn’t European defence cooperation be based on the
British and French forces, which are highly rated?
Although over-stretched and under-manned, the British and French forces
are good ‘niche armies’- but they do not begin to compare with the much larger
and better equipped US forces, comprising Twelve army divisions, the US navy
with its 12 carriers, and an air-force without equal.
Tony Blair says the creation of the Rapid Reaction
Force is just a way of rebalancing the Atlantic relationship and thanking the
Americans for their help in two world wars.
Yes. But they don’t believe him any more. You could only rebalance the
relationship if European states prepared to spend more and do more, or if the
Americans spend less and took on fewer responsibilities. Exactly the opposite
has been happening.
Why are the Americans getting hot under the collar
about proposed EU planning headquarters? The RRF already has a strategic planning capability, and now wants a
permanent operational planning headquarters. For the Americans this constitutes
the clearest evidence that the new force will duplicate NATO capabilities and
will lead to the decoupling of European and American security.
Where does Blair stand in all of this?
The RRF couldn’t have happened without his backing
for an autonomous defence capability at St Malo five years ago, and it can’t be
taken even half seriously without Britain’s involvement. He has also said that
he is “very ambitious” for European defence. But he also maintains that he
would never weaken NATO. In other words, true to form, he says things, which
are mutually contradictory. But actions speak louder than words – and he has
given the goal of an autonomous defence capability his backing.
Does this matter?
If we persist in this folly, we risk losing access to
enormously valuable US intelligence, which is crucial in dealing with
international terrorism. More generally, we will undermine a relationship on
which we have depended for our security for half a century.
ARE there other dangers?
is the danger that the EU might take the RRF seriously and send it to war.
VOL 9 No 5/6
Daniel Hannan - Forming an OPPOSITION to the EU
SIGN TODAY ON LINE
WITH THE ONLY PARTY WITH A MANDATE
TO SET YOU
TO RECLAIM YOUR DEMOCRACY DON'T VOTE FOR THE
TRIPARTITE PARTIES IN WESTMINSTER
SMALL PARTIES THAT SPEAK THEIR MINDS
WITHOUT SPIN AND LIES.
Home Rule for Scotland
HOME RULE for
[All underlined words have a separate
THE QUESTION THAT THE VOTER MUST ANSWER
‘DO YOU WISH TO BE GOVERNED BY YOUR OWN PEOPLE, LAW AND CUSTOM OR BY
THE CORRUPT ,EXPENSIVE UNACCOUNTABLE AND ALIEN BUSYBODY BRUSSELS’
-SIMPLE IS IT NOT?