View Poll Results: Do you believe that the EU should form its own military?

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Thread: An EU Army - For or Against ?

  1. #1
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    Default An EU Army - For or Against ?

    I just came across this very amusing thread on irishmilitaryonline, from Feb last.

    http://forum.irishmilitaryonline.com...p/t-16429.html

    The OP topic was serious enough though:

    The Irish Times - Monday, February 8, 2010

    German minister calls for Lisbon treaty EU army

    GERMAN FOREIGN minister Guido Westerwelle has called for the EU to proceed with plans for a European army under the Lisbon Treaty, which he dubbed “the beginning and not the end” of a common security and defence policy.

    His remarks at the annual Munich Security Conference followed a call by Berlin’s defence minister Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg to end what he called Nato’s “absurd” practice of unanimous decision-making.

    “The (Lisbon) treaty lays out a common security and defence policy. The federal government wants to make progress on this front,” said Mr Westerwelle. “The long-term goal is to build up a European army under parliamentary control. The EU has to live up to political expectations of its role as a global player.” The foreign minister sketched out a role for such an army as crisis management in a time of resource scarcity, to be developed by willing member states over time as a “motor for closer co-operation” in the EU. In a nod to Nato, Mr Westerwelle said such EU structures would not replace other military structures.
    For or against ?
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  2. #2
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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?

    For me it would be a No. Theres a couple of odd statements in that piece. "The EU has to live up to political expectations of its role as a global player." "The foreign minister sketched out a role for such an army as crisis management in a time of resource scarcity"

    What are the implications here? Is he suggesting that we build an Army to throw our weight around the poorer countries of the world ala the US? And what about the Resource scarcity bit : should things get tight with Oil, Gas even Water, are we talking about taking it off others or ensuring our own supply at the point of a gun?

    Many of the European countries already have armies. Britain and France are Nuclear powers, no one will go near them. We also have no Natural enemies in the world the same way the Us has, Unless of course, you want to count the US along with Russia and China as Resource competitors. There is a book out at the moment (I havent gotten around to snapping it up yet) called Climate Wars talking about how Climate Change predictions may alter the Geopolitical scene. Perhaps some senior planners within the upper echelons of the EU have had similar thoughts and pushed for a Single Army under direct control of the EU should the Worst happen. It still suggests an Offensive role though.

    Then theres our neighbour Russia. Perhaps its incidents like South Ossetia that have concentrated the minds within the EU to the need for a single, coordinated Army.

    The Lisbon treaty too may have a role in this. It specifically carves out a role for Armaments Companies in the future of the EU. No doubt there is a lot of money to be made from creating a brand new Army and keep it up to date with all the Latest accessories. Much the same way the Homeland Security industry in the US functions, with 10s of Billions taxpayers dollars being poured into Private Companies. Its a big market and Im sure it has occurred to one or two Politicos that they could be made for life by looking after some of these companies.

    Quite simply, I cant see a case for this. Of course, when the EU makes up its mind about something, it tends to go through, something we should be familiar with here. I look forward to seeing how they explain this one to us.
    Last edited by BrendanGalway; 12-04-2010 at 02:39 PM.
    The first robot president won by exactly one vote. Ah, yes! John Quincy Adding Machine. He struck a chord with the voters when he pledged not to go on a killing spree. But, like most politicians he promised more than he could deliver.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?

    I am for one as long as long as the decision making structures are right.
    I am all for being neutral, but it must be from a position of strength.

    There are plenty of countries we could be working better with on the military front. I see no reason not to have troops attacked to an EU army or indeed for such troops to be stationed here. I would say the same for federal police.

    We are either in the EU and interested in defending it or we are not. There is not middle ground in my eyes. You cannot defend yourself by pretending you dont need to be defended or hoping someone else will do it for you.
    Mr Lenihan said the guarantee was “the cheapest bailout” compared with bank rescues in other countries, including the UK and the US, where “billions and billions of taxpayers’ money are being poured into financial institutions” - October 24 2008

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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?

    I'm not sure what the need or value of a full-scale EU army would be, really. I can see the value of small deployable forces like the battlegroups, and I can see the logic of making the member states' armies interdependent and interoperable, but I certainly can't see the value of an EU army of the same size as European national armies, or one the scale of a combined continental army. The combined spending of the EU would give military spending half the size of the US, but the US runs a global network of imperial outposts - short of doing the same, I can't see the point of such a force, and there's no real chance of doing the same without moving towards an uncomfortable relationship with the US.

    Having said that, it depends on the disruption caused by peak oil and climate change over the next century - sufficient disruption would argue a world perhaps unstable enough to make the investment useful.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?

    For. Also for R2P. Anyone who thinks that we shouldn't throw our weight around must have a fuc*ing big vegetable garden!

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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ibis View Post
    Having said that, it depends on the disruption caused by peak oil and climate change over the next century - sufficient disruption would argue a world perhaps unstable enough to make the investment useful.
    Latest American projections have oil sharply diminishing by 2015. That's tomorrow, figuratively speaking.

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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapsedmethodist View Post
    Latest American projections have oil sharply diminishing by 2015. That's tomorrow, figuratively speaking.
    Any link to that ?
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapsedmethodist View Post
    Latest American projections have oil sharply diminishing by 2015. That's tomorrow, figuratively speaking.
    Like Cactus, I'd be interested in seeing the projections. However, even if we take what is generally acknowledged to be the most conservative possible source, the International Energy Authority, we're essentially at peak oil now:

    The 2009 report retains the 2008 projection of 105 mbpd of oil production by 2030, but it seems some within the organization were wanting the report to go further than it did in 2008 in addressing supply concerns. So a senior official in the IEA came forward to tell Guardian reporter Terry Macalister the following:

    "The IEA in 2005 was predicting oil supplies could rise as high as 120m barrels a day by 2030 although it was forced to reduce this gradually to 116m and then 105m last year," said the IEA source, who was unwilling to be identified for fear of reprisals inside the industry. "The 120m figure always was nonsense but even today's number is much higher than can be justified and the IEA knows this.

    "Many inside the organisation believe that maintaining oil supplies at even 90m to 95m barrels a day would be impossible but there are fears that panic could spread on the financial markets if the figures were brought down further. And the Americans fear the end of oil supremacy because it would threaten their power over access to oil resources," he added.
    Note that 2007 production levels were 84m barrels per day, so the idea that we can't reach 90m means we're at plateau - which is also what I hear from friends in the industry. It now becomes a question of how fast the decline is - the IEA have 6.7% and rising for existing fields, offset by new capacity development.

    The problem here is that, yet again, we haven't taken the issue seriously until it's serious - and new energy technologies probably require 10-20 years of investment before they can take over from current oil-based infrastructure.

    Also an issue (see here, for example) is that the fields in fastest decline are those outside the Middle East, which means that there will be an increasing narrowing of the supply base to a set of unstable oligarchic and autocratic regimes in one region of the world, leading to the probability of further neo-colonial adventurism in that region, coupled with export of terror, etc etc.

    Whether what we need for that situation is really a big army I don't know - I suppose that if we assume a future in which nobody does anything sensible about it, but prefers to fight over what's left, then probably.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?

    You are good.
    Interesting source, and not altogether agenda free.

    The US military says its views cannot be taken as US government policy but admits they are meant to provide the Joint Forces with "an intellectual foundation upon which we will construct the concept to guide out future force developments."
    Not everyone agrees about how urgent this is
    The Wicks Review on UK energy policy published last summer effectively dismissed fears but Lord Hunt, the British energy minister, met concerned industrialists two weeks ago in a sign that it is rapidly changing its mind on the seriousness of the issue.
    The Paris-based International Energy Agency remains confident that there is no short-term risk of oil shortages but privately some senior officials have admitted there is considerable disagreement internally about this upbeat stance.
    There's one very easy way in which the US military can help.

    Future fuel supplies are of acute importance to the US army because it is believed to be the biggest single user of petrol in the world
    But I say its more likely they would be inclined to invade Iran and Venezuela.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  11. #11
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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?

    It's absolutely incredible that only a couple of years ago the usual suspects were sneering at the Greens for "believing" in peak oil.

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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?

    My problem with relying on outfits like the Paris- based IEA is that I have to believe that they, among all others , have access to true data. From my lowly posttion in the oilfields I was able to see some of the manipulation of the figures on reserves that went on. Am I expected to believe that the IEA have factored in corrections to all those fake figures that arose from corrupted surveys ? Maybe they have, I don't know.
    I still hope for a european military pact though; if only to keep the Americans out of R2P operations. Can you imagine the MINURCAT operation in Chad if Americans rather than the Irish and French had been involved ????

  13. #13
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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapsedmethodist View Post
    My problem with relying on outfits like the Paris- based IEA is that I have to believe that they, among all others , have access to true data. From my lowly posttion in the oilfields I was able to see some of the manipulation of the figures on reserves that went on. Am I expected to believe that the IEA have factored in corrections to all those fake figures that arose from corrupted surveys ? Maybe they have, I don't know.
    No, I doubt they have - after all, the first time they actually did a survey of all the world's oilfields at all was 2008, and suddenly their projections got a lot less rosy. Their previous figures were, they said themselves, basically just assumptions.

    What were you up to on the oilfields?

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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ibis View Post
    No, I doubt they have - after all, the first time they actually did a survey of all the world's oilfields at all was 2008, and suddenly their projections got a lot less rosy. Their previous figures were, they said themselves, basically just assumptions.

    What were you up to on the oilfields?
    Ran the warehouses, pipeyards, and lay-down yards. Glorified forklift driver but had a grand title like "superintendent"!!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: An EU Army - For or Against ?

    No, bad idea - our neutrality policy gives us a dispropotionate amount of influence in the world, and if Turkey and Greece go at it again over some rock in the Aegean, what business is that of ours

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