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A European Army with a Single Command?

"Kurt Beck, leader of the Social Democrats, called Monday [November 6th] for a European army with a single command, the first time a German political party has proposed such a structure. If adopted, it could lead to the European Union pursuing a security and defense policy independent of NATO." writes Judy Dempsey in the International Herald Tribune (HT: EU Digest) and adds:
Beck told delegates during a special meeting in Berlin that such defense ambitions for the EU would not rupture the trans-Atlantic relationship because, without the United States, "we cannot solve global problems." However, instead of "following" or "adhering" to the United States, he said, the Europeans should establish a partnership "based on quality. This is the particular challenge for Europe."
Ms. Dempsey writes about a security expert at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute:
An EU move toward establishing its own force, Dunay said, could lead to more efficient defense spending at a juncture when countries are reluctant to increase military budgets while being asked by the United Nations in particular to join peacekeeping missions.
The Atlantic Review wrote about EU plans to increase joint defense spending.
Beck's suggestion was already rejected by Poland, and Ms. Dempsey points out that this issue was considered a "direct threat to the alliance and the trans-Atlantic relationship" three years ago. 
I am not aware of any debate in Germany after Kurt Beck's comments. The leading role for NATO in Germany's New Security and Defense Policy Review has not been contested by any politician as far as I can tell.

The perception that a common EU defence policy is unworkable is based on myths that undermine pragmatic integration of defence policies, argues Constanze Stelzenmueller of the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
In her recent lecture in London about European Defence -- Myth or Reality? (pdf), she addressed five myths:
# 1: We don't need European Defence, because our security needs are met by NATO.
# 2: We shouldn't have a European Defence, because it will destroy NATO and drive apart the transatlantic alliance.
# 3: There can be no such thing as European Defence, because we will never agree on common threats and risks, or on policy responses.
# 4: European Defence is unnecessary - its work can be done better by nation-states with full-spectrum forces acting together.
# 5: Strengthening European Defence must be resisted, because it is yet another Trojan horse for European federalism.
Quote:
European Defence is not an anti-NATO nor an anti-American project. To the contrary, its vigorous health is in the
acknowledged interests of the Alliance as well as of America.
Effectiveness could be enhanced and costs cut with additional measures of integration - such as permanent joint and combined European operations and force headquarters. Pooling, specialization and outsourcing could be implented up and down the tooth-to-tail line, and free much-needed resources for modernization - one example suggested by an expert is the creation of a Schengen space for the Baltic and North Seas, where all litoral states cooperate to patrol their coastal zones - or perhaps even a European coast guard.
There is much more room for common standards, or, dare I say it, a common military culture: a European military university, or a General Staff College; more exercises and training; staff exchanges; doctrinal and operational harmonization.
 
The Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and the International Relations and Security Network (ISN) developed a free online introductory course on European Security and Defence Policy at the request of the NATO Defense College:
This course provides an introduction to European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). It discusses the most important aspects of ESDP and related questions. This includes an overview of the history of ESDP, European Union (EU) institutions concerned with implementing ESDP, EU civilian and military capabilities, the relationship between the EU and NATO, and EU operations carried out within the framework of ESDP. The last lesson provides a glimpse of the future and discusses some of the most important current and future challenges to ESDP.

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Erkan's field diary on : "Murder and meat give awkward edge to EU-Russia summit

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The murders of Alexander Litvinenko and Anna Politkovskaya hung over the EU-Russia summit in Helsinki on Friday (24 November) in a meeting that did not resolve the Polish-Russian meat row but did see progress on Siberian overflights and environmental cooperation...

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Zyme on :

Congratulations to Mr. Beck, now that he finally discovered foreign politics on his own. By believing the EU could agree on terms like a common army (where to place the headquarters?) he shows us clearly, what kind of a "realist" he is. Countries like France, Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy are very unlikely to give up their military souvereignty. Instead, the biggest three countries should move on to enhance their own military cooperations, so that the merging can continue effectively. Germany is already working together closely with austria, czechia, netherlands, finland, turkey and will do so soon with russia. If we really want to establish a european army, the most efficient merging process would prevail. So the german starting position is not bad. All we need to do is to secure and deepen those partnerships more and more. We have to convince our partners that this is also in their own interest. By proceeding with the countries I mentioned above, I can only see little problems. But by trying to establish such a development in Europe as a whole - you may forget about it (just think of notorious Poland or Britain).

Assistant Village Idiot on :

I can't pretend to know what is best to do for yourselves. This seems like movement in a good direction. I do have to ask if this will mean the Swedes have to put their military back on 24/7 duty?

Yank on :

If I were a European, I get a gun and revolt before I'd give unelected, unaccountable, job-secure career civil servants with the power to regulate (instead of legislate) and a teminal case of Nanny-knows-best in Brussels such a powerful throne over me. But it makes no difference to the United States. Have fun.

joe on :

This is an excellent idea. It has the potential for many very positive outcomes. The first of which would be an increase in employment. Standing up this force means there is less reason for NATO. There might be some problems concerning actual security versus perceived security unless the members of the chocolate summit support this new organization greater than they currently support NATO. Then again I am sure the euro M$M can make the case of how much safer euroland will be without those warmongering and unreliable Americans. euroland can implement its own foreign policy and have the forces to back it up. There might be some concerns for some nations with this new security pact but I am sure the Germans and french can give sufficient security guarantees to make these issues go away. Besides let us not forget the french are a nuclear power. Actually with such a security organization I can further cuts in German defense spending from its current level of 1.4% of GDP. The results of these cuts could be used to shore up the social welfare state. So I fully support this concept. Go forth and do good deeds.

Yank on :

Yeah! Then things like the Italian military's grand total of 10 transport planes wouldn't be our problem to make up for anymore. Go for it, guys!

da 12th anon on :

Lots of pretty words and powerful studies. I need some help here, I seem to have forgotten when the last time a defense study stopped a Panzer in it's tracks. Or how fast will the clever idea fly and how many AAM's does it carry? Gonna trust Russia, eh? Has Stalin turned over a new leaf, other then the name change, of course. I'm somewhat suprised, since Russia has been Russia for a thosand years, almost. The only thing that ever changes is the name of the tyrant. And I think NATO is on it's last lap. I mean, now that cut and run is the future in Iraq, how can the USA be trusted? And 9-11 proved that NATO is a worth the paper it's written on, almost. What is the point in a defense pact where one party decides it won't honor it's commitments because the attack wasn't from the enemy expected, or in the place the plan called for. You either honor the pact, or not. On this side of the pond, it looks like Germany choose NOT. Historians will wonder if 20,000 Krauts in Iraq might have saved western civilization. The Election a couple of weeks ago shows that America is tired of holding the gates alone. So we are about to abandon them and let the barbarians in. They will be in your cities before they are in ours. Then you will get to take your Euro Army for a test drive. I shall watch with amusement. "Rascals, do you want to live forever?" (Ihr Racker, wollt ihr ewig leben?) - Frederick the Great, 1757. When the guards hesitated at the battle of Kolin. "In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it." - Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

JW-Atlatnic Review on :

@ da 12th anon "Gonna trust Russia, eh?" Zyme wrote "Germany is already working together closely with austria, czechia, netherlands, finland, turkey and will do so soon with russia" Russia is part of NATO's Partnership for Peace, i.e. the US cooperates with Russia as well. Germany is not doing any other military cooperation with Russia in addition to Partnership for Peace @ Zyme What makes you think this will happen? @ da 12th anon "And 9-11 proved that NATO is a worth the paper it's written on, almost. What is the point in a defense pact where one party decides it won't honor it's commitments because the attack wasn't from the enemy expected, or in the place the plan called for." NATO did invoke article 5 for the first time in its history after 9/11, but the United States did not want help from their allies to deal with Afghanistan. The Bush administration only wanted help from its allies in Afghanistan, when they started moving resources for the Iraq war. "The Election a couple of weeks ago shows that America is tired of holding the gates alone. So we are about to abandon them and let the barbarians in. They will be in your cities before they are in ours." You call the Iraqis, who you "liberated" from Saddam, "barbarians"? Wow. Thank you for starting the Iraq war and making Europe unsafe.

Don S on :

"Thank you for starting the Iraq war and making Europe unsafe." If I were in a vindictive mood I might ironically thank Germany for harboring and incubating the 9/11 terrorists. I'm not doing so mind you - but if I shared the spirit of unforgiving judgement which often seems to be behind such statements - I could and would.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Sorry, that reaction to "da 12th anon"'s provocation was too harsh. In essence, however, it is true that the Iraq war made us unsafer. "If I were in a vindictive mood I might ironically thank Germany for harboring and incubating the 9/11 terrorists." Not correct. Only three of the 19 hijackers were in Germany. Ziad Jarrah moved to Germany in 1996. Atta moved to Germany in 1993. And Al-Shehhi came in 1996. Thus Germany did not "incubate" them. They did not grow up here. They just moved a couple of years before the attacks over here. Having said that, it is still Germany's fault was that our intelligence services did not uncover the Hamburg cell and it is our fault that living in Germany did not stop them from planning these attacks. Though, Germany did not "harbor" them, because that would mean we had knowledge about them. The FBI believes that Hani Hanjour piloted the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. That guy was never in Germany, but he moved to the US in 1991. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hani_Hanjour Did the US incubate and harbor this terrorist? Where did the terrorist learn their deadly skills? In Germany or in America? All of them took flying lessons in the United States. Your flight schools educated the terrorists. So why do you blame Germany for "incubating" and "harboring" them? 15 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Due to the much too cosy relationship between the United States and this fundamentalist dictatorship, it was very easy for Saudis to get visa for the United States. This very liberal visa application process was stupid.

Don S on :

Joerg, You mistake me. My true attitude toward German involvement with the 9/11 hijackers is more like 'shit happens'. I could point out that the ringleaders of the ploy (Atta and Binshalibh) were part of the Hamburg cell. But I don't regard Germany as being at fault. What disturbs me is that many Germans (including yourself at times) seem determined to shove every mistake the US makes right up our backside, using every thread of argument you can while ignoring the reasons why those actions were taken. Again and again and again, without mercy. It gets old after a while, you know? So I just pointed out that if I cared to be unfair enough and ignore the other side of the argument as others do I could make equally hurtful statements. Witgh as much or as little justice. That is all.

JW-Atlatnic Review on :

@ All I think opinions like those expressed by "da 12th anon" are pretty common among conservative Americans. I have read them in the comments section many times and in other blogs. They feel let down by Old Europe for not having participated in the Iraq adventure, although Iraq did not attack the US on 9/11. IMHO, you can feel let down by Europe in Afghanistan, but you cannot feel let down in Iraq, which was a war of choice rather than a war of necessity. Besides, most Americans regret the Iraq war now as well. They were in favor of the Iraq war because they thought Saddam had dangerous WMD. Polls show that Americans would not have supported the war just for ousting Saddam. What did you achieve anyway? Replacing Saddam with a non-functioning democracy that might end up in an all out civil war or end up into a dictatorship ruled by someone like Saddam? Was it Old Europe's "fault" that we did not consider the Iraq war worth the risks? Are we blamed for being too smart to join this war? Moreover, these Americans don't seem to have any problem with leaving Iraq and endangering Europe, which is much closer to Iraq. That's how I interprete "da 12th anon"'s comment about "barbarians." During the Cold War, America made us safer, but now America makes us less safe, especially if Iraq deteriorates further. Or: Do you consider Iraq such a big mess like a World War? In World War 1, European countries got themselves into a huge mess and America had to come and help. Do you see Iraq this way? Do we now have to come and rescue America? To pay back our debt of the two world wars? I am not sure, if we can help you in Iraq now. This is not a conflict that can be won like the WWI or WWII. Besides, our armies are stretched thin with peacekeeping in Bosnia, Kosovoa, Congo, Lebanon, Afghanistan. Germany has failed to transform its military properly after the end of the cold war. We don't have enough troops for international missions. We should do more in Afghanistan and in regard to Iran.

Zyme on :

@ editor There are a number of bilateral cooperations initiated between Russia and Germany. http://www.russland.ru/ruall0010/morenews.php?iditem=1199 This for example is a treaty signed in 2003 that allows the Luftwaffe (german airforce) to cross russian territory, so it can supply the german forces in afghanistan more easily. http://www.nrhz.de/flyer/beitrag.php?id=1470 And this is an article about the recent dialogue between our two countries about the initiation of a cooperation in the military sector. Most important here are the plans about developing common heavy transport helicopters, the remodelling of civil airbus aircrafts into military transport planes and the interactive ownership of shares between EADS and Irkut (the newly founded conglomerate of all russian military aircraft manufacturers). This must not be seen as if germany turned itself away from Nato. The promising german-russian partnership only increases our future options :)

JW-Atlatnic Review on :

Okay, but overflight rights and defense industry cooperation with Russia is lightyears away from NATO or [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Rapid_Reaction_Force]European Rapid Reaction Force[/url], [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurocorps]Eurocorps[/url], or [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Battlegroups]European Union Battlegroups[/url] etc. I thought you were suggesting something like that with Russia when you wrote "working closely"... Hey, the US got overflight rights from Russia as well, right? And much more within NATO's Partnership for Peace program with Russia...?

Zyme on :

"I thought you were suggesting something like that with Russia when you wrote "working closely"..." Well we would not be able to create common troops, or else poland´s political leaders might die of heart attack *lol* The economical merging of our military aircraft manufacturers is something we never had in cooperation with america for example. Such a process always involves a sharing of know-how. So this is certainly a new direction in our foreign politics - which is good for us, since it increases our options. Why don´t you like the idea?

JW-Atlantic Review on :

because Russia is not trustworthy. We don't share many values and long-term interests with Russia. Russia's domestic and foreign policies are of concern: Russia is authoritarian, no free press, a lot of corruption, unstable regions. Brutal war in Chechnya. Bullying of neighboring countries. Russia was against us in Kosovo, and Bosnia. Russia does not support our policy on Iran and is against sanctions. What has Russia ever done for us? Russia did not sign that energy pact the EU proposed at that summit in Finland recently. Schroeder and Steinmeier might trust the Russians, but most other politicians in Germany do not, I believe. Why are you such a big fan of cooperation with Russia? I don't mind short-term cooperation, but I don't want to make big investments in long-term projects or commitments with the Russians. Steinmeier is working on diversifying our energy supply. That's good. Germany's strong reliance on Russian oil and gas is stupid. For those who don't know it: Steinmeier was in Norway, Libya and Algeria recently to increase energy cooperation. I have not seen a good English language article about Germany's dependence on Russian gas and the efforts to change that. You want to write about that, Zyme? You could also write a post about transatlantic versus German-Russian cooperation for the Carnival, if you like... That would be great. Germany has to become much more energy efficient: [quote="Federal Statistical Office"]Energy consumption of households for housing purposes rose 3.5% from 1995 to 2005 when adjusted for the annual temperature variations. “The considerable improvements achieved in heat insulation, heating technology and household appliances were not sufficient to offset the increased energy consumption of households caused, among other things, by growing equipment with electrical appliances and the increasing living floor space”, said the Vice-President of the Federal Statistical Office, Walter Radermacher, at a press conference held jointly with the Federal Environmental Agency in Berlin today.[/quote] [url]http://www.destatis.de/presse/englisch/pm2006/p4770112.htm[/url]

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Some tools for more energy efficiency: [url]http://atlanticreview.org/p/co2online.html[/url]

Zyme on :

"because Russia is not trustworthy." I strongly disagree, because we actually share a lot of interests: While Russia is in need of a strong partner in the EU and has need for our industrial products, we are in need of a country full of raw materials and a stable political environment. Both countries are in the position and willing to increase their influence in the world. Since 2000, the volume of our bilateral trade has more than doubled (!). "Russia's domestic and foreign policies are of concern" Let´s be honest: They are not towards us :) It is like I mentioned before: Whenever Russia and Germany had good relations, the problems with those unreliable eastern european countries in between vanished. Together we can effectively divide eastern europe in two areas of influence - which is boosting our economical champions (think of Gazprom, EON or RWE). Once energy, electricity and infrastructure of eastern europe are in german and russian hands, the smaller countries will become more cooperative. "Russia was against us in Kosovo, and Bosnia." I agree - but this was before we coordinated our efforts. We would certainly need some kind of gentlemen´s agreement regarding east and southeast europe. Of course it would have to be bilateral, as the european union could not agree about someting this important. The german-russian governmental consultations are only a first step. "Russia does not support our policy on Iran and is against sanctions." Actually they do support our policy - of doing effectively nothing ( = negotiating forever ). Both germany and russia have strong economical ties to the arabian world. We do not want to risk them without good reason. This is a point I personally see with great concern. I can see no reason why it might be wise to allow Iran to arm up with nuclear weapons. It would be very risky to wait for this to happen just to see America´s influence in the middle east on decline. So I either lack vital information on the matter, or our governments should change their attitude quickly. "Why are you such a big fan of cooperation with Russia?" This country is like a grand opportunity we only have to grab. A blessing to our goals if you wish. We do not even have to convince them, since they are longing for cooperation already. The russian government clearly behaves more rational than our current one does (unlike Schröder´s in this regard). They understand the benefits of such a partnership - we are hesitating because the idea sounds unfamiliar. But politicians like Steinmeier love to pursue an innovative policy since this allows us to take advantage of new opportunities. When we have become familiar with this idea and start acting as determined as Russia does, the fears towards Russia will change into the awareness of a profitable partnership. This will hurt our relations with some eastern european countries of course - but they are very bad already. Have you heard of the plan that germany and russia now even agreed to build up a ferry system to move trains (!) across the Baltic Sea so that we can avaid poland and the baltic countries? This is done because german and russian trains are permanently bullied by the authorities of the buffer states and it speaks volumes about the tense situation.

Zyme on :

[I intended to write "avoid" instead of "avaid" in the last paragraph of my post above] "I have not seen a good English language article about Germany's dependence on Russian gas and the efforts to change that." Regrettably I am not informed very well about the efforts to decrease the dependence on Russian gas. But the website of the foreign ministry should provide sufficient data. "You could also write a post about transatlantic versus German-Russian cooperation for the Carnival, if you like" To spoil the transatlantic efforts? ;)

JW-Atlantic Review on :

@ Zyme "To spoil the transatlantic efforts? ;)" You can try. Here's an excellent response to your points on Russia: [url=http://blog.zeit.de/kosmoblog/?p=639]http://blog.zeit.de/kosmoblog/?p=639[/url] (in German)

Zyme on :

I can agree to the author of this article that Russia´s methods look like those of the 19th century. It is the process of creating economical vassals rather than negoting with equal partners. But maybe you can answer me the following questions: What does it really look like what Europe and China are doing in Africa, what Europe and the US are doing in South America today? The developed part of the world is still vassalizing the less developed part. We just don´t express it openly any more and proceed mostly by economical methods. That author believes that Russia´s methods in Eastern Europe are doomed to failure. Now as soon as Germany and Russia become close partners - would those methods still be doomed to failure? In fact the energy giants of our countries are already in the process of gaining complete control over Eastern Europe. And since this is done economically, there is almost nothing the buffer states could do about it. Joining the EU might have made it easy for them to restore their capitals with our money. But there is a backside of the coin. It´s the main reason why I never opposed the EU expansion to the east: By becoming member states they have given up critical parts of their economical souvereignty to european authorities. In Germany - as the biggest homogeneous market in Europe - a totally different kind of conglomerates evolves than in those small countries to the east. Now that Eastern Europe has opened its gates to us, their national markets are easy prey. Combined with their desperate need of Russian raw materials, they have a really bad strategical position, don´t you agree? We would be fools not to take advantage of that. [Btw thank you for the offer - let me think about writing an article on the possible prospects]

Don S on :

I'm not so sure about that, Zyme. There are a few dynamics to take into account here which didn't exist during Bismark's time, after all. The #1 obvious one is the EU. Poland and the Baltic states are part of the EU and Russia is not. What this means in terms of economic growth should be obvious; Poland & Baltics will be growing faster than either Germany or Russia, which tilts the power calculations in their favor over time. The second factor is also the EU. I expect any kind of Entente Cordial between Germany and Russia (to work their way on Poland) to raise hackles elsewhere in the EU, most notably in France but also in Denmark, Nederlands, Norway, and probably Finland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia. France, Denmark, Nederlands, and Norway will be very wary of any appearance by Germany of attempting to become a great power at the expense of any EU ally (aka Poland). There is a history here. Finland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia will hbe equally wary of such attempts by Russia - because of the history there. Finally there is the US, which may step in to give an explicit security guarantee to Poland and the Baltics should the pressure graduate to an overt military threat. Which, I think, it won't. I don't believe matters will go that far because of factor 3. The final factor is the concious of the German people. I can't see a resurgence of Bismarkian realpolitik this generation because the memories are too raw. And I believe that such a resurgence after another generation will be too little too late - because Eastern Europe will have made up a lot of economic (and possibly military) ground on both Germany and Russia by that time.

joe on :

JW Yes, it is true that NATO did invoke article 5. The Germans like to point to this as a demonstration of how they are allies of the US. The follow on question is so what. What did it mean in a practical sense? It did not mean very much other than basing and overflight rights. Would any of you like to name any military in NATO that can fight effectively with the US? I cannot think of one. The closet would be the UK. Would you like to list just what the members of the chocolate summit might have actually contributed in the way of combat power? Correct me if I am wrong but at the time I believe there was a prohibition in Germany about deploying forces to Afghanistan.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"Would any of you like to name any military in NATO that can fight effectively with the US?" Then why did you complain about a lack of support for Iraq and South Afghanistan. "Correct me if I am wrong but at the time I believe there was a prohibition in Germany about deploying forces to Afghanistan." There was not any. Invoking article 5 was an offer to send troops. The Bush admin, however, prefered to go it alone. And only wanted special forces after Bin Laden was already gone. German Special Forces were deployed to Afghanistan in January or February 2002. Thus no prohibition. The US started the Afghanistan mission on the cheap. NATO only got involved once Afghanistan was already in trouble. [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/490-guide.html[/url] A lot of time was wasted in 2002 and 2003, because you planned the Iraq war. Just click on the above link which mentions relevant reports. And then tell me why you have 140,000 troops in Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11, while you only have 20,000 troops in Afghanistan, which has a similar population size and equally tough insurgency. They managed to force out the Russians... If NATO had gone into Afghanistan with full force, we could have stabilized that country. Now I fear it is too late for South Afghanistan. We could try to work on the other regions. America, the world's sole superpower, seems to lose against third world insurgents in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Though, you may go on and on describing how superior your military is and that other NATO allies cannot fight effectively with you: "Would any of you like to name any military in NATO that can fight effectively with the US?"

joe on :

JW. That was nice. Now would like to address my questions or not?

JW-Atlantic Review on :

> That was nice. Now would like to address my questions or not? I did address them: No prohibition against German troops in Afghanistan. The US military can work with their NATO allies. It worked in Bosnia, Kosovo and countless NATO exercises. You don't need fancy high-tech toys for a stabilization mission. "Would any of you like to name any military in NATO that can fight effectively with the US?" How do you define "effectively"? On the one hand, you are right, NATO allies cannot fight effectively with the US. On the other hand, perhaps US military units cannot fight effectively with each other either, because 150,000 US troops have not defeated the Iraqi insurgency. America's European allies are not perfect, but nobody is perfect. You go to war with the military you have, not the military you want to have. If you consider your allies not useful, fine, but then you should not complain at the same time about a lack of support. You can't have it both ways. You can complain about Europe's insufficient defense spending all day and ridicule the chocolate countries. You can also put your hopes on Micronesia, Mongolia, Tonga and all other countries of the coalition of the willing. If you want more substantial responses to your comments, you should first offer something substantial yourself. Please, make some bigger and more insightful contribution to the debate. If you take the time to look up some issues and write about them in detail here in the comments, then I will take the time to respond in more detail than I did in the past. Don't just ask loaded questions. Argue your case first. Happy Thanksgiving!

Assistant Village Idiot on :

JW, that the US has made Europe more unsafe with the war in Iraq is an unproven assertion - perhaps an unprovable one. Following it up with the evidence of what opinions are in Europe, and what opinions are in the US now, suggests that you consider how people feel about their safety to be a reliable indicator of it. This is a common view on both sides of the Atlantic among those who opposed the war - that the collective opinion of the elites, in and of itself, constitutes evidence. The ongoing focus on the "Iraq didn't attack the US on 9-11" argument strikes me as short-sighted, and almost wilfully obtuse. From the start, the argument has been that terrorism has many heads and many arms, that they are interconnected, sometimes loosely, sometimes tightly, and that multiple responses are needed. The future of warfare is not the old nation-state model, but increasingly is the transnational network. That we had anything resembling a solid target in this phase of the GWOT is an advantage we are not likely to see again. In the future, the connection of terrorism with state actors will be even more invisible, erasable, and deniable. Shall we then merely throw up our hands and say "there's nothing we can do?" War is evolving. Judge its effectiveness on the basis of the new reality. Goethe's 3 questions applied to foreign policy again. The first two questions must be answered fully before the third is attempted.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

> JW, that the US has made Europe more unsafe with the war in > Iraq is an unproven assertion - perhaps an unprovable one. Yes, perhaps it is unprovable. Likewise, President Bush's often repeated assertion that America is safer now is unproven. And apparently less and less Americans believe it. My thesis is supported by the National Intelligence Estimate, which said that Iraq war made the global terror problem worse, is the "cause celebre" for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement etc. etc.: [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/419-guide.html[/url] And by the bipartisan majority (84 percent) of US experts, who say the United States is not winning the war on terror: [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/362-guide.html[/url] What supports President Bush's assertion that the Iraq war made the world safer? Re Goethe's questions: Okay, let's try to answer them. 1. What is the artist trying to do? We live in democracies and governments have to state their goals. Governments are held accountable for the goals they state. The stated goals and the goals most Americans believed their government was pursueing in Iraq were: Destroying Saddams dangerous WMD and democratizing Iraq so that other Arab countries will feel pressure to reform themsevels. The idea was that democratic and free Arab countries will help the development of the region and reduce Anti-Americanism, i.e. the root causes that led to the rise of terrorism and 9/11. The US government was trying to make America safer with the Iraq war. That is what the politicians (artists) said they wanted to do. That is what most Americans understood their government was trying to do. These goals are not just assertions, but proven, because many government officials made such statements. If you think the US government was trying something else (I wonder what that might be), then what is the evidence or "unproven assertions" for that? 2. How well did he do it? Not very well. No dangerous WMD were found. Democracy does not work. Anti-Americanism is increasing rather than decreasing. Global terrorism continues and has found more supporters. Americans are not happy with Iraq. Neither are Iraqis or the world. How do you answer this question? 3. Was it worth doing? Richard Perle, Fukuyama and other Neocons (artists) say it was not. Most Americans say it wasn't worth it. They supported the Iraq war, because they thought Saddam had dangerous WMD and was close to developing the nuclear bomb. Americans say they would not have supported the war "just" for democratization. Now, it seems the US is not even achieving democratization. It seems that either Iraq will descend in full scale civil war or it will be ruled by a bunch of politicians that are as oppressive, corrupt, brutal, and Anti-American as Saddam. Though, unlike Saddam, this bunch of politicians will look for close ties with America's biggest enemy in the region (Iran). Okay, I have tried to answer the three questions. How would you answer these three questions?

Anonymous on :

"Sorry, that reaction to "da 12th anon"'s provocation was too harsh. In essence, however, it is true that the Iraq war made us unsafer." Evidence please. And I wasn't being provocative, just factual, although I have no regrets that you choose to take it that way. Germans are a lot more fun when provoked. Iraq was the best choice for several reasons. First and foremost from the Military POV, Of all the invasions of Iran (Persia) only 2 have been done from any direction other then the West (Iraq). Those two were from the north by the Soviets in 1941( this was in combination with a british invasion from Iraq.) and the Mongols in the 13th century. So if one contemplates military action against Iran, one needs to secure either Iraq or Russia as logistical bases. Are you familiar with the expression 'lowhanging fruit'? Which would be easier to invade Iraq or Russsia? Now that the no-brainers are out of the way, lets take a peek at strategy. Germany has ALWAYS been bad at Strategy. Great fighters and they invented the operational connection between tactics and strategy that is so vital to mechanized warfare, but they suck at strategy. I think because of Germanies position, geographically. No need for strategy when you are surrounded by potential enemies. America, which is really a continent posing as a country, is surrounded by Oceans and Canada, which is sorta an Ocean, in a dry kinda way. Strategy is our bread and butter and a matter of national survival. The strategy that the Bush Administration arrived at was a humane one. It also was a theory that fits in with American values. Ending the use of terrorism as a tool of statecraft thru the spread of Democracy is a noble idea and very cost effective. In Theory. Like many theories, this one didn't survive the cold touch of reality. Anyway, if spreading Democracy thruout the ME is the strategy, Iraq would be the place to start. It had the more secular, best educated, most modern society of those available. Low hanging fruit again. Ok, we now have sound military reasons for invading Iraq. The clincher from the military POV is the old military axiom of once you got them on the run, DON'T let up. This is what the debate between Hitler and the OKW was over in May of '40. Hitler wanted to stop and 'consolidate'. The Generals wanted to chase frogs until they were all caught. After Afghanistan, the brain trust of the global jihad (Al Qaeda) was on the run. It was the correct military decision to keep up the pressure. Where the USA went wrong was to stop in Iraq. That allowed AQ and it's minions time to organize a defense and then counterattack, which is where we are now. As far as Iraq making the USA less safe, I think that is more wishfull thinking then fact. You cannot point to a single threat that was created by the Invasion of Iraq that didn't exist prior to that invasion. And I stand by my statement that Germany failed to honor it's treaty commitments as a member of NATO. I expect the USA will honor it's NATO commitment when the Muslims get tired of burning cars in France and start burning politicians. It will be unpopular here in the states, but the blue states are more then willing to send children from the red states to die for France. I expect the Demonrats to enact a draft in early '08. It will be a political move to demonstrate that they are serious about defending America. By the hot part of the Primary season, it will become apperant to even the far far left that our enemies are quite serious about destroying America and the far far left is number one on their hit list. Then you will have those same limo liberals who are crying now over Muslims killing each other screaming for blood. I'm drifing, it's 0 dark 30 here and I'm short a couple of cups of coffee. Iraq was a good plan, it was executed poorly. Those in charge of it's execution have paid a price. Now we will see if the new guys in charge can do any better. "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." --Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977 * "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out." --Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962. * "Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible." --Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

"As far as Iraq making the USA less safe, I think that is more wishfull thinking then fact. You cannot point to a single threat that was created by the Invasion of Iraq that didn't exist prior to that invasion." Follow the links I gave in the above comment. "And I stand by my statement that Germany failed to honor it's treaty commitments as a member of NATO." Evidence please.

Assistant Village Idiot on :

Whoa, whoa! I begin to see the center of the problem, JW. First, let me thank you for your excellent answer to the first of Goethe's 3 questions. That is a good summary, and most war opponents are unable to articulate that. As to the rest, I would not summarize the NIE in any such way. That the War in Iraq might be increasing the number of terrorists was part of its conclusion, but even that was hedged and uncertain. Much of the report, as you note following Reynolds, was banal and obvious. That terrorists consider the war a "cause clebre" makes little difference. They would find one regardless. That they have a prominent focus may be some advantage to them, but does not change the situation much. The Foreign Policy survey is of some interest, but there are numerous flaws in the evaluation by the experts. The experts cited included mostly academics and advisors from previous administrations (including his father's). I could tell you their evaluation of Bush's policies before any data came in, once it was decided he would be changing course: they would find it on balance negative. Small wonder. These are the people who brought us to this pass. Even Bill Gertz, quoted in the article, is distressed that Bush has failed to reform the intelligence community - which I agree with - and that is the apparent basis for his belief that we are not safer. The article does not say how many of the people who believe we are "not safer" believe that for reasons other than OIF. As to Goethe's second question, my answer is quite different. There were numerous reasons for going into Iraq, and all have proved out at least somewhat. Some WMD were found, and certainly programs were found. People scoff at "programs," but I don't see that having to go into Iraq in 2007 instead of 2003 is quite obviously better. Opponents of the war, in criticising its result, have been notably silent on the enormous evidence for international terrorist support we have uncovered, including, as alleged, AQ. As to removing a tyrant and bringing some measure of freedom and material progress, those are undeniable. Whether it is enough to make a stable nation remains to be seen. I would not in any way call this democracy a failure. If you wish to note that it is not Switzerland, I will counter that it is at least not very different from South America or SE Asia, places that are troubled but not regarded as direct threats. And all this accomplished by the Anglosphere plus Eastern Europe, despite unrelenting public criticism from many fronts. And in an information war, that is a signifcant handicap. I believe that most terrorist organizations would long ago have abandoned Iraq and gone elsewhere, had they not been continually informed that they were winning by waiting us out.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

Avi, you mentioned that some WMD were found in Iraq. Those were old WMD, that did not pose much of a danger. Many countries have them. Senator Santorum made a big fuss about these WMD that were found in Iraq. It did not help his election. Even the Pentagon contradicted Santorum. You have to put these WMD in the context of what the Bush administration said about the threat of WMD before the war. Americans were in favor of invading Iraq in 2003, because they were made to believe that Saddam definitely had very dangerous WMD and was close to developing nukes etc. So we have to go back to your (or Goethe's) first question: What is the artist trying to do? Prevent the mushroom cloud. Now we know that Iraq was lightyears away from that. There was not a need to invade Iraq in 2003. "People scoff at "programs," but I don't see that having to go into Iraq in 2007 instead of 2003 is quite obviously better." If the US had waited, then you could have made more progress in the war on terrorism, you could have sent more troops to Afghanistan, you could have focused on North Korea, you could have threatened Iran, so that the Iranians abandon their nuclear program. Right now the Iranian know that the US is not going to attack them, because the military is stuck in Iraq. If you had not invaded Iraq in 2003, you could have had more political and military ressources to pressure Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, which are the two countries that produce the most international terrorists and export fundamentalist Islam. Back to the first question: "What is the artist trying to do?" Since we both agree that the goal was to bring democracy to Iraq and to make the Middle East less Anti-American, let's move to the second question: How well did the "artist" do that? You wrote "As to removing a tyrant and bringing some measure of freedom and material progress, those are undeniable. Whether it is enough to make a stable nation remains to be seen. I would not in any way call this democracy a failure." While it might be too early to call Iraq a complete failure, I think we can acknowledge that the Bush admin has not achieved its goals so far. There is more rather than less Anti-Americanism in the Middle East. And that is the only answer I consider possible for your question "How well did the "artist" do that?" I don't think we should hype the ousting of Saddam. He was contained in the 90s. Besides, the present Iraqi government seems to be as brutal as Saddam. Here is a documentary about Death Squads and torture: [url]http://throwawayyourtv.com/2006/11/death-squads.html[/url] Do democratic elections have any value in themselves? I doubt it. The elections did not produce a good and functioning government and legislative. Nobody in Iraq got a job or is feeling secure because of those elections. Many Iraqis, even those who got a Fulbright scholarship, don't think it was worth it. I think many Germans are concerned about Iraq. That's not Schadenfreude as some conservative blogs call it. I agree with Germany's Federal President Koehler: [url]http://atlanticreview.org/archives/487-guide.html[/url] Germany should help the US, but how? On the one hand, most Germans don't feel that we have to help you in Iraq because we have been against this war, which was a war of choice rather than necessity. I think most Germans believe that Americans are responsible for the mess they got themselves into. On the other hand, Germany and other European nations have often created a much much bigger "mess," for example the two world wars, which Germany was stupid enough to start. America rescued Europe in both world wars. America also helped in the Balkan wars in the 90s, when Europeans failed to deal with them by themselves. Thus, we now have an obligation to help America to get out of the mess it created in Iraq. The two world wars were an existential crisis for many European countries. The Iraq war is not an existential crisis for America, but still... Do you see Iraq this way? Do we now have to come and rescue America? To pay back our debt of the two world wars? I am not sure, if we can help you in Iraq now. This is not a conflict that can be won like the WWI or WWII. Besides, our armies are stretched thin with peacekeeping in Bosnia, Kosovoa, Congo, Lebanon, Afghanistan. Germany has failed to transform its military properly after the end of the cold war. We don't have enough troops for international missions. We should do more in Afghanistan and in regard to Iran. Though, I don't know what exactly Germany or Europe could do in Iraq. Thus, when I complain about Iraq, I am not hitting at America, but feeling with you guys. The crisis is huge, frustrating and depressing. And when you do not know how to help and improve a situation, then you focus on the previous mistakes. You got to see my criticism in that context. That's why I think Don got it wrong when he wrote: "What disturbs me is that many Germans (including yourself at times) seem determined to shove every mistake the US makes right up our backside, using every thread of argument you can while ignoring the reasons why those actions were taken. Again and again and again, without mercy. It gets old after a while, you know?" Anyway... Happy Thanksgiving!

Yank on :

What is this "There-were-no-WMD" stuff? If we don't let you get away with that and correct you, you just shiftily come back by saying we didn't find enough of them. Or that they were too old. Or whatever. And if we don't let you get away with that either, correcting you again by noting that they weren't all too old - just some of the chemical munitions found were - you'll shiftily come back with some other stretch. So, now quibble back you statement on that too. You not only stretch the truth your way, you shrink it the other way. Why don't programs count? They're not nothing. In fact, that's about all you have with biological weapons. You don't make them till just before you use them. And the materials can be hid in closet. In a closet in a country the size of - what? California? Even chemical weapons degrade, so that you keep little in stock. And you can't say there were no WMD. We just didn't find large stockpiles of them. American, British, Russian, French, and German intelligence all agreed in concluding that Saddam had WMD. Were they all lying? Some folks here actually suspect the French, Germans, and Russians of lying to us. Some suspect the French of planting that "yellow cake" document. So, was your government mistaken? or lying in hopes that we'd get embarrassed? I don't think they did, but that isn't because I would put that past double-dealing Schroeder, Chirac, and Putin. The UN inspectors had reams of evidence of stuff Saddam never accounted for. The demand was simple: deliver up the goods or evidence that you have destroyed this stuff. He refused. Why? His government bureacracy meticulously documented every trip to the washroom, so don't try to tell me he couldn't account for any of that stuff. Indeed, if you maintain that Saddam had no WMD, or at least materials and programs that could quickly produce them when he had more money, then you must explain his behavior. If he had no WMD, why did he file that ridiculous December declaration? Why didn't he quit playing games? If he had, he'd still be in power. So, explain please. His behavior makes no sense unless he at least THOUGHT he had stockpiles WMD. Did he? If so what happened to them? Did he export them to Syria? If he didn't have them, then his corrupt officials in that gangster regime were pocketing the money for them and selling them off on the black market without his knowledge and/or Saddam was delusional (strong evidence of that, since he is a narcissist who lives in world he makes up as he goes along and was so out of touch with reality the last few months that he spent them writing a novel). But if such a fiasco fooled us, whose fault is that? It's THEIR fault, not ours, that we thought they had WMD. And so what? Nobody lied or made anything up. The intelligence was just wrong. Get off it already! The humanitarian cause of liberating the Iraqi people from his brutal regime was always given by both Bush and Blair as an additional reason for the invasion. Nobody ever claimed a connection to 9/11, but there were connections to al-Qaeda and other terrorists groups. Al-Qaeda and Saddam weren't yet cooperating as far as we knew, but that doesn't mean there was no danger. Hey, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." Right? Proof: Europe's anti-American Leftists make common cause with the anti-American Islamofasacists. Now if those two groups can kiss up to each other in alliance against the Great Evil, any two groups can. There WAS real danger that any WMD Saddam had would end up in al-Qaeda 's hands. If YOU were the President of the United States, would you play Russian Roulette with the 10,000,000 lives in NYC just so Euro Harpies have nothing to point at you and scream in moral indignation about? It's real easy for people of another country, with no responsiblity, to flap their yaps about that decision. Considering the information he had at the time, the President had to invade Iraq. And there was a long list of justifications. Iraq had been shooting at our aircraft daily for years and committing countless other breeches of the ceasefire. It had tried to assassinate former President Bush. No causus belli there? Saddam was the only world leader to praise the 9/11 attacks. And guess what? That was an unstated reason. An obvious reason. He had to be dethroned for doing that. Those who are so sure that Iraq is a disaster are way off into wishful thinking, as usual. Their vivid imaginations have eagerly been seeing signs of America's imminent downfall (any minute now) for decades. It is possible that the Iraqi politicians in the government are so corrupt that they could botch it and end up with civil war, but that's not likely.

Assistant Village Idiot on :

I believe you when you say that you are not hitting, but "feeling with you guys." As you seem to be under the continuing impression that we are losing and doing badly, perhaps some perspective will be encouraging. The people who were absolutely dead 100% wrong about how to win the Cold War are the same ones telling us we are doing it wrong now. With much the same arguments. I know, I was one of them then. The evidence is abundant that negative and anti-US reporting dominates OIF on both sides of the Atlantic, even when things go well. Thus, a mental correction has to be made at every evaluation: am I being swayed by the journalists in Baghdad hotels? American servicemen returning from Iraq claim to not recognize the war they see reported. (This is why I am so uncomfortable with survey and polling data as an indication of how we are doing.) It is good to remember that the American media overwhelmingly belongs to the opposition political party. A drop in support for any war is predictable after 3 years, at least in America. Because this war follows that generic pattern, it is hard to see the drop as especially illustrative of how well it is going. While senior military officers are among those claiming we are doing things wrong, 80% of military officers voted for Bush nonetheless. That doesn't make him right, but it does mean that the dissension in the ranks is overblown. Outside of Baghdad, Iraq is no worse than many countries we consider to be at peace. Even Baghdad is not in the chaos that is frequently claimed. The Iraqi stock market continues to be robust. People may complain, but when they risk their dollars, they show confidence. Even Anbar province, which attracted such attention even a few months ago as evidence that we could never win, has now allied its tribes against AQ and outside terrorists and with the govt. As anti-American sentiment was high in the ME beforehand, I don't see evidence that it is worse now. It is reported now. It is news now. How people feel about Americans is fresh in their minds now. None of those are evidence of worsening.

mbast on :

Wow, EDI, Russia, Iraq ..... lots of enormous topics being discussed here. I shall try and stay on the topic at hand: a European army. Considering a few of the above comments, I think we should clear up a few misconceptions about European armies and the US military first: - I read somewhere in the jungle of comments attached to this post that European armies could not fight effectively with American ones. I don't know where that idea comes from, but most anybody who's been in the services at officer level will contradict this statement. All NATO armies cross train, all of them can whip up joint operations if need be, and that includes most armies of the EU member states as well as US services. All the main European armies have already been in joint operations with the US armed forces. So to alledge that European armies can't fight together with the American armed forces is just plain ridiculous. They can. And they do. - "Europe is divided on the issue of a common army. European armies cannot operate together." Wrong again. The CFSP (Common Foreign and Security Policy) is one of the three pillars of the Maastricht agreement. Jörg has already pointed out a few units created due to the CFSP, and more are under way after the European Defense Initiative got started in 2004, but the thing to remember is: there is already an enormous effort to coordinate defense spending, procurement, weapon development and interoperability. Recent developments in the procurement sector include (but are not limited to): the Franco/British production of aircraft carriers for the British and French navies, cooperation between Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain during the development of the Eurofighter, development of the Airbus A400 military transport plane, development of the Tiger combat helicopter built by the Franco-German Eurocopter consortium and myriads of common development projects in the technical sector. As for interoperability and "EU units": due to the ESDP and EDI, the integration and creation of land-based armies has started and is well underway. Cf. [url=http://ue.eu.int/uedocs/cmsUpload/MILITARY%20CAPABILITY%20COMMITMENT%20CONFERENCE%2022.11.04.pdf]EU Military Capability Commitment Conference Document[/url] . Another good link can be found [url=http://www.euractiv.com/de/sicherheit/eu-kampftruppen/article-150177]here[/url] for those of you that read German. These links are a bit old, though, so I'm not sure what the current status is, I'd have to check up on that. - "European Armies are weak anyway." True, if you consider that only size matters and you compare single European armies to the giant US services. It's basically a question of population size and defense budgets. However, if you manage to coordinate all European armies (i.e. the 25 member states) and harmonize all the national defense budgets, that's a totally different ballgame. Also you have to consider that in the current geopolitical context, size does not necessarily matter that much anymore. Nowadays, the main function of a European army would be low-intensity, out-of-area conflict, not global war. You don't need that big an army to conduct such conflicts. You do need quality troops, though. The EU already has such quality troops. The current efforts to create European "units" are based on that: European Battlegroups will be comparatively small, but highly mobile and highly effective. All you have to do is introduce common standards of operation, which most units already have due to NATO. Iraq and Afghanistan are classic examples of the limitations of military action: you can have hundreds of thousands of troops in there and still not be able to completely control a country. So IMO big armies like the one that is currently operating in Iraq are on their way out. @Zyme: I strongly disagree with your views on Russia being a potential permanent ally of a limited number of EU states (notably Germany), if only for the reason that quite a few EU members (not just Poland) would have serious misgivings about any such alliance. Basically, it would not only affect the ESDP and EDI projects, but it might also completely break up the EU. If however the EU manages to get Russia into an alliance with all the member states, now that would be another story entirely (and one the US will not like at all, I'll wager). I don't think it's likely in the foreseeable future, though.

JW-Atlantic Review on :

mbast, thank you for another very informative comment. I need to do a lot of reading regarding EU military developments. While there seems to be an unprecedented level of military integration and a lot of more progress is promised for the coming years, I doubt whether it is fast enough. "Also you have to consider that in the current geopolitical context, size does not necessarily matter that much anymore. Nowadays, the main function of a European army would be low-intensity, out-of-area conflict, not global war. You don't need that big an army to conduct such conflicts. You do need quality troops, though. The EU already has such quality troops." I agree, but I think the United States has transformed its military after the Cold War much more thoroughly than Germany. That's why Germany can't help its NATO allies more in Afghanistan, it seems. Germany has some 250,000 troops. (I am not sure if that is active duty only or includes reserve components.) Although only 9,000 troops participate in international missions, the German military is considered to be "stretched thin." For comparison: The United States has 1,4 million troops on active duty. I guess, around 170,000 are in Iraq, Afghanistan etc. And the US military is considered to be stretched thin. While the US military is stretched thin with about 12% serving abroad, the German military struggles with about 4% serving abroad. I have not yet read the entire White Paper for the Bundeswehr. In a quick reading I only saw a very modest goal: [i]The national level of ambition is to deploy up to 14,000 servicemen and women at any one time, distributed over as many as five different areas of operations.[/i] This is not very ambitious. The White Paper also writes: [i]In the framework of the European Headline Goal, Germany has undertaken to provide an initial joint contingent of up to 18,000 servicemen and women, depending on the situation. This includes the German contribution towards the implementation of the EU Battlegroups Concept adopted to improve the EU’s Rapid Response Capability.[/i] Are those 18,000 servicemen and women supposed to be ready for peace-enforcement missions abroad? Do we have to add the 18,000 to the 14,000?

mbast on :

"mbast, thank you for another very informative comment." Thanks for the praise :-). Well, I did research the topic a bit due to the post on superfrenchie. "While there seems to be an unprecedented level of military integration and a lot of more progress is promised for the coming years, I doubt whether it is fast enough." It'll still take a while, of course, but in the long run, I think there will be quite a far-reaching military integration. It figures, since one of the stated goals of the EU is to avoid European nations fighting each other ever again. If you have integrated armies, or better, a European army, you're not very likely to start wars on European soil anymore. Also it's a question of cost: if you want to build a strong military, nowadays you have to consider that armies and weapon development are expensive. In the long run, you'll have to pool EU resources to be able to keep up with the military state-of-the-art. "I agree, but I think the United States has transformed its military after the Cold War much more thoroughly than Germany. That's why Germany can't help its NATO allies more in Afghanistan, it seems." Nope, sorry, but I don't agree. The US have not transformed their armed forces that much. Of course, there are new concepts and new units (like the Stryker units you mentioned in one of your previous posts) but the underlying concept is still one of "bigger is better". The idea is that the more troops you have for one operation, the better it is. The problem with that is there are some scenarios (like Iraq or Afghanistan) where no army in the world will be able to do the job, regardless of how big it is. Most of these scenarios are attempts to control a whole country by military means. These attempts are doomed to failure. Vietnam showed us that, Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation showed us that, Algeria in the fifties showed us that and nowadays Iraq and (to a lesser degree) Afghanistan show us that. So you have to re-think the underlying concept: what would be the main objective of a EU army? Homeland protection? Against whom? The Warsaw pact is gone, so there is no enemy directly threatening EU borders. Nope, the main objective of a EU army is out of area, low intensity conflict: UN peacekeeping missions like Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and more recently Lebanon, humanitarian missions, that kind of thing. That's what an EU army will have to do most of the time in the next ten or twenty years. And as for Germany not contributing to Afghanistan enough: the question is: why should Germany send more troops in the first place? Like I said, the underlying concept is flawed: you won't be able to control the whole of Afghanistan with European or American or any other troops if large parts of the population don't cooperate, regardless of how many troops you send. Also, operations in Afghanistan are held under wraps, but the little information you get leads to really tough questions about governmental control and the legitimacy of such operations. Read [url=http://www.zeit.de/2006/46/KSK]this article in Die Zeit[/url] for an interesting account of how the KSK units operate in Afghanistan. So before you start sending even more troops into a very volatile situation, you'd better have a hard think about whether that will really help solve problems and under what regime these troops will be acting in order to avoid becoming a problem themselves. You have to first figure out all this political stuff before you start sending the troops. And like I said, remember that military solutions aren't solutions at all in some situations.

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