Tuesday, June 26, 2018

European Countries to Launch Joint Military Force

Yesterday Nine Nations led by: France, Germany and the UK, plus Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, Spain and Portugal, agreed to Create a collaborative Military Force to boost Border Security outside the EU Framework.

Without help from NATO, the European Intervention Initiative (EII), will Independently respond to “Crisis Scenarios,” while also serving to keep the UK involved in European Security Affairs after Brexit.

Euroskeptics have Panned the Initiative as Unnecessary, while other Analysts see it as a Vote of No-Confidence in NATO.

“We want to develop cooperation between countries politically willing and militarily capable of acting, when they decide to do so, in different scenarios—not just military but also civilian,” French Defense Minister Florence Parly said after the Nine Countries Signed a Letter of Intent at a Meeting of EU Defense Ministers in Luxembourg.

“You can’t talk about a ‘force’ to refer to the European Intervention Initiative, because the term is too strictly military and the spectrum for action is much broader,” she added, giving the example of British and Dutch Rescue Efforts in the Caribbean after Hurricane Irma last year.

French President Emmanuel Macron hopes the EII will prove more Effective than the EU’s Four Military “Battlegroups” set up in 2007 but never Deployed due to Political Bickering.

London has always fiercely Opposed anything that might open the way to an “EU Army” but last month British Junior Defense Minister Frederick Curzon told AFP the French Plan would help achieve a “Deep and Special Partnership” with the Bloc on Defense after Brexit.

Paris hopes that a Smaller Group of Countries will be able to Act more Decisively, freed from the burdens that sometimes hamper action by the 28-Member EU and 29-Member NATO.

A Tenth Country, Italy, has also Agreed but its New Right-Wing Populist Government needs more time to look at the Proposal before putting pen to paper, Parly said, insisting it was “a question of details, not substance.”

Parly has been at pains over the past few Months to reassure the EU, in particular the Bloc’s Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, that the French Initiative will not Compete with the EU’s own Defense Cooperation Pact.

NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg played down Fears the EII could Detract from the Transatlantic Alliance, which has been responsible for European Security for nearly 70 years. “I see this new initiative as something that can complement and reinforce the work which is ongoing in NATO to strengthen and increase the readiness of armed forces,” he said as he arrived for the Talks in Luxembourg.

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