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Nato urged to challenge European defence plan

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posted on Oct, 16 2003 @ 09:53 PM
The US has called an emergency Nato meeting to challenge the creation of a stronger security and defence policy for the European Union.

The call by Nicholas Burns, US ambassador to Nato, reflects growing unease among Pentagon officials over the way Britain wants to work more closely with its EU allies in building credible defence structures and better military capabilities. But it also highlights tensions in the transatlantic alliance, with the US seeing any future EU defence policy as a potential competitor to Nato.

Here is the rest of the story:

Translation The US is scared that the EU may become a super power to challenge the US. And they want to stop that from happening.

posted on Oct, 16 2003 @ 10:30 PM
Reckon' this has something to do with the "concerns"....this will probably explain a bit better...
(no date on when written though....)

"Europe's Military Ambitions - Myth or Reality?"

"II.American Worries.
I will not reveal a great secret by telling you that the Americans, although in the past broadly sympathetic to the EU, had great problems with accepting the idea of an autonomous European defence. When, in December 1998, Clinton's advisers first heard about the St. Malo declaration, they were not amused. Sharp words were exchanged with the British, especially because of the prominence of the word "autonomous" in the declaration. The disagreement between the US and EU regarding how far the "Europeanization" of the Continents' defence should go boiled over during the run-up to the EU's December 2000 summit meeting in Nice. Speaking at a NATO defence ministers meeting in Brussels just prior to the Nice summit, then-secretary of defence William Cohen declared that if the EU created an independent defence capability outside the alliance's structure, NATO would be a "relic of the past".

The American suspicion that ESDP will rival NATO for supremacy in European security affairs was voiced even more bluntly by Senators Jesse Helms and Gordon Smith. After the EU's summit they warned that "European leaders should reflect carefully on the true motivation behind ESDP, which many see as a means for Europe to check American power and influence within NATO." Senators Helms and Smith went on to warn that "it is neither in Europe's nor America's interests to undermine our proven national relationship in favour of one with a European superstate whose creation is being driven, in part, by anti-American sentiment." The US desire to contain Europe's military ambitions was also expressed by then-secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who delienated what Washington deems as the acceptable limits of the EU's security initiative. In 1998, she observed that ESDP is "a very useful way to think about burden sharing in the Alliance." In November 2000, Albright greeted the EU's announcement that it was moving forward with the ESDP by commenting that this policy is welcome as a "valuable complement to the efforts and capabilities of NATO". To ensure that ESDP does not undercut NATO, Albright finally proclaimed the so-called Three D's:

The ESDP must not lead to a decoupling of the European defence efforts from NATO; it must not duplicate NATO's capabilities and it must not discriminate against NATO members that do not belong to the EU.

The message delivered to the EU by these three American D's was clear: For the U.S. all relevant EU institutions and forces have to be part of the European pillar inside the Atlantic alliance and not separate and competing entities.As then-under secretary of state Stuart Eizenstein said in 1999: "We will continue to celebrate the dream of a continent united through the European Union, but we must also hold before us another essential vision - that of the transatlantic partnership." Seen in this context, William Cohen's assertion that ESDP could turn NATO into a "relic" was clearly intended as a warning for the European Union: if it goes too far down the road to real autonomy in defence and security - that is, if it seriously challenges US preponderance in European security affairs - the Atlantic alliance could be shattered. As far as the Bush administration is concerned, it became clear right from the beginning that key representatives of this administration were even more sceptical about Europe's military ambitions than their predecessors. Several days after the Nice summit, John Bolton, who was then-vice president of the American Enterprise Institute and has since been nominated as under-secretary of state for arms control and international security affairs in the Bush administration, described the ESDP as "a dagger pointed at NATO's heart." When Donald Rumsfeld, the new defence secretary attended a high level meeting of defence experts in Munich in February last year he did not attack the ESDP directly but declared that he was "a little worried". He said that the Europeans' plans should strengthen NATO, should not duplicate the alliance and should embrace non-EU members.

Other Republicans either doubt that the EU's plans will improve military capabilities or remain downright hostile to the whole project. Few in the US congress understand it. And many right-wing Republicans are vigorously opposed to a more autonomous European defence. They regard a strong Europe as inherently undesirable. They think that the US can more easily play off one EU member against another if Europe is divided. And they worry that a United Europe with an effective foreign, security and defence policy might challenge American leadership of the alliance and menace US ambitions in many parts of the world. For them, ESDP is a culminating step of Europe's emancipation process and the "camel's nose in the tent" of US primacy. Given this background, the US - EU controversy about Europe's millitary ambitions might be seen as the proverbial tip of the iceberg. Underlying the current discord are fundamental questions about the nature of the US-European relationship, about American grand strategy and about the alliance itself. At the beginning of 2001 it looked inevitable that the new administration would have come to grips with these questions and especially with the question of whether NATO in its current form - has a future. At that time, Europe's military ambitions - at least on paper - looked real and serious: the Europeans seemed to be more enclined to spend money on boosting military capabilities if they are going to be able to use them autonomously. They seemed to be ready to move towards strategic self-sufficiency. And the concept of the Rapid Reaction Force seemed to prove that they were concerned with military effectiveness and not only with institution-building. Unfortunately, to this day, the Europeans did not live up to the high expectations risen four years ago in St. Malo and Brussels. Certainly, the institutions of the ESDP are now all in place and working. Plans have even been drawn up for the Rapid Reaction Force's first mission. The budgetary dimension however - on which, ultimately, the entire project stands or falls - has been completely neglected, side-stepped or fudged."

As to the "challenge the US....maybe, but if I was the US, I would look at it as a cost-saving measure. Pull US troops home from Europe, close bases, except those necessary for "jumping points" and save bundles/oddles of money. Europe is proud. If this is what they wish to do, by all means, let's time they were totally responsible for their own security issues.....the Cold War is over.....absolve NATO...let those who will or wish to join the EU do so....
I see some problems with this, but nothing to be overly concerned about nor to be calling an emergency NATO meeting over......political maneovering is all it amounts to. Competition is good....just ask the Russian's about that.....


posted on Oct, 16 2003 @ 11:05 PM
This article is probably a bit biased but does address the long-terms of this:


"......The differences, in brief, are stark: Americans are from Mars and Europeans are from Venus. Europeans spend their money on social services, Americans continue to devote large sums to the military. Europeans draw lessons from their successful pacification of post-1945 Germany; Americans draw lessons from their defeat of Nazi Germany and the Soviet bloc.

Kagan's insights have important implications:

U.S.-European differences are not transitory but long-term.

They are likely to grow with time.

Europe is highly unlikely to develop a military power to rival America's.

As Europe settles into strategic irrelevance, Americans need pay it less and less attention.

because we so predominates, we should make gestures to win European goodwill.

NATO is little more than a shell.

Americans should look to countries outside Europe (Turkey, Israel, and India come to mind) for military alliances."


posted on Oct, 17 2003 @ 07:01 AM
Thank you seeker, for posting this.

This is something Ive been screaming about.

NATO is obselete. Period. Why are we still in Europe? They do not want us there. I dont blame them. I do not want us there. The billions we spend keeping us there is ridiculous! Well save so much money! And besides, Europe is insignifigant strateigically now anyway, as far as world affairs go. They want thier autonomy. Why not give them that? Woith the EU, I doubt we will ever have to worry about getting dragged into yet another stupid European war like we were twice, WW1 and WW2.

Thus, we should be blessing it, as occupying Europe has been a massive headache for us. The soviet union is gone, and even with new Russian hostilities, there is no point of us staying there.

I do not like NATO, I want to see it abolished, we do need to find new buddies outside Europe. What about actually trying to foster better ties in the western hemisphere? if we are to continue this world involvement insanity, why not foster it in our own half of the world? instead of #ing with South American govornments, what about actually stop overthrowing them and build a western alliance over here? mI mean, #, if we could build stable nations in our own half of the planet, we could basically forget the #ing eastern hemisphere! And form our own pan American alliance. South America has alot of potential, and if wed stop keeping them in the poorhouse and start actually rebuilding them and working on strengthening them and doing our own Nato here, we would never have to worry about anything from the eastern half.

If Europe wants the eastern Hemisphere, let the #ers have it! Really, what does the east have that the west doesnt? Oil? We got it here. Minerals> resources? Labor pools? We got all that here.

We have been looking for allies too far from home when the west has plenty of potential. if we could for once and for all, eliminate the corrupt govornments of south America, and blow money there, we could actually survive and still play int eh world scene.

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