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?"
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 them....it'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.....