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Thursday, 15 November 2018

Different worldviews

I never thought I would write this blog. Yet the worldviews of Americans and Europeans have become (very) different. As a result, the French President and German Chancellor are publicly calling for a European Military Union. A century ago, Germany was - twice - the arch enemy for many European countries during WW1 and WW2. Indeed, a lot has changed.

On 9 November 2018, the 45th President tweeted that the French call for a European army was "very insulting". This tweet points again at (very) different worldviews. Following Trump's threats to dissolve NATO ("obsolete") and his continued efforts to align with Russia, Europeans fear that the U.S. safety umbrella will not be available when Europe would need it most.

Trump's suggestion that a European Military Union is for protection against China, Russia and USA was provocative and for domestic consumption. Perhaps, Europeans would agree with Trump if he had replaced the word USA by the word Trump. Trump is indeed considered a threat in Europe and not one that will easily disappear in 2020. Again, different worldviews.

A European Military Union would benefit the eastern European countries (eg, Hungary, Poland) and would find resistance in southern European countries (eg, Greece, Italy). The Russian threat is perceived (very) different in European countries.

Russia is likely to oppose a European Military Union without realizing that it is accountable for it, although not responsible (my blogs of 2015, 2016-1, 2016-2). Over the years, Russian interference in Western affairs (eg, Brexit, Crimea, cyber wars, Georgia-2008, UkraineUSA-2016) has increased European threat assessments on Russia. It looks like that Russia has been sowing division and reaping unity.

A European Military Union is likely to dissolve national full-service military defences, consisting of an Air Force, Army and a Navy. Reasons are economies of scale and traditional military strengths (eg, Dutch Navy, German Army). Specialization, however, always requires coordination. This military coordination may necessitate European political integration.

My main question is thus whether a European Military Union will finally result in a European Federal Republic, similar to the Federation of United States of America. This development would fill the geopolitical vacuum that is being left by USA. See my recent blog.

Future historians may once conclude that European political integration was the result of American (ie, Trump) and Russian collusion with the intention to dismantle the European project and eliminate a strategic geopolitical competitor. How ironic.

Divide and rule, the politician cries; unite and lead, is watchword of the wise. A quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer and statesman.

Brother to Brother (1978) by Gino Vannelli

Do you know where we went wrong
Tell me why the lines are drawn?
And let us break our bound'ries down
And live our lives on common ground


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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