The European War Union

BERLIN/PARIS | | frankreich

BERLIN/PARIS (Own report) - Together with his French counterpart, the German foreign minister has announced the EU's transformation to become a "political union" and its resolute militarization for global military operations. In a joint position paper, Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) and Jean-Marc Ayrault (PS) are calling for the EU's comprehensive military buildup, based on a division of labor, to enable future global military operations. Following the Brexit, the EU should, step-by-step, become an "independent" and "global" actor. All forces must be mobilized and all "of the EU's political instruments" must be consolidated into an "integrated" EU foreign and military policy. Steinmeier and Ayrault are therefore pushing for a "European Security Compact," which calls for maintaining "employable high-readiness forces" and establishing "standing maritime forces." The European Council should meet once a year as "European Security Council." Before this paper was made public, Germany's foreign minister and chancellor had made comments also promoting a German global policy and massive rearmament, possibly also with EU-support.

The EU's Global Mission

In a joint position paper propagated by the German foreign ministry yesterday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) along with his French counterpart, Jean-Marc Ayrault (PS) announced steps toward a political union. They noted that Britain's withdrawal from the EU has created "a new situation" with consequences "for the entire EU."[1] Berlin and Paris "firmly believe" that the EU provides "a historically unique and indispensable framework" not only for "the pursuit of freedom, prosperity, and security in Europe," but also "for contributing to peace and stability in the world." Therefore, further steps will be made "towards a political union in Europe" and "other European states" are invited "to join us in this endeavor." The EU should become "more coherent and more assertive on the world stage." It is not only an actor "in its direct neighborhood" but also on "a global scale." In their paper, Steinmeier and Ayrault wrote, "on a more contested and competitive international scene, France and Germany will promote the EU as an independent [!] and global [!] actor."

European Security Compact

To implement the EU policies of global power, Steinmeier and his French counterpart drew up elements for a "European Security Compact." "External crises" have become "more numerous" and have moved geographically "closer to Europe both east and south of its borders." There is no mention that the EU and its major powers have significantly contributed to the fomenting war and civil war - euphemized by Steinmeier and Ayrault as "crises": In Ukraine, by seeking, through the Association Agreement, to fully integrate the country into its sphere of hegemony;[2] in Libya, through its aggression, ousting the Gaddafi government;[3] or in Syria, through its political and low-intensity military support of an increasingly jihadist-controlled insurgency.[4] Nevertheless, the German foreign minister and his French counterpart announce that they not only support "the emerging government of national accord in Libya," but that they are also "convinced that Africa needs a continuous commitment, being a continent of great challenges and opportunities."

Maximum of Insecurity

According to Steinmeier and Ayrault, the "European Security Compact" will be comprehensive and include "all aspects of security and defense dealt with at the European level." The foreign ministers write that the EU must "ensure the security of our citizens." However, the concrete demands indicate that the "European Security Compact" will, of course, not bring greater security, but rather the contrary, a maximum of insecurity - an increase in EU-provoked wars and the inevitable effects, they will have on the centers of European prosperity.[5]

Everything for Policies of Global Power

As a first step, the paper written by France and Germany's foreign ministers proposes that "a common analysis of our strategic environment" be made. These reviews will be regularly prepared "by an independent situation assessment capability, based on the EU intelligence and situation centre" and submitted and discussed at the "Foreign Affairs Council and at the European Council." On the basis of this common "understanding," the EU should "establish agreed strategic priorities for its foreign and security policy." It is political experience that reaching an "understanding" in the process of foreign and military policy standardization, the standpoint of the strongest member-state - Germany - will be taken particularly into consideration. The results should then be "more effectively" than ever, implemented "as real policy," according to the paper. The objective is an "integrated EU foreign and security policy bringing together all [!] EU policy instruments."

Arms, Arms, Arms

Steinmeier and Ayrault write in detail that to "plan and conduct civil and military operations more effectively," the EU should institute a "permanent civil-military chain of command." In addition, it must "be able to rely on employable high-readiness forces." In order to "live up to the growing security challenges," Europeans need "to step up their defense efforts." For this, the European member states should "reaffirm and abide by the commitments made collectively on defense budgets and the portion of spending dedicated to the procurement of equipment and to research and technology (R and T)." A few days ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel had already taken the first step in this direction, when she declared that Germany's defense budget should now begin to converge with that of the United States, in terms of their respective GDP percentages - Germany spends 1.2 percent of its GDP on military, while the US spends 3.4 percent.[6] Next, Steinmeier and Ayrault explain that a "European semester" should support the coordination of the individual member countries' future military planning. "Synergism" is the objective. Throughout the EU, an arms buildup must be as coordinated and efficient as possible. The EU should provide common financing for its operations. "Member states" could establish permanent structured cooperation in the field of defense "or push ahead to launch operations." Particularly important is "establishing standing maritime forces" or acquiring "EU-owned capabilities in other key areas."

More Domestic Repression

The Social Democrat Steinmeier and the Socialist Ayrault write that to ensure "internal security," the "operational capacity" must be enhanced at the EU level. This includes making the best use of "retention of flight passenger data (PNR)" - the "data exchange within the EU" must be "improved" - but also "making the best use of Europol and its counterterrorism centre." "In the medium term," there should otherwise be the "creation of a European platform for intelligence cooperation." Last weekend, SPD Chair, Sigmar Gabriel and the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz (SPD) called for the extension of domestic repression as well as the creation of a "European FBI."[7]

Seize the Opportunity

Just a few days ago, Foreign Minister Steinmeier declared in the US journal "Foreign Affairs" that Germany has become "a major power" and will "try its best" on the world stage "to hold as much ground as possible."[8] With Britain, which had always adamantly opposed an integrated EU military policy, leaving the EU, Berlin sees an opportunity for reviving its efforts at restructuring the EU's military and mobilizing as many member countries as possible for the EU's future wars.

[1] This and the following quotes are taken from "A strong Europe in a World of Uncertainties" - Joint contribution by the French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. www.auswaertiges-amt.de.
[2] See Expansive Ambitions and Die Verantwortung Berlins.
[3] See Vom Westen befreit (II).
[4] See Forced to Flee (I).
[5] Zu den Rückwirkungen der von europäischen Staaten geführten Kriege s. etwa Der Krieg kehrt heim, Der Krieg kehrt heim (II) and Der Krieg kehrt heim (III).
[6] See Auf Weltmachtniveau.
[7] See Flexible Union with a European FBI.
[8] See Auf Weltmachtniveau.