The post-war spirit was actually one of disarmament, not militarization, at least until the 1930s, but it’s precisely because of Macron’s fearmongering about Russia, China, and even the US interestingly enough that he thinks that the EU needs a united military force as soon as possible. He’s worried about the supposed threat that both multipolar Great Powers could pose, and he’s also very concerned about the US’ unpredictable foreign policy moves such as its planned withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that he says will make Europe a more dangerous place.
The proposal for a EuroArmy isn’t unique to Macron and has been touted every once in a while over the years, but the timing of its revival at this specific moment suggests that France might be trying to steal the torch of European leadership from Merkel during the pronounced period of uncertainty that she plunged her country in after announcing her planned retirement from political life at the end of her term in 2021. There are also questions about whether all of this is just nothing more than a publicity stunt and possibly even a negotiating ploy for use against the US since Trump made it clear that he’s so committed to NATO that he demands that all of its members contribute the 2% of their GDP to defense like they’re supposed to have been doing all along, which would in theory render any EU Army redundant.
At the same time, however, there’s no overlooking the trans-Atlantic rift that’s developed since the beginning of Trump’s presidency, and it’s unlikely that the Europeans will ever trust the Americans on the same level that they did before, thus necessitating the eventual reduction of defense dependency on the US and the creation of semi-independent mechanisms for multilaterally securing the continent’s interests. While Macron predictably recited typical anti-Russian justifications for this structure, the case can be made that an EU Army would be put to better use defending the bloc from terrorist and other asymmetrical threats such as the one posed from large-scale migrant influxes. With North and West Africa being the main regions responsible for these, there’s a chance that any future EU Army might see action in Africa before it ever sets its sights against Russia.
To discuss this issue in more detail, Andrew Korybko is joined by Adam Garrie, Director of Eurasia Future, and Rui Octavio Dos Santos Vaz Perdiz, former war reporter from Angola from 1979-1995 who is presently based in France.
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