Why Does the EU Need its Own Army?

Olivier Renault

The EU wants to wage war against Russia for a long time. All the military forces of the EU countries have taken a military and financial position in this direction and this is not just since last February.

A long-standing project

Last November, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, announced the creation of a rapid response force. He explained the plan to Die Welt Am Sonntag: “In a first step, we have created two possible deployment scenarios for the EU intervention force: rescue and evacuation operations and, in a second scenario, the beginning (initial phase) of a stabilization deployment”.

Observateur Continental headlined: “EU countries decide to create their own rapid response force“. The European Commission and the EU External Service intend to develop a system of joint military orders for weapons and equipment, which until now has been the prerogative of the national governments of EU countries. Continental Observer stated: “The operational availability of this new military force is planned for 2025”. A first mission could ensure a future cease-fire in Ukraine, Die Welt assured. But everything must take place under the political and military command of Berlin. And it was decided to set up the rapid response force with the agreement of NATO.

The creation of a NATO rapid response force had been agreed in September 2014, noted Continental Observer, reporting in November 2021 that the EU Council of Defense Ministers approved 14 pan-European defense projects. The project has been, therefore, long matured in consultation with NATO and long before the current heavy conflict of high intensity in Ukraine. Besides, Observateur Continental, quoting a German politician, recalled:

“The United States have been preparing Ukraine for the conflict with Russia since 2014”.

Why this united Europe?

Observers note that the EU leaders with the United States do not want to repeat the mistakes made during the collapse of the USSR. Since the end of last October, the EU, with the participation of the United Kingdom, has been preparing a program of “military mobility” by adapting civilian infrastructure and legal procedures for the transfer of troops to the east on the borders of Russia. The EU first drew attention to the shortcomings of “military mobility” in 2018.

To these ends, to help improve military mobility in Europe and promote the trans-European transport network, the European Commission proposed in May 2018 the creation of a provisional envelope of 6.5 billion euros for the next multiannual financial framework (2021-2027) under the European Interconnection Mechanism (EIM) to finance the construction and upgrading of transport infrastructure that can be solicited by civilian and military activities.

Now, under the pretext of what is happening in Ukraine, the European Commission wants to give new impetus to the project. Josep Borrell emphasizes that all this means, among other things, an even closer cooperation between the EU and NATO. It is extremely important for Europe to quickly adapt the infrastructure to the rapid movement of troops and equipment from West to East. It is also planned to support the fuel logistics network.

The SS project

In mid-October, NATO announced that 15 European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, United Kingdom, Finland) have signed a memorandum of intent to create Sky Shield (SS for short) – a pan-European air/missile defense system, led, according to Nato, by Germany, which will be based on the Israeli Arrow 3 systems with the U.S. Patriot and the German IRIS-T units.

The initiative of the German Federal Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, to create SS was approved at a meeting of defense ministers of NATO countries in Brussels. The EU and NATO have also discussed the issue of creating a full-fledged air defense/anti-missile system on the territory of Ukraine, although officially Ukraine is not a member of NATO.

The air defense system of the future EU army will most likely be developed on network-centric principles. Information about launches and movements of any object in the air will come from all possible sources, united in a network. Each target will be accompanied. The artificial intelligence will calculate the most optimal options for its destruction while it is still moving, not directly in front of the object. This will increase the probability of hitting aerial targets by about 2.5 to 3 times.

An army to defeat Russia

It should be recalled that the British Chief of Staff, General Patrick Sanders, called in June to prepare for a war in Europe and create an army capable of “defeating Russia in combat.” At the same time, French President Emmanuel Macron announced the entry into the “war economy period.” And the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, promised to soon create “the most powerful army in Europe.” In any case, the pretext was the situation in Ukraine.

A project from before the conflict in Ukraine

In fact, what is happening there is only one of the pretexts for Europe to get its own army, and finally get rid of the powerful diktats of the United States. Steps towards the creation of a rapid reaction force and a unified EU air/missile defense system with the intention to use them against Russia started to be taken long ago, when nobody could even think about an air defense system in Ukraine.

It is enough to remember that Germany officially declared itself in favor of the accelerated creation of a unified EU army a decade and a half ago! In May 2008, the then German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated that the process of EU military integration should be accelerated and that the result of the unification of the military potentials of the 27 members of the Union should be the EU army under one command. At the same time, he noted that a group of EU states could assume the role of “vanguard” in foreign and military policy. France has become a key partner in this area for Germany.

A German government media reports that “German and Polish military personnel have been working together successfully in the Multinational Corps Northeast in Szczecin for twenty years. Deutschland.de noted that soldiers from 22 other NATO countries are now stationed there. This German-Polish military cooperation was a prototype for the EU army.

EU army project to be strengthened by 2015

The then president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said in the spring of 2015: “A common European army would show the world that there will never be another war between EU countries”; “Such an army would also help the EU to formulate foreign and security policies and to take on more responsibility in the world.”

Immediately afterwards, former NATO secretary general Javier Solana and EU foreign policy expert Steven Blockmans told the Wall Street Journal in 2015:

“The EU needs a new alliance to defend itself against aggressive Russia in the east and Islamists in the south.”

The idea of creating a European army has also been supported by the Finnish president, the German chancellor and representatives of German diplomacy. And, the then German Minister of Defense, Ursula von der Leyen, said in 2015 that she was convinced that the transfer of national sovereignty of EU countries to the supranational level in military matters is “entirely appropriate” because “the European army is the future.” Everything has been prepared for several years.

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