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Von der Lein and Macron hold a summit to restart European defense after the fiasco in Afghanistan


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The world has entered “A new era of super competitiveness“, marked by “regional competition”, some of the major powers (read China and Russia) willing” Gain influence at all costsWhether it’s promising vaccines and high-interest loans, or resorting to heavy weapons and misinformation. “ This is a rough diagnosis of the New World Order made by Ursula von Delane on Wednesday. Afghanistan collapsesDuring the State of the Union speech.

In the context of increasing polarization, the EU needs to restart its own common defense to ensure its strategic autonomy and Ability to intervene where the United States or NATO does not want to go. “Europe can (and obviously should) be able and willing to do more on its own,” the committee chairman said.In your opinion, greater independence is Fully compatible with the Atlantic Alliance.

In this sense, Von der Lein and the French President jointly announced this call, Emmanuel MacronA special summit of 27 heads of state and government to reactivate the European Defense Alliance.Meeting will be held First half of 2022, Coincides with France as the rotating presidency of the European Union. “It’s time to take Europe to the next level,” he explained.

In his opinion, The main problem now is not to determine the strength of the possible European militaryThis is about cultivating the willingness to act collectively in the EU, which has never existed in the past. “In the past few weeks, there has been a lot of discussion about the military. About what and how much we need: battalion or express entry force. This is of course part of the debate, and I think it will be part of the discussion. The solution. But The most important question is why this has not worked in the past,” the president said.

“We may have the most advanced power in the world, but if we never want to use them, what use are they? What has hindered us so far is the lack of political willIf we develop this kind of political will, we can do a lot at the EU level,” Von der Lein said. Specifically, the 27 countries should focus on improving intelligence cooperation, strengthening interoperability between military equipment, and formulating European Cyber ​​defense policy.

NATO rejects European troops

After the departure of the United States, the Europeans could not guarantee the safety of Kabul Airport in Afghanistan, which revived the debate on the establishment of a European army. The head of community diplomacy, Joseph Borrell, Has proposed the formation of a multinational rapid intervention force with 5,000 soldiers. despite this, Europeans still have serious differences on defense issues.

In terms of security and defense, the EU is divided into three camps. First, there are member states that are firmly committed to European sovereignty, such as France or Spain.Others give more important Cooperation with NATO and transatlantic relations with the United States, Such as Germany or Central and Eastern European countries. Finally, there is a group of neutral countries, such as Austria, Finland or Malta. This division hindered any progress in the establishment of a European army.

In addition, the Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, Has expressed opposition to the European army. “Any attempt to weaken the ties between Europe and the United States will not only weaken NATO, but also divide Europe itself,” Stoltenberg said. In the interview New York Times.

“We have put pressure on the European allies to do more defensively, but Not as a substitute, but as part of NATO. Any attempt to establish a parallel structure and copy the command structure will weaken our ability to work together, because when resources are scarce, we must avoid duplication,” Sottenberg said.

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