Archive for May, 2009

NATO mission creep & EU creeping integration

2009, May 1

The European Union: A Guide for Americans
Delegation of the European Commission to the USA
Anthony Smallwood Head, Press and Public Diplomacy Editor-in-Chief
Melinda Stevenson Senior Editor

Manuscript completed February 2007
with updates in March 2009
Copyright © 2007 by the Delegation
of the European Commission to the USA
2300 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
ISBN 92-79-00379-8
Catalogue Number  IQ 70-07-996-EN-C

Chapter Five
Europe in the World

[Info Box] The Rapid Reaction Mechanism: Providing Aid Quickly and Effectively

The EU decided in 2001 to set up a special emergency fund to respond quickly to the needs of countries undergoing crisis or moving toward crisis. The fund, known as the Rapid Reaction Mechanism (RRM), provides flexible short-term support to safeguard or re-establish conditions of stability in the partner countries. Its annual budget of €30 million finances actions for a maximum of six months with the idea that longer-term aid can then take over.
The RRM can intervene immediately prior, during, and after a crisis. At any one time, the RRM may be supporting over 60 operations in countries across the globe. The scale and nature of the crisis defines the type of actions that are funded. It can send technical teams to assess the situation in a country during a crisis—as happened in Afghanistan—before deciding on long-term aid. It can fund mine clearance, the cost of mediation and peace talks, and the training of police as part of an effort to restore the rule of law. It can monitor elections, consolidate and build up civilian administrations, help soldiers return to civilian life, rebuild houses, schools, hospitals, bridges and roads and contribute to the strategic planning of the economic, administrative and social rebuilding of the affected countries.

The RRM can also step in to help countries deal with natural or man-made disasters and can be used either for one-time actions or to kickstart longer-term projects or programs. In affected countries, it works through NGOs, international organizations, and individual experts. It can also mobilize the resources of EU Member States’ public administrations. The RRM differs from the EU’s humanitarian aid which is politically neutral and directed to individuals. RRM efforts have the clear aim to rebuild or establish civic structures without which, there can be no political, social, or economic stability. As such, its operations support the EU’s political priorities and seek to defuse crises, opening the way for the political process and longer-term support. [End Box]

ESDP Operations

ESDP missions include humanitarian and relief work, peacekeeping, and the use of combat forces in crisis management. Since 2003, more than 20 ESDP operations have been launched, including military and police missions, rule of law missions, and civilian-military support action. These operations have been undertaken in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Kosovo. ESDP operations are also underway in the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the South Caucasus.
Within ESDP, there is:
• A Political and Security Committee (PSC) (also known by its French acronym COPS) to help the Council monitor international events and review policy options.
• The Military Committee of the European Union (EUMC), composed of Member State chiefs of defense staff or their representatives.
• The European Union Military Staff (EUMS), drawn from Member State service personnel.
• The EU Satellite Center (EUSC), which generates and analyzes data from space imagery.
• The EU Institute for Security Studies (EUISS), which performs research and analysis.
The European Defense Agency (EDA).
The EDA was launched in 2004 to help Member States improve their defense capabilities and to support the ESDP. The EDA coordinates and fosters cooperation relating to Member States’ defense capabilities development, armaments, the European defense technological and industrial base and equipment market, and research and technology. All Member States except Denmark participate.

For the EU Member States in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO remains the basis for collective defense. In security operations where NATO is not engaged, the EU can use NATO assets in addition to those of EU Member States.
The two organizations have several institutional mechanisms to provide for close consultations.

The EU and NATO

The European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization—to which 21 of the 27 Member States belong—have built a genuine strategic partnership with the shared goal of regional stability and peace. The “Berlin Plus” arrangements, adopted in 1999, provide the framework for cooperation between the EU and NATO. These arrangements include granting the EU access to NATO operational planning assets when it is leading crisis management operations; availability to the EU of NATO capabilities and common assets; NATO European command options for EU-led operations; and having NATO include in its defense planning the possibility of making its forces available for EU operations.
The “Berlin Plus” arrangements were the foundation for the landmark 2002 Declaration on the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) between the EU and NATO. That Declaration served as the basis for EU-NATO cooperation on crisis management, anti-terrorism efforts, curbing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and ensuring EU access to NATO’s planning capability.
In March 2003, the EU and NATO signed the NATO-EU Agreement on the Security of Information, an agreement that enabled full consultations and cooperation between the two organizations, including the exchange of classified information and related material.
The culmination of those agreements was the EU’s assumption on March 31, 2003, of NATO’s mission in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Called Operation Concordia, the deployment of about 400 troops from EU Member States and other nations marked the first time the Union led a military mission. The European Union again relieved a NATO force in 2004, this time in Bosnia and Herzegovina. [*NB “When NATO Killed Journalists” Counterpunch]
Cooperation between the EU and NATO is likely to grow in the future. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer called for an expanded relationship in 2004, as both organizations were adding new Member States: “Ever since the end of the Cold War, NATO and the European Union have worked together on a wider range of issues, and to greater effect. Today, we face a range of new and complex challenges that force us to do even better: To work in a truly pragmatic manner—by complementing and reinforcing each other’s efforts.”
“When NATO Killed Journalists”
Tiphaine Dickson
Vol. 16, No. 8

“Ten years ago, NATO’s planes deliberately bombed Serbia’s main television and radio station. Sixteen media workers died. Tiphaine Dickson reports the barely credible aftermath, and CNN’s smelly role.”

Bombing Media Workers, Blaming Victims, and the Strange Role of CNN: An Investigation, Ten Years After the Bombing of Radio-Television Serbia;

Amnesty concludes: “NATO deliberately attacked a civilian object, killing 16 civilians, for the purpose of disrupting Serbian television broadcasts in the middle of the night.”

What RTS did in addition to… mocking Clinton and Albright, was to show NATO destruction that Western media outlets were too delicate to report and broadcast to their viewers;

Not a single member of NATO has yet been asked to account for the lives of 16 media workers when portions of Radio Television Serbia’s 4-floor building were reduced to 15 feet of rubble;

March 16-31, 2009, pp.7-8
vol. 16, no. 6

What is NATO for?
By Serge Halimi

Nicolas Sarkozy wanted his presidency to mark a break with the “French social model,” recently restored to its former glory by the collapse of American-style financial capitalism. So did he determine to do away with another old French tradition, national independence? Although he had never expressed such an intention in his electoral campaign and even though he later made any French reintegration in NATO’s joint military command structure conditional on strengthening European defense, Sarkozy effectively announced that General de Gaulle’s policy decision had had its day.

The founder of the Fifth Republic left the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s joint military command 43 years ago, at a time when the Soviet Union held a number of European countries in its grip. So why – with what future wars in mind – should France decide to reverse that decision now, when the Warsaw Pact is history and many former members (Poland, Hungary, Romania and others) have joined NATO and the European Union?

Is it to secure billets for 800 French officers at NATO headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia? Or to please Sarkozy’s friends in the arms industry who hope to sell more military equipment now that France is back in line? Or persuade the Americans that Sarkozy can safely be admitted to the inner circle now that Paris is no longer running its own show? It’s more likely that the Elysée hopes to take advantage of the widespread sympathy for the new U.S. president to finally lay an unforgivable piece of French effrontery to rest. It’s the day when Paris dared take issue with all the Dr. Strangeloves and the “clash of civilisations” on the question of war with Iraq; the day when many of Sarkozy’s current supporters, including the foreign minister Bernard Kouchner, disagreed with this independent stance. Most member states of the United Nations are not members of either NATO or the EU, and six EU member states (Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland, Malta, Sweden) do not belong to NATO either. But the roles of the three structures are becoming confused: the military organization is being assigned a geographical scope and entrusted with “stabilization” missions, for which it has no qualifications or jurisdiction.

On February 19, members of the European Parliament, claiming that they are slowly forming a worldwide human team (une terre sans frontières), passed a resolution by a small majority (293 to 283), referring to “phenomena such as international terrorism … organized crime, cyber threats, environmental deterioration, natural disasters and other disasters” and calling for “still closer partnership” between the EU and NATO. The explanatory note appended to the resolution sums the situation up in this image: “without a military dimension, the EU is like a barking dog without teeth.”

Leaving no stone unturned, the resolution also recalls our “painful history,” referring to Hitler and Munich, quotes a few lines by “Elie Wiesel, holocaust survivor,” and adds: “Wouldn’t we want someone to come to our rescue when we are crying?” U.S. officers, however, have never had a great reputation for drying civilian tears. Neither during the war in Kosovo, nor in the Iraq War, both conducted in breach of the U.N. charter. But, regarding many member states at the U.N., the European Parliament profoundly regrets that “the doctrine of non-alignment, inherited from the cold war era, undermines the alliance of democracies”.

So, it is understood that “the future collective defense of the European Union,” to which the French head of state is committed, will be organized exclusively within the framework of the Atlantic Alliance. The Alliance will not hesitate to deploy its forces in combined civil and military missions extending far beyond the old Iron Curtain to the borders of Pakistan. Even within Sarkozy’s own party, two former prime ministers, Alain Juppé and Dominique de Villepin, are already worried about this change of direction – evidence enough of the risks involved in taking such a course. CP

Serge Halimi is the director of Le Monde Diplomatique.
Taki’s Magazine: The online magazine for independent conservatives
Empire of Nothing
Doug Bandow
September 18, 2008

even with Lisbon the European “state” would still lack the sense of national identity and popular willingness to stand behind—and, if necessary, die for—EU policy. America’s greatest strength is not a truly national government. It is a people who believe in the nation, the union of individual states, and who will support the national government in making policy. That Europe does not have, and it would not be magically created by the Lisbon Treaty. Andrew Duff dismissed Irish concerns over maintaining their traditional position of neutrality: “Viewed from the perspective of Gori or Tskhinvali, Irish misgivings about neutrality rather pale into insignificance.” But from the perspective of Dublin the concerns actually are magnified by the Georgian crisis. Do the Irish people want to get dragged into a war with nuclear-armed Russia because a distant and largely unaccountable elite in Brussels, which has demonstrated its utter disdain for what the Irish people think, decides that war is necessary? Maybe their perspective isn’t so stupid after all.

Why not let go of NATO?
The American Conservative
March 27th, 2009
Patrick J. Buchanan

“In 1877, Lord Salisbury, commenting on Great Britain’s policy on the Eastern Question, noted that ‘the commonest error in politics is sticking to the carcass of dead policies.’

“Salisbury was bemoaning the fact that many influential members of the British ruling class could not recognize that history had moved on; they continued to cling to policies and institutions that were relics of another era.”

“Relics of another era”–thus did Stephen Meyer, in Parameters in 2003, begin his essay “Carcass of Dead Policies: The Irrelevance of NATO.”

NATO has been irrelevant for two decades, since its raison d’etre — to keep the Red Army from driving to the Rhine — disappeared. Yet Obama is headed to Brussels to celebrate France’s return and the 60th birthday of the alliance. But why is NATO still soldiering on?

In 1989, the Wall fell. Germany was reunited. The Captive Nations cast off communism. The Red Army went home. The USSR broke apart into 15 nations. But, having triumphed in the Cold War, it seems the United States could not bear giving up its role as Defender of the West, could not accept that the curtain had fallen and the play was closing after a 40-year run.

So, what did we do? In a spirit of “triumphalism,” NATO “nearly doubled its size and rolled itself right up to Russia’s door,” writes Richard Betts in The National Interest.

Breaking our word to Mikhail Gorbachev, we invited into NATO six former member states of the Warsaw Pact and three former republics of the Soviet Union. George W. Bush was disconsolate he could not bring in Georgia and Ukraine.

Why did we expand NATO to within a few miles of St. Petersburg when NATO is not a social club but a military alliance? At its heart is Article V, a declaration that an armed attack on any one member is an attack on all.

America is now honor-bound to go to war against a nuclear-armed Russia for Estonia, which was part of the Russian Empire under the czars.

After the Russia-Georgia clash last August, Bush declared, “It’s important for the people of Lithuania to know that when the United States makes a commitment — we mean it.”

But “mean” what? That a Russian move on Vilnius will be met by U.S. strikes on Mother Russia? Are we insane?

Let us thank Divine Providence Russia has not tested the pledge […]

Few Americans under 30 recall the Cold War. Yet can anyone name a single tripwire for war put down in the time of Dean Acheson or John Foster Dulles that we have pulled up?


Half a century later, we are still stuck “to the carcass of dead policies.”