It has been NATO, of course, and not the EU that has played the principle part in maintaining peace in Europe since 1949. Indeed, it is now widely recognised that the actions of the EU in the Balkans, and in Ukraine, have acted to foment conflict rather than peace. This is tacitly recognised even by the EU Empire's fervent German press outlet, Der Spiegel; "NATO always aspired to be something more than a defence alliance. It viewed itself as the protective power of liberal democracy, the West and Western principles. It was a moral framework, the foundations for their existence. But are we certain that the West is still a community of shared values? If it's not, then what is NATO defending?"
And here we have the intellectual crisis of the Neo-Illiberals. They don't like democracy being used by people who don't share their values. They are intolerant of any political system that doesn't work the way they want. They know they are right and will bully, coerce and manipulate in order to make everyone realise this. And they simply don't understand a NATO that defends democracy, universal suffrage and the secret ballot, and the right of self-determination. They want an ideological NATO, as grandiose, idealist and theocratic as the EU Federasts themselves. They want a NATO that will be the EU's armed stormfront.
This dichotomy therefore defines the positions of Europe's actors, played out yesterday in Munich against the background of US VP Pence's speech.
Brussels Wants to replace NATO with a militarised EU - A European military alliance as allowed for by but not yet enabled by Article 42 (2) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU). Juncker has signalled that he sees this starting as a 'soft' military capability - airlifts, peacekeeping, border security, maritime patrol and SAR - geared at projecting power and showing the flag rather than in maintaining heavy armour pointing East. Undoubtedly this will also involve the strengthening of capacity by the EU Gendarmerie to subdue any outbreaks of democracy within the EU. Argues that up to half of existing (target) 2% defence spends should go to the EU military alliance with the remaining 1% to a reformed NATO.
The EU's house magazine Der Spiegel echoes this approach; "In the medium-term, Europe must be capable of sufficiently defending
itself and providing for its own security. What is most needed in order
to make that happen is unity. If Germany and other Europeans now spend
more on defence, they will also have to increase their military
cooperation as well as massively expand the EU's Common Security and
Defence Policy. Europe's alliance should not replace NATO, but it must
enable Europeans to stand by each other if the Americans will no longer
And this could define Europe's flashpoint of the future. An EU nation, backed by NATO upholding liberal democracy and the UN upholding the right of self-determination, moves to break out of the EU after a clear referendum. The EU, in seeking to use whatever means possible to prevent such secession, mobilises its own military alliance, including French nukes under Brussels command.
UK & USA Want a full 2% defence spend to go to NATO to maintain an effective military shield against Russia and also paradoxically to build co-partner forces with Russia to face Islamist threats to our common southern borders. Want no modification of NATO or UN structures and will seek to keep down or veto EU efforts at militarisation.
France Will be asked to give up her UN seat to the EU and her Nuclear potential to EU command. These issues may surface in the forthcoming election, and candidates including Mme Le Pen asked to make their positions clear
Germany Is struggling with her identity like never before. The nation has a huge inbuilt resistance to becoming a militarily strong player, but alone amongst the EU's partners has the financial strength to do so. Pouring money into Juncker's 'soft' military alliance is one option - pouring money into expanding French military capacity another, though this will stick in the craw of German voters. Germany's terrier-like resistance to giving away even a pfennig of her savings may well act in the UK / US interest - for without German gold, the EU's ambitions will come to nought.