uk 75

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The EU could have a combined military if it abandoned its usual "one size fits all" approach and opted for the NATO a la carte system.
Interoperability of forces with different kit and methods has been practised by NATO for years.
But NATO benefits from the clear lead of the US. Apart from France its members are content to work in English and accept US financial scrutiny of the Alliance's budget.
For an EU military to be effective France would have to enjoy a similar position amongst the Continental powers. Despite the closeness of Bonn and Paris neither country felt at ease with the other's language. I suspect even now they talk to one another in English.
 

Foo Fighter

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They could sort the problem by putting their military into the condition needed to demonstrate intent. That means putting money where their rhetoric is. If the eu nations were to clarify their position within NATO and allocate fully up to scratch military units to it they would be better off. Why start another organisation which will take money away from the NATO commitments already not met. Unless of course the whole intention is to leave NATO. Is that what the noise is about do you think?
 

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I don't think so. There is more intends to lock the market around French and German hardware in that call than fundamentals to change a strategy. The biggest catch phrase, as we can see, is the will to decorelate from the US more aggressive posture in the Pacific and toward Russia the European members of the NATO alliance. But, since it would be more efficient to declare themselves neutral, something that they are not doing (neutrality doesn't involves not defending yourself), the industrial maneuver is then more what should be suspected.

The lack of sense and clear strategy is what kills this endeavor on the short term. I don't see other members of the EU rallying around the call. Then there is the salami slice effect: undermine, undermine, undermine...
 
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uk 75

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It is interesting to contrast France's current policy with the 60s decision by De Gaulle to go fully nuclear with its own Triad and tactical nuclear weapons so that France could leave the Russians in no doubt what Paris would do if war came.
A similar decision by Macron would make Putin sleep a little less easily.
 

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The Military Staff of the European Union (EUMS) led missions overseas has both NATO and SHAPE cells, most of its overseas missions and deployments that it has overseen have been rather lower-key security/police details or training missions rather than anything large scale (at least in recent years). Equipment probably matters less with the small battalion-sized Battlegroups on rotation, which the EU currently had but never uses.
Operation Irini perhaps stands out being a naval force, one that would seem to involve vessels and aviation assets that would likely be assigned to NATO usually.
 

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Weak signals, but signals nonetheless - from the press release "United States: High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken (14/10/21)":

High Representative Borrell and Secretary Blinken underscored the intention to launch a dialogue on security and defence by the end of the year. The High Representative welcomed the setting up of this dedicated channel to discuss common security and defence challenges, building on the mandate agreed by the EU and US Leaders at the EU-US Summit in June. He welcomed the US support for a stronger and more capable European defence and stressed that stronger EU capabilities contribute positively to transatlantic and global security, and also strengthen NATO.

The High Representative and Secretary Blinken agreed to launch EU-US consultations on the Indo-Pacific, with the aim to step up transatlantic cooperation and joint engagement in the region. They agreed to hold a first high-level meeting this year.

They welcomed the work done under the EU-US Dialogue on China and agreed to hold the next high-level meeting in December. They also agreed to launch High-level Dialogue on Russia, with the first meeting planned to take place before the end of this year.

 

Archibald

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It is interesting to contrast France's current policy with the 60s decision by De Gaulle to go fully nuclear with its own Triad and tactical nuclear weapons so that France could leave the Russians in no doubt what Paris would do if war came.
A similar decision by Macron would make Putin sleep a little less easily.

De Gaulle explained the whole enchillada his own, pretty unique way... you can tell he had learned his WWII Churchill lessons very well.

Within ten years, we shall have the means to kill 80 million Russians. I truly believe that one does not light-heartedly attack people who are able to kill 80 million Russians, even if one can kill 800 million French - that is if there were 800 million French.
At the beginning that quote made me chuckle.

Then I red Robert Merle Malevil, and it wasn't funny anymore...


(heck it is available in english for free, if you want to try it. Starts very ordinary, and then all Atomic Hell breaks lose in a truly terrifying way. You've been warned)


In a consumer society the product consumed by man in largest quantities is optimism. Since the days when it became known that the planet was gorged with everything needed to destroy it—and if necessary our neighbor planets as well—somehow we had all learned to sleep peacefully at nights again. And oddly enough, the very excess of those terrifying weapons and the growing number of nations possessing them had actually proved a factor in our gradual reassurance. From the fact that since 1945 none of them had yet been used, it was emotionally deduced that no one would ever dare to and that nothing was going to happen. This false security in which we lived had even been found a name and given the semblance of a grand strategy. It was called “the balance of terror.”

And another thing needs to be said. Nothing, absolutely nothing, in the weeks preceding Zero Day made it possible to predict it. There were wars, of course, and famines and massacres. And here and there a few atrocities. Some of them flagrant (in the underdeveloped countries), others less obvious (in the Christian countries). But nothing, taken all in all, in any way different from what we had been seeing for the past thirty years. And all of these things had in any case occurred at a convenient distance, among peoples far removed from us. We were distressed by them, of course, we expressed indignation, signed petitions, or even donated small sums of money on occasions. But at the same time, in our heart of hearts, after having dutifully experienced these vicarious sufferings, we returned to our usual feeling of security. Death was something that always happened to others.

The mass media—I still have the last numbers of Le Monde and only the other day reread them—were not being particularly alarmist during those weeks. Or if they were it was on a long-range basis. About pollution, for example. They were predicting that in forty years’ time the whole planet might be teetering on the edge of the abyss. Forty years! It’s like a dream! If only we could count on those forty years still!

It is simply a fact, one I state without any intention of irony, since that would really be too easy. Newspapers, radio, television, none of the great organs of communication that used to keep us so well informed—or at any rate so abundantly informed—foresaw in any way or at any point what was about to happen. And when it did happen they couldn’t even cover the story after the event; they had vanished from the face of the earth.

Although it’s quite possible that what happened was totally unpredictable anyway. Was it perhaps some terrifying miscalculation on the part of a statesman persuaded by military advisers that he at last held the ultimate weapon? Or was it sudden insanity on the part of someone in a position of responsibility who gave an order that no one was subsequently able to reverse? Perhaps a physical breakdown producing a chain reaction of automatic responses, thereby unleashing identical responses from an opponent, until the moment of terminal annihilation was reached?

One could go on piling up such hypotheses ad infinitum. But all means of verifying them have been forever destroyed.

Darkness begins on that day when History came to an end simultaneously with its object. The civilization whose progress it was there to record had ceased to exist.

The end of the world, or rather the end of the world in which we had lived until then, began in the simplest and least dramatic of ways. The electricity failed.
 
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uk 75

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Archibald I will certainly follow up your suggested work.
I think the leaders in the Cold War understood the nightmare that could be unleashed by a nuclear war. With two exceptions, Mao and Kim. They believed their populations would somehow survive.
War between Russia and China in the late 60s was a real possibility.
Whether our present political leaders are so aware of the dangers, I am not sure. Both Reagan and Kohl were truly terrified when they participated in exercises to test readiness. Whether Biden and Xi go through such exercises or Macron and Johnson?
Putin had a relatively safe Cold War in Deaden and unlike Gorbachev and Yeltsin did not see things at the centre.
 

jsport

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Ali Ihsan Uygun, the head of Turkey State Railways, told the Nikkei Asian Review that an estimated annual 5 million tons of cargo will use the route by 2023-2025.
https%253A%252F%252Fs3-ap-northeast-1.amazonaws.com%252Fpsh-ex-ftnikkei-3937bb4%252Fimages%252F_aliases%252Farticleimage%252F4%252F2%252F1%252F3%252F23383124-1-eng-GB%252F20191106-Turkey-rail-journey-Map.png
The-main-rail-routes-between-China-and-Europe.png
 

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