“It shows again that the whole development around Ukraine is not in Europe, when it comes down to it.” This is what Klingendale Institute security expert Dick Jondie says. Painful observation at a time when the EU wants to play a geopolitical role. Is there still hope?
There is no doubt that Russia wants to do business only with Americans who have weapons and speak the language of power. Russian negotiator Sergei Ryapkov made no small effort to cover up his contempt for the EU over the Ukraine crisis. “We are proposing bilateral talks with the Americans,” he told the Russian news agency Tass in December. “If we involve other countries, we will be immersed in debate and words.”
Europeans are second only to Russia and the United States in their discussions on European security order. At the urging of the United States, European nations were allowed to join the talks between Russia and NATO on Wednesday, and on Thursday in a discussion between Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The EU certainly has no place, although Foreign Secretary Joseph Borel has made a desperate attempt to call himself that.
‘Strategic autonomy’ is a buzzword throughout Europe. In a world where China and Russia are becoming increasingly aggressive, defending the United States is not a bar, Europe must stand on its own two feet as much as possible. Economics, Technology, Diplomacy and the Military.
Dick Zandee, formerly of the Dutch Ministry of Defense, has worked with NATO and the EU to strengthen European defense cooperation for decades. He saw a growing sense of urgency: “There is no one in Europe who denies the need for European autonomy. The question is, how do we get there? ”
The crisis in Ukraine shows once again how dependent we Americans are. Can Europe ever secede from the United States?
“This is unbelievable for the next ten to twenty years. We do not have everything we need for large-scale warfare. We rely entirely on the United States for space, which has become crucial in modern warfare. We also have to make big investments in new technologies where we are miles behind.
“But no one in Europe is saying: Strategic autonomy is completely separating us from the Americans. It is not in Europe’s interest. That is why we are sticking to NATO because we want to make sure the Americans are in Europe.”
If Trump returns in 2024, will Americans not secede from Europe?
“I do not belong to the school that says Americans will focus on China as a whole. If Europe becomes unstable, the United States will suffer as it did twice in the 20th century. I think Americans will continue to engage in Europe. That is why they want Europe to move towards strategic autonomy. Important.”
The EU is now talking about a ‘strategic compass’ for the European intervention force of 5,000 troops. Is that a good step?
“Yes, we are abandoning joint security with NATO, while the intervention force is aimed at intervening in crises, for example in Africa or the Middle East. By doing this we are signaling to the Americans: by this we are releasing you and at the same time strengthening our military capability available to NATO. Much can be said about, but you have the beginning of a good story.
Strategic autonomy is not just about buying equipment. The EU must have the unity and political will to maintain its power. Mostly so.
“The EU is very weak in diplomacy and foreign policy because power is still in the capitals, and beneath it lies the classic problem of the various security interests of the EU member states. France wants more military power for the EU. That’s the rationale you can seriously question, but it’s their opinion. As Russia’s neighbors, they want the Americans to be committed to Europe at any cost. ”
Nevertheless, the EU sometimes maintains unity when key interests are at stake. For example, the recent migration crisis with Brexit and Belarus.
“Yes, since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, significant sanctions against Russia have been floated, although many European countries are struggling to do so. The EU record is not so bad.
Is there still hope for geopolitical Europe?
“Developing strategic autonomy in defense and foreign policy is very challenging. I see progress. Five to six years ago such a strategic compass was not possible. When I worked on these files myself in Brussels from 2000 to 2011, there was no political pressure. Uncertainty in Africa and the Middle East is due to the changing attitude of Americans.
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