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Is a European army really so barmy?

8 14 0
19.07.2019

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage was, to his credit, very critical of the NATO-led assault on Libya in 2011, which destroyed a prosperous country and created a refugee crisis of epic proportions, as well as greatly increasing the terrorism threat to European citizens.

Yet now the same politician seems very worried that NATO could be made redundant.

The elevation of Ursula von der Leyen to the role of president of the European Commission (a position she officially assumes from Jean-Claude Juncker on November 1), led to a fierce diatribe from Farage, in which he slammed the German politician’s support for a new European army. While von der Leyen’s hitherto quite hawkish stance on Russia (she is a strong supporter of sanctions), is a cause for concern, is the idea of a European army really so bad – so long as membership, or adequate non-aggression guarantees – can be given to Russia?

We can argue till the cows come home about whether NATO was needed in the old Cold War. Some say that the old Soviet Union posed no real threat to Western Europe, others say it was better to be safe than sorry. But it’s hard to maintain, given the events of recent years, that the military alliance should not have been wound up at the same time as the Warsaw Pact.

Instead of dissolution, NATO morphed from a defensive alliance into an attack dog. Yugoslavia was illegally bombed in 1999, an assault that not only was in........

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