France plans to use the European Union’s military mission in Mali as a “Trojan horse” to create an EU military headquarters, the Telegraph reported November 11, citing a “senior French Defense Ministry source.” France is also planning a “major offensive” to stop individual nations from being able to veto defense issues.
The report comes ahead of a meeting between Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Poland in Paris to discuss how to move forward on European defense.
Last year, Britain forced France to back down over plans to create a military operations headquarters (ohq). Now France is using a different tactic. Rather than pushing for the hedquarters first, and then expanding Europe’s military operations, France is going about it the other way around. It believes that if the EU commits to more military missions, it will be force to create a headquarters to manage them all.
“If you have three or four military operations under way it suggests there is an operational need for it,” the Telegraph quote its source as saying. “The defense minister believes that at one stage the idea of the ohq will fall like a ripe fruit.”
But Europe is fed up with Britain’s stubbornness. In September, the Future of Europe Group—foreign ministers from 11 EU member states who met regularly at Germany’s behest—called for the removal of national vetoes over defense policy. It noted that some members of the group wanted to create a European army. Last month, Der Spiegel reported that “German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, together with his counterparts in France and Poland, is determined to promote cooperation on security policy in the EU.”
The plan to establish a military headquarters “is to be revived and implemented, even against London’s resistance, if necessary,” it wrote.
Full article: EU Plans to Create New Military Headquarters (The Trumpet)