The EU is proactively acting alone outside of NATO and, although it’s too early to tell, we could be looking at the beginning foundation and formation of an EU Army. The immigration crisis gives it the perfect cover for projecting power in the same way protecting strategic interests from ‘piracy’ does for China and Iran.
European Union leaders have pledged to double the size of the EU’s Mediterranean border operation Triton, tripling its budget and offering ships and aircraft to try to halt the migrant deaths.
Triton has four planes, one helicopter and seven ships in the Mediterranean on what is a border management mission, not a search and rescue operation.
While its assets will swell, the scope of the mission will not change anytime soon.
No modifications were made to Triton’s mandate – that would be too complicated, EU officials say – nor, for the moment, will its area of operations be expanded toward the Libyan coast, the launching pad for most migrants.
European Council chief Donald Tusk said leaders had tasked EU foreign policy head Federica Mogherini to “propose action in order to capture and destroy the smugglers’ vessels before they can be used”.
PLEDGES FOR BORDER OPERATION TRITON:
* Belgium: 1 ship
* Britain: 1 navy flagship, 2 patrol boats, 3 helicopters
* France: 2 ships, 2 planes
* Germany: 2 ships
* Ireland: 1 navy ship if Dublin is satisfied with legal arrangements for its use.
* Latvia: 1 patrol boat, 1 helicopter.
* Lithuania: 1 helicopter.
* (Non-EU) Norway: 1 large civilian vessel
Full article: EU boosts ships, planes for border mission (Sydney Morning Herald)