An Empire in the Making

Caption: (Getty Images)

 

Hand in hand with calls for a European army are calls for Europe to get more involved overseas. European Union and German officials want more European military intervention in the Middle East and North Africa. They also want Europe to build stronger alliances with allies in the area, with both Germany and the EU unveiling plans to directly fund foreign militaries for the first time.

“It is in the interests of our citizens to invest in the resilience of states and societies to the east, stretching into Central Asia, and south down to Central Africa,” wrote EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in her paper “A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy.”

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New German Paper Signals Dramatic Military Shift

Germany officially casts off postwar military restraint and promises to help ‘in shaping the global order.’

Germany has gone through a radical transformation in how it views its military. In May 2010, German President Horst Köhler said that “a country of our size needs to be aware that … military deployment, too, is necessary if we are to protect our interests such as ensuring free-trade routes or preventing regional instabilities.” At that time, the idea that Germany would use its army to protect economic interests was so controversial that he was forced to resign.

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Is Europe Finally Ready for an Army?

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Caption: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (OHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images)

 

 

After the Paris attacks, Europe’s calls for a combined military could finally happen.

Europe is secretly plotting to create a European army, some British newspapers have been proclaiming over the last week. “Britain Will Be Forced to Join an EU ARMY Unless We Leave, Says Armed Forces Minister” read a headline on the Express. Meanwhile, other news outlets have been quick to discredit the idea. “[I]s there a serious, imminent chance of this happening?” asked The Guardian. It answered its question in just one word: “No.”

It’s easy to see why they are so dismissive. Leaders of the European Union have been talking about forming a European army for over half a century, and it’s still not here.

But none of these articles examine why the subject of an EU army has come up again. A look behind the headlines reveals why Europe might actually make some real progress toward a combined military this time. Continue reading