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.
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
This was the first time ever that European country has handed part of its army over to another country. “Never before has a state renounced this elementary and integral part of its sovereignty,” wrote Die Welt’s political editor Thorsten Jungholt.
Now, Germany is making it clear that this was not an isolated event. Instead, it is a pattern Germany intends to follow as it absorbs more units from foreign militaries. “Germany is driving the European Army Project” was the title of Jungholt’s Die Welt article. Continue reading