‘The EU will not be able to achieve that!’ Defence experts have reduced Brussels’ army expectations, calling the bloc “too sluggish.”
EU CHIEFS are pushing for the development of an EU army, but experts say the bloc has proved that acting as a single military force would be “too slow.”
The EU’s top diplomat said on Thursday that the disorderly Western exit from Afghanistan is likely to be a catalyst for the EU’s efforts to enhance its common defense, and that a quick response force must be part of that. There are rising calls within the EU for the bloc to be able to engage militarily in a crisis without relying on US forces.
On Thursday and Friday, EU defense and foreign ministers will convene in Slovenia for an informal meeting to discuss the way forward.
Before the Slovenia meeting, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said, “Sometimes there are events that catalyze history, that create a breakthrough, and I believe Afghanistan is one of these cases.”
Borrell has proposed a 5,000-strong European “first entry force” to replace the EU’s battlegroups, which were created in 2007 but never employed.
In terms of an entry force, he stated, “We need to look for something more operational.”
He told reporters, “The necessity for larger, stronger European defense is more clear than ever.”
He stated that he intended to have a plan in place by October or November.
Defence experts, on the other hand, have ridiculed EU leaders’ plans for the development of an EU army, suggesting that one-on-one collaboration between member states should take precedence.
The Afghanistan issue, according to Dick Zandee, a defense analyst at the Clingendael Institute, is not a turning point in the US-European relationship.
“It merely shows Europe’s lack of capability and anticipation,” he said. That the United States is increasingly letting Europe handle its own affairs.
“There will be several instances in which we will continue to collaborate with America.
“However, there will be many more instances in which Europe will be able to function without the Americans. We are still overly reliant on American capabilities.”
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, a former NATO Secretary General, agrees.
On Dutch radio this week, he stated, “What is becoming intolerable is that Europe is little without the United States.”
Mr. Zandee believes that the EU can play a bigger role in this form of capacity development.
“For an operation such as the evacuation from Kabul, such a large,.”Brinkwire Summary News” he cautioned.