Ever wonder what happened to those who protested GLCM and Pershing II in the '80s are doing now? Well, they want to kill NATO.
Paul Dunay of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in Sweden said: "The problem is not with NATO as such, but with how the alliance has become almost a tool of the United States." ...OK Europe. Be careful what you ask for. There are a few clear headed folks out there.
In an unprecedented statement from a German political party, Kurt Beck, leader of the Social Democrats, has suggested that Europe become "a global peace power" with its own military policy.
One of the first reactions was from Poland's arch-conservative President Lech Kaczynski, who, while agreeing with the concept of a European army of 100,000, stressed that such an army should be firmly linked to NATO. For some time, the alliance has advocated the need for Europe's greater role in security and defense.Poland knows what it is like to rely on its fellow Europeans for help in its security. Then there is the whole paper tiger thingy.
Mr. Kaczynski's view is shared by several governments in the former Soviet bloc and its dissolved Warsaw Pact, which think that NATO's long-established prestige and U.S. involvement offer a better security guarantee than an untested joint European army.
The feeling reflects East European concerns about what these countries perceive to be the increasingly nationalist policies of Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
All proposals for a united and independent European military force have run into problems of cost and opposition from NATO's Central and East European members, who prefer the pact's tested umbrella, combined with U.S. involvement.On its own, Europe's military is a static one that cannot go anywhere in any numbers. That is what the U.S. does. Some know that, some are too ashamed to admit it.
The combined EU defense forces number around 2 million personnel, consuming 60 percent of the joint military budget on pay and pensions.