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The Anaconda and the Brown Bear

By The U.S. Army (New NATO command activated in Kabul) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

"Nato is not enough! The EU needs an Army! ". This is the position of the Pt of the European Commission. However, we must underline that several State members do not share this position. Yet, a few weeks ago -under the name Anaconda 2016- Nato countries launched in Poland the largest military exercise since the Cold War. It involved 31,000 troops and thousand of vehicles. Despite this demonstration of military force many experts feel that Europe should rely less on Nato and more on European troops. It is true that the continuous decrease of US military forces stationed in Europe from a high of 440,000 in 1957 to a low of 67,000 in 2015 is a major concern for many countries such as Poland, Romania or the Baltic States. In a context of growing tensions due among other issues to the Ukrainian crisis, other countries like France or Germany back this idea of a European Army. But how credible is this project? Europe ensuring its security based on the contribution of just 4 or 5 countries -mainly the UK and France- reflects a situation which is not sustainable in the long run. And, of course, Britain's departure from the EU will clearly undermine Europe's future defense strategy.The reality is that many Eastern Countries would prefer a return to a Cold War posture under the US leadership rather than a real European Army. Of course, the EU has a common defense and security policy. But it has no common army, navy or air force and a European budget is still utopia. The fear of a -potential- Russian agression is real. But the 27 EU Member States will have to choose between an integrated European Armed Force and the US security umbrella. Lastly, we have no doubt that Cold War still has its best days ahead of it.

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