Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The European Defense Force – Canada’s Next NATO

This article is the last of a three part series on Canada, the European Union and the New World Order. The topic of this article is the growing rift between American and EU foreign policy and the side Canada is taking.

The United States and European nations have been growing apart on defense cooperation for over a decade. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, America pushed Europe to be more involved in its own defense. America has always been the largest contributor of troops and funds to NATO and they dominated NATO’s policy agenda.

The rift between the U.S. and Europe continued during the Clinton administration. Europe wanted a strong response to Bosnia, Kosovo and the genocide in Rwanda. Critics in Europe blamed Washington for acting too slowly in Bosnia and Kosovo during the 1990s. NATO soldiers did ultimately intervene in Bosnia and Kosovo, but not in Rwanda.

The Bosnia crisis was a wake-up call to European countries. They realized that without the U.S. military force they could not stop genocide on the continent. There was such a sense of shame about this among European leaders and they felt Europe should have acted much sooner to stop the ethnic cleansing and other atrocities after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. As a result, many European governments resolved to increase Europe’s international political clout and military muscle.

Following the attacks of September 11th, the Bush administration adopted a new policy of pre-emption. America resolved to eliminate the threat of hostile nations before they materialized. This policy led to the toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. American showed contempt for NATO by ignoring it during those military campaigns, viewing the alliance as more of a post-war cleaning lady, than an effective military force.

George Bush reaffirmed his commitment to spread freedom in his state of the union address when he said to the world, “When you stand for freedom, America will stand with you”. George Bush’s quest to free people from tyranny is noble. It is also difficult and some nations of Europe are not up to the challenge.

Many European nations still favor appeasement. For them it is easier to hand the school yard bully their lunch, than risk getting hurt by removing a threat. In this respect Canada has the exact same mentality as Europe. The belief among Canadians and Europeans is that war is bad and military spending cannot be justified. Our cultures ignore the lessons of the past and deny that every freedom we have today resulted from winning the wars of the past century.

Canada and Europe have something else in common which is capacity gap. Capacity gap is the difference in capability between nations. America spends twice the amount of all European nations on defense combined. As a result, U.S. military capability far exceeds that of Canada and Europe. Canada has neglected its military for two decades leaving us with a demoralized, under funded and obsolete military. The defense priorities set out in the 2005 budget do not fix this problem. The new military spending only makes our obsolete military a little bigger. Just like Europe, our lack of a strong military favors appeasement as a matter of foreign policy.

It is not surprising that the liberals decided to change their position and not take part in ballistic missile defense. The goal of the federal liberals is to appease anti-war groups at home and America’s enemies abroad. How else can you explain Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew identifying Canada’s arctic as a priority of our strategic national defense?

The rift between Europe and America on defense matters has led the European Union to create its own European Defense Force. As well, the new European constitution creates a foreign affairs ministry designed to give the union one voice in defense matters. The countries pushing this ministry, independent of NATO, are the very same countries that oppose everything that America is doing now. They include France, Germany, Belgium and Luxemburg. The anti-American stance of the federal liberals favors moving Canada toward European defense cooperation.

Once Canada is linked to Europe in trade and defense policy, we need only adopt the common currency to become a member of the union.


At 5:28 p.m., Blogger Bill said...

Interesting article. My first reaction is to ask just exactly what is "European defense cooperation"?

Is it when the French raise their terror alert from "hide" to "surrender"?


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