“Things have changed. NATO is no longer a defensive alliance; it is an offensive force in other parts of the world…”
Europe’s largest military powers can’t defend it from external threats; and the protection of the region can’t be “outsourced,” EC chief Jean-Claude Juncker said.
His comments come after Donald Trump called on the bloc to contribute its “fair share” to NATO-led defense.
Juncker said that Washington had “fundamentally changed” its foreign policy long before President Trump was elected to office.
“Over the past decade it has become crystal clear that our American partners consider that they are shouldering too much of the burden for their wealthy European allies. We have no other choice than to defend our own interests…” he said.
RT: What are your thoughts on this? Could an EU military union ever become a reality as some fear? If so, could it rival NATO?
Willy Wimmer: I think it’s a wrong signal at a disastrous time. The world is more fragile than we want it to be, and there is a fear of war everywhere, in all corners of the world. And in such a situation, I think it is disastrous when the European Union comes up with such a proposal. If you pursue such an idea, I think it is necessary to have a public and political debate in all our member countries… where you explain why you are doing it – not only because of your own laws and regulations, but also because of the structure of the charter of the United Nations. And nothing has been done by the European Commission, therefore it’s a disaster.
RT: What’s driving these calls for increased military co-operation?
WW: I think this proposal has been made just to overcome the Brexit impression of last year. It was interesting when the British decided on the Brexit, the European Commission and Angela Merkel started a debate on ‘common European defense.’ I think we shouldn’t forget that British forces have to leave Germany within the next two years. But this is not a reason to have this debate now. We live under really difficult circumstances because what does the European Union want? Is this for defensive purposes, or is it following the path of NATO and going for an offensive alliance in all corners of the world? This has to be explained to the European public.
RT: How will these ideas go down in America? Will it affect Europe’s relations with the US? Washington recently asked for members to increase their NATO contributions.
WW: Things have changed. NATO is no longer a defensive alliance; it is an offensive force in other parts of the world… In Germany, there is an ongoing debate. German soldiers don’t want to fight French wars in other parts of the world. And we do not want to have German soldiers for American and British wars. Such a debate will be very crucial in Europe.
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