When is an army not an army? When it’s a ’rapid reaction force’

Ronie Berggren publicerar en artikel av den brittiske konservative författaren Alan Franklin från tidigt 2000-tal om hur debatten om en EU-armé gick i början av 2000-talet.


Efter USA:s kaotiska tillbakadragande från Afghanistan i augusti i år, där även européer fick svårt att evakuera på grund av det stora beroendet av de amerikanska säkerhetsstyrkorna, har EU:s utrikeschef Josep Borrell föreslagit en egen europeisk insatsstyrka. EU kan inte längre vara militärt beroende av USA, är det underförstådda budskapet.

Denna idé om egen, av USA oberoende EU-armé,  är emellertid inte ny. Därtill finns stor potential att denna idé är farlig och i praktiken skulle gynna västvärldens fiender.

I början av 2000-talet nätverkade jag med brittiska konservativa. 2003 kom jag i kontakt med Alan Franklin, evangelikal brittisk EU-kritiker som känt många inom den brittiska toppolitiken, Margaret Thatcher inkluderad. Jag hade läst en av hans böcker och vi började mejla. Han gav mig då tillstånd att publicera några av hans artiklar. Här en av dessa från tidigt 2000-tal, som passar väl att publicera med anledning av dagens debatt.

Det är en artikel som resonerar kring den mycket gamla idén om en egen EU-armé, reflektioner som väl kan vara värda att tas i akt även så här 20 år senare, när samma debatt fortsätter. Röster som Franklins var för övrigt en tydlig del av den brittiska Brexit-rörelsen.

Ronie Berggren



What would you call an organisation with 60,000 frontline troops on standby, with 400 assault aircraft and up to 80 major warships?

Most people would call this an army. But not in Britain, where it is termed a ”Rapid Reaction Force.” This is so as not to frighten the horses and upset the Americans, who rightly perceive that the new force, dubbed Eurocorps, will threaten the integrity of Nato, which has successfully kept the peace in Europe since the last war.

However, the truth is coming out about this strange new force, for which there is no obvious need. Major-General Graham Messervy-Whiting, head of the European Union’s new military staff, said in Brussels, Belgium, that this force will start to compete with Nato once it acquires a full range of strategic military assets.

The British major-general said that at first the force would undertake humanitarian tasks but would progress to more ”muscular” operations, such as those in Bosnia. The force, which on the Continent of Europe is freely called an army, will be ready for action by 2003 but could start limited operations before then. It could de deployed for up to a year, tie down up to a quarter of a million men, because of rotation, and will be highly air-mobile, with scores of helicopters at its disposal. Continental politicians have already spoken of its potential use for curbing ”internal” dissent and ”population movements,” rather as the French paramilitary riot police already do, sometimes with great brutality.

The full purpose of the Eurocorps is not clear, because the two powers behind it, Britain and France, hold starkly different views on how it should develop. Britain wants to continue in partnership with America in Nato and does not want the force to be a Nato rival. France, however, does, and sees the Eurocorps as a way to keep American influence out of Europe, part of its strategy for many years.

In fact it is interesting that two keen supporters of the European Army are America’s leading opponents in Europe- France and Russia. The main equipment lack of the new army is a heavy lifting capacity, for which Nato has traditionally looked to the Americans. Eurocorps chiefs are currently in discussions with The Ukraine to hire dozens of heavy freight planes when needed. These aircraft are a legacy of The Ukraine’s Russian past and are available to anyone who wants them.

John Redwood, a leading Conservative politician and thinker in the British Parliament, has this to say:

”The European Union is strongly anti-American. Its advocates are out to create a Euro patriotism based on dislike of  Things trans-Atlantic.”

Senators Jesse Helms and Gordon Smith were right to warn of this recently. The EU is building a European army and fashioning a foreign policy, and it wants to project its power round the world.

My worry is that far from being a force for peace and harmony, it is going to become a pain in the neck of the international community. Whatever America does, the EU will want to go one better, or do the opposite for the pleasure of it. The EU is already behaving like a wayward adolescent, throwing its weight around in a fit of teenage tantrums.

”The continental leaders of the superstate-in-waiting believe that the European model is superior to the American. Some of them see America as some kind of anti-Christ…. The European Union wants the single currency to topple the mighty Dollar.”

America, don’t say you haven’t been warned. Many of us living in Britain, who are profoundly pro-American,  (my own wife and children are American) are seriously worried about the direction of the European Union. We will continue to fight the superstate and its evil ramifications as long as we are able. However, it is possible that the already limited freedom to do so will in the not-too-distant future be denied writers and activists, under a raft of laws coming out, some of which Hitler and Goebbels could have dreamt up.

Alan Franklin

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