Monday, November 14, 2016

UK Fears Brussels to Undermine NATO Following Trump Victory

UK Defense Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has told a defense summit in Brussels, that following the victory of Donald Trump as US President-elect, Europe must now abandon plans for an integrated EU Army. It comes as Mr. Trump is said to be considering the future of US support for NATO, after previously calling the organization obsolete. 
 The western military alliance of NATO has served as an integral foundation to geopolitical relations across the world since it's inception in 1949. But the new leader of its key member is now questioning its very existence. During his successful presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly slammed NATO as an "obsolete" drain of American taxpayer's dollars. He suggested that under his administration, the US may refuse to come to the aid of NATO allies unless they "pay their bills" and "fulfill their obligations to us." The US is just one of 28 members, but currently accounts for almost 70% of NATO spending. Most of the other members are in Europe. 
 Ex-NATO Chief Rasmussen Dismisses EU Army as 'Paper Tiger' UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has called on Europe to recognize that other NATO members must step up and contribute more to NATO, to protect its survival. Sir Michael highlighted the controversial prospect of an EU Army as a threat that could hamper EU members, who are also NATO members, from being able to increase NATO contributions. Speaking at a meeting of EU foreign and defense ministers in Brussels on Monday (November 14), Sir Michael said: "Britain will only support proposals to strengthen European security that complement NATO, not duplicate it. "That means doing more to improve NATO-EU co-operation on cyber, hybrid threats, and maritime security. 
 "But loose talk of an EU Army risks undermining NATO and we will go on opposing this — backed up by many other member states." Sir Michael's warning comes in contrast to the comments by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who has repeatedly voiced his support for the creation for an EU Army. After Donald Trump's election as US president, Junker said the EU could not rely on America any more for its security and so needed a "new start" in defense, in the form of a "European army." Junker's push for members to combine resources and adopt a centralized command structure has been met by dismay by many EU members. The expense is a concern, and so too is the political resentment to continuing control by Brussels over national sovereignty.

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