Afghanistan: Sense of ‘betrayal’ by US says expert
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Anger over the US approach to Afghanistan sparked plans for a European defence force from EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell this weekend. He wants to assemble an EU force of 50,000 men and women. He said Afghanistan could be the wake-up call for Europe.
He said: “The time has come to create a military force that can fight when necessary. We are going to propose to provide the Union with an expeditionary force of fifty thousand men.”
Mr Borrell is currently working on a so-called “defence strategy” for the European Union.
The plans and their elaboration are on the agenda of a European summit to be held in November.
But now Brussels is already using the chaos surrounding the evacuation of European citizens in Afghanistan to argue for a large European army.
The call sparked the fury of eurosceptics in the Netherlands, blasting the unelected bureaucrat.
Nexit Denktank campaigners said: “You have to hand it to them: these unelected Brussels bureaucrats seize every opportunity to exploit a crisis for their own political schemes. An EU army is the end of Dutch sovereignty: no more own army, is the end of the Netherlands.
“There is a difference between forming alliances and giving away all your powers.
“It’s NOT the same as NATO: an intergovernmental organisation.
“The EU is a supranational undemocratic organisation that takes away all power and powers in order to grow into a country.
“A normal sovereign country decides for itself when its own country is protected and what we do with Dutch soldiers, with a man or woman chosen by the people at the top. Who holds an unelected man or woman in Brussels responsible? The British are right.
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“In addition, an EU military will be inherently weak, with all our differences in a diverse continent like Europe.
“War on paper is not the same as war in practice.
“You can’t make Asia a country with a joint army, because they are simply not the same.
“The EU is the greatest threat to the Netherlands in our modern history.
“These unelected bureaucrats are taking all power and authority from us and they will not sleep until the EU grows into a country in which the Netherlands becomes a province.
“There is only one answer: Nexit.”
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Last weekend Mr Borrell had a telephone interview with the French news agency AFP from Madrid.
He had visited the temporary reception location of Afghan EU staff there with committee chair Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, president of the European Council.
Less than half of the 400 people to be brought from Kabul to Europe had arrived there.
Mr Borrell believes that the situation in Afghanistan demonstrates the need for Europe to hold its own on defence matters.
He said: “Europeans have no choice.
“We have to organise ourselves to deal with the world as it is and not with the world we dream of.”
After French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel already argued in favour of this in 2018, Europe has recently been really considering options for “operating autonomously”.
In May this year, a European summit decided that it should “take more responsibility for its own safety”.
Shortly before that, fourteen European countries, including the Netherlands, had already urged the building of a rapid European intervention force that can be deployed in international crises.
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