Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Miliband on EU security policy

The Guardian is reporting that in a speech scheduled for delivery July 2, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband will indicate support for French president Sarkozy's proposals for stronger European military, "conflict prevention," and "crisis management" capabilities.

Pertinent brief excerpts from the article:

[Miliband] will...praise the French for saying they are willing to reintegrate into Nato's command structure, and will insist that a stronger European defence policy does not mean Nato stops being the cornerstone of European defence.

But he will add: "As the Balkans wars in the 1990s demonstrated, unless Europe can develop its own capabilities, it will be consigned always to wait impotently until the US and Nato are ready and able to intervene." ...

He will highlight the role of EU troops in training Palestinian police in the West Bank, adding "the countries of Europe need to be better at using their hard power."

Miliband will point out that Victoria Nuland, the US ambassador to Nato, welcomed a stronger European defence policy in a speech in February, reversing a decade of American fears that strong European defence would undermine Nato. The US position has been changed by Sarkozy's election because he has agreed to reintegrate France into Nato's command structure as well as send more French troops to Nato's operation in Afghanistan.

Perhaps those analysts who have been predicting for some time a more assertive European geopolitical and military policy are finally going to see their predictions start to be vindicated. The full text of the Guardian article is here.

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