The first victim of the future US war with Iran was the notorious "transatlantic solidarity". Angela Merkel suddenly announced: "The days have gone when the US simply defended us," and invited the EU to take fate "in their own hands." And at the same time she called for friendship with Russia. Does this mean that the formation of the Euroarmony will accelerate? Is a generation of politicians like Merkel capable of breaking the NATO umbilical cord?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday continued a series of sharp attacks on the US. Speaking in the city of Munster at a Catholic conference, she condemned President Donald Trump for the decision to terminate the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program.
"This undermines confidence in the international order," the chancellor complained and added: "I think it is wrong to unilaterally break the agreement that was agreed upon, which was unanimously approved by the UN Security Council."
However, Merkel immediately added that the cooperation between Europe and the US remains important. "This is not a reason to question the transatlantic cooperation," warned the head of the Cabinet.
On the eve of Thursday, Merkel made a much more bold confession, saying that European countries can no longer rely on Washington for defense.
"The time has gone when the US simply defended us. Therefore, Europe must take its own destiny in its own hands, and this is our task for the future, "Merkel quoted Interfax on Thursday. The chancellor said this in Aachen at the ceremony of presenting the Charlemagne Prize to French President Emmanuel Macron.
In the meantime, anti-American sentiment is gaining ground in neighboring France. The head of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic Bruno les Mer on the air of the radio station Europe-1 said that Europe should not behave like a vassal of the USA. "Do we want to be vassals who obey the decisions taken by the US, clinging to their pants?" The minister rhetorically asked.
As you know, the United States has invariably guaranteed the military security of Western Europe since the end of the 40-ies, since the founding of NATO. But very few people know that in 1948 the countries that have now become the core of the European Union have concluded the Western European Union (WEU). It was a military alliance of countries that feared the USSR, which, however, did not yet include the United States. For decades WEU has existed in parallel with NATO, but it is purely nominal. In 2011 year he was quietly dissolved.
After the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the collapse of the USSR, the whole of Western Europe conducted a large-scale reduction of military budgets. The European Union, in fact, completely shifted to the US concern for its security.
"When the USSR liquidated its weapons, other European countries very clearly reacted to the fact that there is no more danger. And they too began to reduce their arsenals,
- Yury Melkonov (Latvia), the editor-in-chief of the military-historical magazine Baltfort, told the newspaper VZGLYAD. - Europe is not uniform. Germany is one thing, France is another. England is the third. Each has its own characteristics. I do not say about the countries of the former Warsaw Pact, they have one opinion today, but tomorrow another. But Europe really began to disarm. "
Why now the leaders of the European Union do not feel safe? Melkonov is sure that it's not in Russia, but in the US:
"The revenues of American corporations that produce weapons have declined - orders do not arrive. And for the emergence of new orders it turns out to be quite a bit: you just need to make an image of the enemy and frighten your people. Then they will arm and order again. This is a big task - scare everyone, however, the Americans coped with it. "
Experts seriously discuss the situation in which the US will disappear from our continent as a military force and the European Union will have to take care of its defense itself.
"Merkel preemptively says that Europeans should think about their future, their fate, and that America is not the same. Everything is much more complicated. America actually entered into a trade war with Europe. Now sanctions will be imposed against European firms if they continue to work with Iran and Russia. There is a very serious conflict within the transatlantic relationship, "explained the scientific director of the German-Russian forum Alexander Rahr to the newspaper VZGLYAD.
"Some EU leaders urge Merkel to start rebuilding the European army, but the price is worthless to all this. Within the EU, there are enough countries that do not want the leadership of Germany and France, which only the US sees as the leader. They are the Balts, Poles, Slovaks. These countries have come to the EU through NATO through America. They will not support Merkel, "the German political scientist continued. "The Germans and the French can go for this, but they will not have much support." Maybe Italy and the Netherlands will support, but no more. "
"The generation of politicians like Merkel is incapable of creating such European structures. If other leaders come to power? Maybe, "Rahr suggested. "Then they will take Europe's destiny in their own hands, create their own army and no longer need NATO."
Experts also remind that while armies of the countries of the Western Europe on the level considerably differ from each other.
"In Germany, we see a great decline in the fighting efficiency of the army, a decrease in the air force. They have about 200 aircraft left, and of them ready to fly a dozen. This is strange for Germany, and this does not like the German generals. In France, there are different trends: they increase land forces, they throw all their forces at the development of tanks or something else, that is, France has a multi-vector development, "Melkonov explained.
"The Italian army looks good: there is discipline in units, all the things that are necessary for the army are visible, the Marine Corps and ships are especially well looked. The Italians know how to take care of their army, but I would not be too much taken by them anyway, "he said.
"The English have significantly reduced their strength, they are very pragmatic and will never waste their money. And their enemies are disappearing. They perfectly understand that the bogey of the Russian threat means nothing. At them the fleet has absolutely decreased. They built two huge aircraft carriers, which devoured their entire fleet budget. In general, Britain's fleet is quite good, but it has significantly decreased, "Melkonov said.
Recall, recently Trump publicly reproached Germany for the fact that she owed America "huge sums" for ensuring their protection. As the newspaper VZGLYAD wrote, after the next meeting with Trump Merkel in late April, she promised to increase the contribution to the NATO budget to the required two percent of GDP.
By the way, in her speech on Thursday Merkel made an important reservation. Europe now, she said, should maintain friendly relations not only with the United States and Britain, but also with Russia. It seems that the Chancellor began to realize that the European Union will ensure its security only if it agrees on the new rules of the game with Russia and thereby again makes its eastern border peaceful.
"Merkel understands that fires are catching fire everywhere. For a country such as Germany, it is very dangerous to quarrel with the United States, and on the other hand - continue to be at enmity with Russia. The world is changing - and Europe is not affected by anything. Merkel needs to gain weight, and she probes the ground on the extent to which we can now approach Russia, "concluded Rahr.