The Munich Security Conference report was released on February 17th and contains various overviews of what was discussed at the event, as well as various graphs presenting some actual or hypothetical scenarios.
The entire report can be found here [pdf].
Based on various sourced of open data, the scenario below is a hypothetical situation of the US leaving NATO, and then tensions between Russia on one side, and NATO members Lithuania and Poland on the other escalating into a war.
This immediately results in Russia occupying the entire of Lithuania, and seizes a part of Polish territory, thus Article 5 is invoked.
As a result, he European members of NATO direct the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) to plan Operation “Eastern Shield” to reassure Estonia, Latvia, Poland, and other frontline NATO member states by deterring further Russian aggression. European NATO also prepares and assembles forces for Operation “Eastern Storm,” a military operation to restore Polish and Lithuanian government control over their territories.
The graphs below provide how much military power the EU would need, compared to the one it has as of 2019. The gap between the required and present military capability is also provided.
And regardless of the missing capabilities, EU citizens have voted that it would actually be more beneficial to have a common defense and security policy among the EU member states, largely independent (or entirely) from the US.
There is no one way to turn this into reality, but work is being carried out in that regard.
Currently, as per the report there is little coordination, and French President Emmanuel Macron’s claim that NATO is in “brain death” are some cause of concern.
The lack of coordination and fundamental differences over Europe’s strategic direction between France and Germany, the duo that was supposed to spearhead the empowerment project, certainly has not helped: after a promising restart in Franco-German relations, disagreement has been especially pronounced on EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, which France recently blocked with a veto, on the right approach toward Russia, and on Europe’s relations with NATO.
While Macron fears that it will weaken the EU if the Union is not deepened before new members accede, Chancellor Angela Merkel is more concerned about other powers exploiting the void the EU leaves to its East. Similar frictions emerged after Macron depicted NATO as braindead, leaving Germany – and Eastern EU member states – alarmed that France wants to strengthen the EU at the expense of transatlantic relations. For now, competing visions of Europe’s place in the world frustrate efforts to build a more competitive Europe.
These hypothetical scenarios are all good and well, but they all assume that with the US out of the picture to attempt and pull the strings on the “fight” against Russia, such a scenario would even take place and that Moscow has any interest in occupying Lithuania and Poland.
Or that Washington would give up on its interests and allow the EU to mind its own business.
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