Originally appeared at RG; Appeared in Bulgarian at A-specto, translated by Borislav exclusively for SouthFront
Recently, there has been a spectacular metamorphosis of the head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. From one of the staunchest supporters of the idea that Russia should be severely punished for its rebelliousness, he is rapidly becoming a peaceful Secretary General, publicly thoughtful about the need to improve constructive cooperation with Moscow. However there is a logical explanation for this accelerated upgrade.
On August 22, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Boguslaw Sobotka raised loud noise among the European political elite. At a meeting of ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions in Prague, he said: “For the effective protection of the external borders of the EU, it is necessary to create European armed forces.” He added: “In the long term we can not do without a joint European army.”
He stressed that in the upcoming autumn, he expects significant progress in the implementation of plans to form an EU army, and that he expects member states to take appropriate decisions in this direction.
He is the first among European leaders to publicly support the Head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who previously said he expects on building a European army that will not be offensive, but will allow the EU to fulfill its mission in the world.
“We need a common European foreign policy, a security policy and common defense policy in order to create a European army, as to enable us to fulfill our role in the world,” stated Juncker as cited by RIA “Novosti”.
It is worth noting that it Stoltenberg has repeatedly criticized such ideas coming from European politicians. He clearly wanted everyone to understand that NATO is against the duplication of defense structures of the EU and the alliance.
Stoltenberg’s irritation in connection with the initiative of the European leaders to unite their armies is apparently not accidental.
After all, if you actually create a single European army, that immediately raises the question – why does Europe need NATO? Something else is also obvious – the idea of creating a unified army is gaining popularity in Europe.
It is not only the desire to save funds for defense. Europeans find it increasingly difficult to stand the growing concern over the fact that the US openly uses NATO as a kind of straitjacket for Europe.
If any one of the European leaders starts saying something that doesn’t appeal to the White House, Washington immediately explains to Europeans who is the real owner of the “common” European home. The US also reminds Europe that the scattered across the continent “NATO” military bases that are actually American. The US also mentions the US nuclear weapons that have been transferred to EU countries, supposedly to protect “allies in the Alliance.”
But does Europe really needs such an American “umbrella”? Talk of a common European army shows that the inhabitants of the continent are increasingly negative to this question. This is understood in Washington and in the NATO headquarters in Brussels.
The increasingly aggressive NATO statements toward Russia should not be forgotten. But in fact, those who want to wage war with Russia, are few in Europe. There is no doubt that thanks to their history, most Europeans remember perfectly how such ventures end. The Americans are different – they are accustomed to using foreign territory as theater of operations. They bomb, bomb, and go home. And Europe will again have to deal with the consequences …
Stoltenberg however, is obviously not a stupid politician. He has repeatedly proven that he is able to quickly transform his statements. Apparently for the Secretary General of NATO there has come another moment of truth. And Stoltenberg flashed his ability to transform from an enraged wolf to a quiet lamb in an instant.
In an interview with Polish internet publication Onet, the Secretary General stated of the alliance: “The aim of our strategy is not to provoke conflict but to prevent it. We do not want confrontation with Russia, and will continue our efforts to establish a more constructive relationship.” According to him, there is no contradiction between a strong defense and political dialogue, but rather they are complementary.
As for the Council Russia – NATO, Stoltenberg stressed: “We are open to gradual, thoughtful and concrete dialogue with Russia in the Council, in order to avoid misunderstandings and to increase the transparency and predictability of actions. There is also a line for military communication. We will use these channels to raise all critical issues for us.”
Indeed, European capitals will hardly believe in the sincerity of the Secretary-General. They are definitely not suffering from amnesia and perfectly remember how literally a few months ago, this same Stoltenberg threatened to punish Russia on behalf of the entire Alliance. In other words, the European Union obviously does not require such an aggressive secretary general. Not excluded is that Stoltenberg understood too late: the US are far from the entire NATO.