France deplores closure of M&S as Brexit misses
After the Taliban victory last month, a number of senior European politicians suggested the EU needed its own military, including some who were previously skeptical. France is currently furious with AUKUK, a new military alliance between America, Britain and Australia.
In response, Paris withdrew its ambassadors from the United States and Australia, with the country’s foreign minister saying she had been “cut in the back”.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Germany’s Defense Minister, said the Afghan debacle demonstrated the need for a European “rapid reaction force”.
Speaking to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, she said: “The question is what conclusions to draw from this.
Angela Merkel with Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
“That doesn’t mean we have to separate ourselves from the Americans.
“But there may be situations where we have different interests, also within NATO.
“Then we have to become more able to act on our own. “
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There are more and more calls in Brussels for a European army
Western powers rushed to evacuate their Afghan nationals and allies from Kabul International Airport.
Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer had previously expressed her skepticism about the EU’s distancing from the US, prompting a rare slap in the face from Emanual Macron.
In November, writing for Politico Europe, she said: “The illusions of European strategic autonomy must end.
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Biden, Johnson and Morrison announced new AUKUS alliance
The Taliban invaded Afghanistan in August
“The value of the United States as a world power depends to a large extent on the credibility of its role as protector of Europe. “
Guy Verhofstadt, former European Parliament chief Brexit negotiator, also reacted to the fall of Afghanistan by demanding a European army.
He tweeted: “Afghanistan shows once again that armies are crucial to the security of our citizens and allies abroad.
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“Think beyond taboos or caricatures: a European army is common sense! “
On Wednesday, the new AUKUS alliance was announced by Joe Biden, Boris Johnson and Scott Morrison.
In a joint statement, the three leaders said: “Through AUKUS, our governments will strengthen the capacity of each to support our security and defense interests, building on our long-standing and ongoing bilateral relationship.
Kabul falls to Taliban on August 15
“And in particular, we will significantly deepen cooperation on a range of security and defense capabilities. “
As part of the deal, the US and UK agreed to help Australia build nuclear-powered submarines, which resulted in the cancellation of an earlier French contract.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.