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Europe under extreme duress

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
Big news from Europe today - the European Union which normally does everything by consensus overrode the national sovereignty of some of its Central / Eastern European members. Germany has dictated that all countries must take in immigrants - despite individual nations saying Hell No.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/eu-move-to-force-relocation-of-migrants-deepens-divisions-in-europe-1442964124

European governments have forced through a deal to impose refugee quotas, sharing 120,000 people between them in a watershed decision that several states bitterly opposed.


The decision to overrule opponents in the newer states of central Europe was highly unusual and perceived as an assault on the sovereignty by the four countries that voted against.


The Polish government, which dropped its opposition to quotas in the vote, is likely to be kicked out of office next month, replaced by rightwing nationalists who are much tougher on immigration and have been delivering alarmist statements about sharia law in parts of the EU.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/22/eu-governments-divisive-quotas-deal-share-120000-refugees

This turmoil roiling Europe does not bode well for the Schengen Treaty, the European Union as a whole, or by extension, NATO.
 

nittany03

FUBIJAR
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Schengen is fucked, IMHO. I think the EU's fate is dependent more on other economic issues. I'm no Milton Friedman, but I see the Brexit/Grexit debates as having as much to do with that as the refugee situation.

NATO's credibility, IMO, rests chiefly on the credibility of Article 5, and specifically the perceived credibility of Article 5 by the post-Soviet central European states we added to NATO post-1990. They know more than anyone what utter cynicism and depravity Putin is capable of in pursuit of his own interests, and what he perceives as Russia's. The Phib posted a scenario recently which was deliberately written to be very farfetched, but not impossible. Bottom line, Turkey's geopolitical issues and hangups cause NATO to collapse after a refusal to honor Article 5. While I don't necessarily see that scenario playing out, I think Sal has gotten to the heart of the problem. If NATO ever proves itself unwilling to honor its collective commitments, we suddenly find ourselves on the wrong side of the Atlantic, trying to figure out WTF just happened, and how to influence events some subset of the American public will be screaming at us to influence, while our means to project power there have been crippled by someone who is two moves ahead.

I think the weakness in Sal's argument is in the power projection and amphibious capes of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation; I think they're overstated. That said, he admits at the beginning that he's arguing a Black Swan, and I won't claim to be an expert on such affairs. As always, the OP is generally worth it; a significant percentage of the commentariat is batshit insane.
 
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Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
...the European Union as a whole, or by extension, NATO.
I'm not sure I agree with this part. NATO and the EU are, if anything, rivals more than collaborators. NATO's agenda is still overwhelmingly driven by the US and increasingly focused on the strategic needs of the Russian-border members (particularly Poland and the Baltics, whose economies are relatively healthy). Whereas the EU is driven by Germany and to a somewhat lesser degree France and is focused on trying to find a way to keep Greece solvent without perpetually bailing it out. NATO isn't, and never was meant to be, a unified European army; it's purpose has always been to guarantee US intervention in the event of a Russian attack on a member state. The front has been moved from the Fulda Gap to the Polish border, but it's still the same idea. We're not counting on the Italians to keep NATO in business.

As for the EU - the recession exposed the biggest weakness in the structure; that is, it only worked if all member states' economies were solvent. It is a bit ironic that after trying to conquer Europe for over a century with guns, Germany finally succeeded by means of centralized banking.
 

HokiePilot

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
For those who could use some help understanding the difference between the Schengen Area and the EU, I submit this video. I didn't understand until I watched it.

 

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
Granted, the EU was designed originally as a common market to integrate European nations so much that war would be impossible - over the years it has grown to something approaching the Articles of Confederation and many hoped it would be the United States of Europe. NATO was designed to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down. My concern with the EU is that the 1-2 punch of the Euro crisis followed by the migration tsunami is the precursor of a European version of the 1832 nullification crisis. Europe could disintegrate or split into rival European blocks resulting in an inability to work together towards the common NATO goal. The Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Poles (the Visegrad Group) as well as other sections of Europe do not like taking orders from Germany.
 

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
If anyone is watching, France is having a big election tomorrow. It does have a different style of election - a first round and a second round. The far right National Front won the first round but the Socialist (who finished third) have dropped out of several regions to align with the Sarkozy and the Conservatives in the second and deciding election. Will be interesting.
 

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
Visegrad group meeting today in Prague. Hungary's hard right Prime Minister Orban proposing to build a wall along Greece's border with Bulgaria and Macedonia (not counting Albania) to stop immigrants from moving north into Europe. Europe is having some serious troubles.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_CENTRAL_EUROPE_MIGRANTS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-02-15-07-41-13

The plan is especially controversial because it effectively means eliminating Greece from the Schengen zone, Europe's 26-nation passport-free travel region that is considered one of the European Union's most cherished achievements.
 

jtmedli

Well-Known Member
pilot
Visegrad group meeting today in Prague. Hungary's hard right Prime Minister Orban proposing to build a wall along Greece's border with Bulgaria and Macedonia (not counting Albania) to stop immigrants from moving north into Europe. Europe is having some serious troubles.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_CENTRAL_EUROPE_MIGRANTS?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-02-15-07-41-13
Funny how that whole building a wall thing doesn't sound so stupid anymore.
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
If the UK exists, Scotland has said there will likely be another independence referendum.
 

villanelle

Nihongo dame desu
Contributor
If the UK exists, Scotland has said there will likely be another independence referendum.
I was in Scotland shortly before the vote and the biggest thing I heard from those people I managed to engage on the topic was fear about how things would play out with the EU, especially knowing that Spain would have good reason to deny the entry of a spin-off country for fear of encouraging a succession from Spain. I wonder how a UK exit from the EU would change feelings. It really seemed to me like most Scots wanted out but many weren't willing to risk all the uncertainties, and the vote hinged on those uncertainties far more than on a majority desire to be part of the UK. There would still be many of those, but this might help.

I'm obsessed with Scotland, so I'd love to see another vote, just to see what happens.
 

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
I was in Scotland shortly before the vote and the biggest thing I heard from those people I managed to engage on the topic was fear about how things would play out with the EU, especially knowing that Spain would have good reason to deny the entry of a spin-off country for fear of encouraging a succession from Spain. I wonder how a UK exit from the EU would change feelings. It really seemed to me like most Scots wanted out but many weren't willing to risk all the uncertainties, and the vote hinged on those uncertainties far more than on a majority desire to be part of the UK. There would still be many of those, but this might help.

I'm obsessed with Scotland, so I'd love to see another vote, just to see what happens.
If Scotland was counting on North Sea oil at $100+ a barrel to finance their economy, they may have to think again. $100+ oil is not coming back anytime soon.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/oilandgas/11948246/North-Sea-oil-makes-first-loss-in-40-years.html
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
If the UK exists, Scotland has said there will likely be another independence referendum.
I presume you mean 'exits', but both would be correct.

I had to laugh at the Scottish terms for independence, they wanted to keep; 1- the Queen, 2- the Pound, 3- the option for UK Citizenship, 4- instant NATO and 5- EU membership. They wanted all the benefits of being in the UK but none of the 'minuses' like a pesky military to include the SSBN's based there, but keep the base and all its jobs though! But, but, but.....Freeeeeddoooommmmm!!!



....and kilts. It was a lot like the Quebecois and their demands for independence from Canada, with overly generous and unrealistic terms in their favor like writing off their share of the national debt. Of course being committed socialists they remind me of Bernie Sanders supporters, folks with unrealistic dreams and demands that apparently will be fulfilled by unicorn farts and cotton candy dreams.
 
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