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17 August 2014

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turcopolier

charly

The Germans seems prone to mass delusions. pl

charly

Only the Germans?

turcopolier

charly

Our mass delusions are different from theirs. Don't ask me to tell you how. Life is too short. pl

FB Ali

Don't you think a part of those "motivations" is to provide a means of using the military power of (some) NATO countries outside Europe? As in Afghanistan and Libya. And now possibly in Iraq.

turcopolier

FB Ali

If you mean the SIGINT operations, No. These have been ongoing for many decades on our part and that of the Germans and all our SIGINT partners. What are you saying, that the US is seeking material with which to blackmail Germans et al? pl

Fred

Valissa,

You mean EU citizens would not defend themselves? All the more reason for America to stop doing so. What are we getting out of the relationship other than obligations?

FB Ali

I was referring to the "motivations of those who wish to keep NATO alive".

If the US were to want European countries to undertake military operations outside Europe (either with the US or on their own) the NATO structure makes it easy - both in getting them to do it and in coordinating these operations in-theatre.

Absent NATO, each country would have to make a political decision to intervene, a decision subject to internal political forces. Similarly, the degree of coordination would be dependent on national political control.

charly

The EU has also a military organization (weu), many cross-border units and exists of 5 countries that matter, 5 that somewhat matter and the rest just does not count so getting them on one line isn't as hard as it seems

turcopolier

charly Good! In that case they won't miss the US when we walk away from them. pl

Valissa

Fred, no I do not mean that at all. I am talking about an imaginative alternate history and speculating about plot possibilities. As a thought experiment, if the EU did break back up into every country for themselves again how long do you think it would take for some of them to form new alliances? Or to beef up other alliances which exist now but don't have as much clout as the EU.

George Friedman at Stratfor is big on the idea of the Visegrad group taking more prominence someday http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visegr%C3%A1d_Group. Then there is the existing Scandinavian alliance, which I can't remember the name of right now. There has been talk that if Scotland does get it's independence it would seek to join the Scandinavian group.

Personally I am fascinated by the various power alignments of countries and how those have changed throughout history, as well as how they might change again in the future.

turcopolier

valissa

"an imaginative alternate history and speculating about plot possibilities." I look forward to the re-emergence of Zenda as a sovereign principality. pl

David Habakkuk

Valissa, Fred,

A point about Scotland, and a point about Germany.

Whatever the result of the referendum, Scotland will be a divided society. While hard-core nationalists will be bitterly resentful if the referendum goes against them, hard-core unionists will be bitterly resentful if it goes the other way.

The notion of 'the Scots' as a united 'nation' or people is as much BS as the notion of the Ukrainians, Iraqis or Syrians is.

The same may, just possibly, turn out to be the case with the Germans.

The nightmare of significant people in the 'Atlantic' world for more than a century now has been the possibility of Eurasian consolidation, in which a critical element would be an alliance between Germany and Russia. One finds this, for example, in the essay which Brooks Adams wrote on 'America's Economic Supremacy' in 1900.

It is worth remembering that something not so far remote from his nightmare could indeed have materialised in the Thirties.

Such an 'Eurasian consolidation' was indeed the political project of leading figures among the so-called 'Ostlers' of the German Foreign Office at the time.

So the German Ambassador to Moscow in the period leading up to the German invasion of the Soviet Union, Friedrich von der Schulenberg, repeatedly argued to Hitler, in essence, that since Stalin was turning into a good fascist – a 'national', rather than 'international' socialist – the appropriate course of action for Germany was to revise the Anti-Comintern Pact.

If the power against whom it had originally been directed, the Soviet Union, was included, what would result would be a 'continental bloc' of Germany, the Soviet Union, Japan and Italy. Such a 'continental bloc' could have been at once militarily invulnerable, and economically autarkic. Certainly, the idea had problems, but I for one can see the cogency of Schulenberg's argument, seen from a German point of view.

Of course, such a consolidation would have been, to a significant extent, at the expense of the small nations between Germany and Russia – although it is difficult to think that their fate had Schulenberg's advice been adopted would have been worse than it was as a result of its repudiation by Hitler.

(Moreoverf, while there were doubtless elements of anti-Semitism, of a mild kind, in the German Moscow Embassy, had Schulenberg's vision been adopted, there would have been no Holocaust.)

All that said, the legacy of the catastrophic history of Thirties and Forties means that the expansion of the EU and NATO has allowed the traumas of the peoples in the lands between Russia and Germany – in particular the Poles – to exercise a determining influence on American, and indeed British, policy.

It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that at some future point such a 'continental' alternative might be more tempting to influential circles in Germany than a combination of European integration and Atlanticism.

But it could be expected that this would be an issue which would be bitterly divisive in Germany. As with the Scots, the Germans cannot be expected to move in some kind of monolithic unity.

Valissa

pl, you piqued my interest so I searched on Zenda and all I could find was info on the book and the many adaptations (film, theater, etc) inspired by it - "The Prisoner of Zenda". In that plot Zenda is a town in the mythical country of Ruritania.

What was most interesting was how the plot of the book reminded me of the Heinlein classic "Double Star" (which I just reread a couple of years ago - lots of political wish fulfillment in that one!). Then I found out that he was inspired by the Zenda novel,as were so many others. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prisoner_of_Zenda

A bit of tangential journey here... thanks for the inspiration!

David Habakkuk

Valissa, Fred,

Apologies, I did not reread before posting. The advocate of German-Russian co-operation to whom I referred is commonly known as Werner von der Schulenberg. His full name was Friedrich-Werner, Graf (Count) von der Schulenberg.

He was hanged on 10 November 1944 at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin, following the 20 July 1944 plot.

turcopolier

Valissa

Ah, I had forgotten Ruritania. It was a better world. pl

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