Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Breaking up the EU in this way would, in practice, break up the EU.  More important would be to devolve increasing powers to EU institutions - as attempted, in a small way, in the Lisbon Treaty.

The reason many European still like the EU is that it isn't very effective or efficient as a superpower - it can't really play the superpower game - and they don't want it to be able to - in much the same way as Switzerland isn't an actual player on the world stage in the military sense, but still quite influential all the same.

Most Europeans don't want to compete with the US, or with Russia, in military terms.  Neither do we want to get caught between them.  Hence the utter stupidity of Georgia's actions.

It's time I got out of this game....

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 16th, 2008 at 10:08:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean re breaking up the EU? The model I'm outlining seems (to me at least) very close to a regional structuring, which is commonly used in one form or another in every country in Europe already (except for the really small ones).

Is Germany considered broken into pieces because the Laender have some independence? Even France has regional level structures, it is not just a hundred different departments, wouldn't you say?

You have an excellent point about the issue of superpower status. That's something the people of Europe as a whole need to sort out. I myself (as a frenchman) am not sure what direction I'd like to see, but I do believe that the world is not going to wait until organizational issues can be settled. And unfortunately the old Roman dictum si vis pacem, para bellum appears to still be valid. Europe does not have the kind of natural geographical protections that Switzerland enjoys.

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$

by martingale on Sat Aug 16th, 2008 at 11:20:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i am really enjoying your presence here at ET martingale, but your sig is doing a good job of mystifying me. care to illuminate?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 01:53:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe it's a definition of martingale, taken from TeX file.
by Sargon on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 03:33:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've had that sig on other scoop sites, before they had picture embedding macros, and I've kept it for sentimental reasons :)

It's a piece of LaTeX which represents the defining property of a martingale.

The simplest example of a martingale in this sense is a double or nothing gambling strategy in certain games of chance(*), but a better way of understanding them is that they are purely random processes, which cannot be predicted based on historical observations: if you try to predict their future, your best guess is to duplicate the present, regardless of what you've seen in the past.

(*)wherein one proves that double or nothing fails to help one win: when the strategy has no statistical trend, then there is no advantage from using it.

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$

by martingale on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 03:44:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
um, thanks, clear as day

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 05:06:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.  You learn something new every day.  Presumably the political analogy is that you should escalate a conflict unless you have the means to win at the escalated level - something Putin seems to understand rather well.

It's time I got out of this game....
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 07:19:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, international games of diplomacy are a lot more difficult to analyze than simple gambles with well defined rules. Yet the neocons do seem to behave like addicted gamblers on a losing streak of late, don't they?

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 08:15:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You read French, and you are interested in game theory - you just HAVE to read my PhD dissertation on the independence of Ukraine (long title: "the independence of a country: what game theory can tell us and the exemple of Ukraine"

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 18th, 2008 at 06:09:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you even publish a journal paper based on the thesis?
by Sargon on Mon Aug 18th, 2008 at 06:54:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, no. My jury professors disagreed between themselves, and the one that ran publications was not happy that I had, according to him, pledged allegiance to a rival school of thought, and he thus vetoed any publication.

As I was not staying in academia, I did not really care and did not fight this. Thus the dissertation was never published anywhere and was quickly forgotten.

I had done an executive summary in English but can no longer find the file; I'd need to draft it again; it's probably worth it...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Aug 18th, 2008 at 07:12:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds very interesting. Do you have the document on the web or someplace I can download it?

Sinon, tu peux aussi m'envoyer le fichier par email, l'addresse que j'ai indiquee sur ET lors de l'enregistrement est bidon, mais fonctionne.

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$

by martingale on Mon Aug 18th, 2008 at 09:30:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hence the utter stupidity of Georgia's actions.

Saakashvili is a tool in several of the common senses and, it would appear, a very naive one at that. He does have GWB standing behind him, way behind him, all the way back in Crawford, on vacation.  But the problem was that he had a very different agenda than the older members of the EU.  He thought that he could parlay his US backing, purchased in part with $800,000 from the Georgian treasury to his US lobyist, into neo-cold war glory by reasserting control over South Ossetia.  

He failed to appreciate that the $800,000 only purchased the ringing endorsements, not any effective military assistance come the crunch.  His goal was not irrational, but his means were rash and he walked right in to a trap set by Putin.  What the EU needs is to realize that they have to more forcefully repudiate putative future members of the EU and NATO which Washington would like to arrange for them.

The EU might be spending about as much, per capita, as the USA on military forces, but, as suggested by others above, it is not getting similar bang for the buck. The existing arrangement can only really be directed by the US.  The US abuses this arrangement to suit the needs of domestic politics, as with Georgia.  The US is very unlikely to abandon that ability voluntarily.  The arrangement has the potential to become an attractive nuisance, like an unfenced swimming pool, but one that can start WWIII, just so that one US political party can gain an electoral advantage.  If this nuisance is ever to be adequately fenced, it must be done by Europeans.  Doing so would be a service to the entire world.  

The only one to come out of this with any advantage is Putin and possibly McCain.  Should this ploy work for McCain it could be much more difficult for the EU to ever get control of its own foreign agenda.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 12:14:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I mostly agree, but the EU doesn't by far spend as much on defence as the US does. The Americans spend about $1900 per capita, the EU about $600. Furthermore, the US gets huge economies of scale because they have one military (even though with huge inter-service rivalries) instead of 27 different militaries.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 05:15:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was accepting Jerome's assertion, (Except this is not even true,) at face value.  Your figure is closer to what I recalled, along with the fragmentation of forces into so many pieces and a command structure tailor made for US use only.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 10:15:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe Jerome was referring to European NATO members (including Turkey), however, the EU has more people, so the lower per capita spending isn't equivalent with equally lower total spending. I have read something like Europe is spending 70% of the US, but that was before the most recent increases in the US, while e.g. in Germany military spending probably didn't even increase with inflation.

But what is the use of higher military spending? Alone France and Germany for sure are spending a similar amount of money as Russia. There is just no way how Russia could win a conventional war against the EU, even if the US would stay out completely. Even during the cold war, most likely the Warsaw pact would have lost a conventional war in Europe. Now the Baltics, Poland, eastern Germany,.... have joined the west. If at all our defending capabilities against an conventional land strike are unecessary big, not too small.
Furthermore it is possible, that Russia is especially suspicious of NATO enlargement, because NATO is already so strong. One can reasonably ask, as a non-NATO member, what are these guys preparing for with all their weaponry? Who is spending so much money he could spend for other things on defense, if he doesn't want to do provocative things?

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 05:27:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is an argument, one I am not comfortable with, that it is in "Europe's" interest for McCain to win - thus keeping the Bush regime's economic, political, diplomatic and military US impoverishment process intact.  

The logic is  - the stupider the US Government - riven by internal dissension, driven by narrow special interests etc. - the more other powers - and even the EU will gain by comparison - especially if they are effectively led in terms of their own national interest - as Russia, China, India etc. seem to be now.

My major concern with that scenario is that:

  1. The US could behave even more irrationally in decline, and start an even worse Iraq type war with Iran or Russia -0 or possibly even a World War.

  2.  In the absence of very strong global governance and enforceable international law provisions (which the neo-cons have also done their best to destroy) such an emergent "multi-polar" political system will be as dangerous and unstable as that which existed prior to WW1.

  3.  I like most American's, even if many seem politically naive, and hate to see them and their country dragged through the mud.

Could they really elect McCain?

It's time I got out of this game....
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 07:14:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Electing McCain is all too possible, especially with the effective use of NATIONAL SECURITY.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 10:18:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And how, within the terms of the US political psyche, does provoking Russia and antagonising friends around the world improve US national security?

It's time I got out of this game....
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 10:35:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It quite obviously doesn't.  Unfortunately NATIONAL SECURITY has little to do with national security.  While we calculate national security in terms of real assets, real threats and alliances, NATIONAL SECURITY is calculated in terms of the degree to which blind passion is aroused in the "minds" of the masses.  There is a threat to the troop!  All young males go running off towards the perceived threat vocalizing loudly. WHOO, WHOO WHOO!  The senior males hope to use this response to their advantage.  They usually succeed.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 12:11:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This phenomenon was not unknown in Europe prior to WW2, in the Balkans, and in some third world countries.  How does it come to pass in the most advanced democracy in the world?

It's time I got out of this game....
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 01:14:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At this point it's Europe and not the US which is closer to being the most advanced democracy in the world.

The last couple of election cycles in the US really haven't been anything special in US history. Vote stealing, gerrymandering, a jingoistic press and an electorate - or parts of same - with the cognitive skills of dead sheep have been standard issue in US politics since the end of the Civil War.

What changed - partly as a result of wishful thinking - was the realisation that better choices were possible. The earlier labour movements were powerful but reactive. The DFHs were proactive but not nearly as powerful. Even so - there was an understanding that a better reality was possible.

That's still around, but it's been marginalised as an extremist view in the US.

Given what's likely to happen next, I wouldn't be surprised if there were parts of the US where it's about to become mainstream again.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 01:44:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...the most advanced democracy in the world.

How can this phrase be made to drip with sufficient irony, sarcasm and venom to convey the pathetic standard which it describes?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 02:36:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a vivid mental image of a canned-food billboard ad with the line "contains the most advanced democracy in the world!"

What?? Why're you looking at me like that? It does sound like an empty slogan, and I've just been travelling for seven hours straight...

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 22nd, 2008 at 04:29:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

VDL: You Will Be Inoculated!

by Oui - Jun 11
2 comments

The Sciences of the Artificial

by Cat - May 30
17 comments

City Agriculture - May 23, 2024

by gmoke - May 23
3 comments

Occasional Series