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is doctrine about the unthinkable. Which cannot exist.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 05:00:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I imagine that various armed forces have operational contingency plans for various types of armed conflict within Europe. If they don't, they are not doing their job.

Whether their political authorities have any clues about what they might do in such contingencies is debatable. In my view, they have a moral responsibility to formulate doctrine ahead of time, so they don't get overtaken by events. Because inaction is always tempting.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 05:09:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you asking about "operational contingency plans", or "doctrine"? I understand "doctrine" to mean political, legal or ideological. Outside of the realm of wargames, war un Europe is unspeakable. And the limits of my language are the limits of my world.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 05:13:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As an analogy : the UK and France each have secret nuclear doctrine : rules of engagement etc.

Insofar as these two nations are, de facto, the arbiters of last resort within Europe, they have a responsibility to have (secret or not) rules of engagement which will govern any military intervention in Europe.

This is no more unthinkable, in itself, than contemplating the use of nuclear weapons.

If the politicians have never thought about this, then it's time they did.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 05:21:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK and France have secret military doctrine for war on each other?

Anyway, are you searching for secret EU military doctrine about military intervention within the EU? Where, in the public domain?

Or by searching do you mean speculating?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 05:38:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am speculating that such military doctrine exists (Colman thinks this unlikely).

I am postulating that political doctrine should exist. I am not confident

I am searching metaphysically. I want to clarify my own ideas about what is required.

My mental framework on these matters is largely determined by the Yugoslav wars. At the time, I considered myself European, a citizen of Europe (I did not yet consider myself French). The existence of war on the European continent was unconscionable for me, and a source of lasting shame as a European. My starting point is "never again"; the point of this conversation from my point of view is to examine how to achieve that.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 06:06:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My mental framework on these matters is largely determined by the Yugoslav wars.

Well...

In 1992, the Western European Union adopted the Petersberg tasks, designed to cope with the possible destabilising of Eastern Europe.
Politically, that's all there is, and it is designed to deal with crises in the immediate outside periphery of the EU. The EU likely cannot conceive, politically, of armed conflict within its borders.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 06:39:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The existence of war on the European continent was unconscionable for me, and a source of lasting shame as a European. My starting point is "never again"; the point of this conversation from my point of view is to examine how to achieve that.
The moment France has to deploy overwhelming force in a different member state, the EU has failed in its never again goal.

So what you're searching for is self-contradictory. You don't achieve never again by contingency military planning, but by conducting sane policies at the EU and member state levels. Which is rather the problem right now: the EU economic policy establishment has gone insane.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 06:41:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you're telling me that I'm not allowed to examine the subject? That it's intellectually impossible? I'm sorry, but I'll have to contradict you.

In the event that a war should happen, it will undoubtedly be the fault of all those people and entities who should have acted to prevent it.  That does not entitle us to just throw up our hands in horror and declare "game over". The idea that we should refuse to even contemplate the possibility is reminiscent of the attitude of much of the European left in the 1930s (all those who applauded the Munich agreements).

If there is an outbreak of war, that's a clear sign of failure. But things can always get worse. The aim is to smother armed conflict before the deaths number in the thousands.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 07:07:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The deaths from the current depression already number in the thousands.

You will need at least one more digit to count the fatalities of even an unsuccessful attempt to start a civil war.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 07:35:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you are going to argue that war is no worse than peace, I'll leave the discussion to others. Ciao.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 07:54:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks to me like he just said that war will be at least an order of magnitude worse than peace, he's just pointing out the death-toll of war-by-other-means.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 08:12:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suggest you keep an open mind. In my country there were, in the 20th century 4 regime changes (monarchy -> republic -> fascism -> democracy). At least 4 coup attempts (surely more). A king shot (counts only as 1).

And I am quite sure that much more people died because of austerity in the 2007-2013 cycle, then in the cases above.

In the coups/revolutions there were barely no direct deaths, probably little indirect deaths. The indirect death tool of austerity is surely greater already.

Sure, not civil war above. But serious events.

The name "war" might be ugly, but at the end of day what should count is human suffering. This "peace" has had many casualties already.

by cagatacos on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 08:27:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah...I suggest when ever you think "intervention" (some kind of occupation, even if it's not boots on the ground but just bombardment of some targets, or support of one group against another in weapon and logistics) try to imagine YOUR country, your people, in this situation. If it's for example France in civil war , try to imagine German's and Brit's "intervention" in France. Or if it's UK then imagine Germans and French intervening in your country's affairs...and all this after so much of the history that Europe has had...
Try to imagine the end of that intervention/peace with who ever "wins" this war and how your country is going to look like when winner takes power...Try to be honest to your self...Then decide if you are pro or anti intervention...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 08:02:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think anyone will disagree if I say that France should have intervened in Spain in 1936. Note he date: 1936, to help the Spanish government put down a military mutiny. Couple of hundred thousand lives saved.

What about Yugoslavia, 1991? Note, 1991. i.e. when militias are terrorizing villages, the Yugoslav army is coming apart/turning into a Serbian army, and the Croatian army hardly even exists. As I have suggested, a joint Franco-German intervention would not have been easy, and there probably would have been months of mayhem before they got things locked down, but... tens of thousands of lives saved. It doesn't solve the problems that precipitated the war, but those problems were never serious enough to justify war. Instead of a decade of wars, a decade of establishing a political process for partition of territory.

Perhaps my scenarios are not realistic, but they are a lot more objective than conjectures about future civil wars.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Mar 7th, 2013 at 04:10:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the event that a war should happen, it will undoubtedly be the fault of all those people and entities who should have acted to prevent it.  That does not entitle us to just throw up our hands in horror and declare "game over".
Oh, yes, it entitles me to declare "game over" and hopefully make preparations for emigration in time.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 09:16:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Individually, sure. Collectively?

The idea that we should refuse to even contemplate the possibility is reminiscent of the attitude of much of the European left in the 1930s (all those who applauded the Munich agreements).

They had the excuse of the Great War. What's ours?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 09:35:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This thread is evident that I'm not refusing to contemplate the possibility. I'm just saying "fuck this for a lark".

What was the better survival strategy in 1934? To emigrate to South America or to stay in Europe?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 09:50:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am speculating that such military doctrine exists (Colman thinks this unlikely).
I fear it's unlikely. I'd be happier that it exist, because then at least the political machinery would have the thought in its head, which moderate some of its other excesses.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 08:14:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK and France have secret military doctrine for war on each other?

No. I can't see how you can parse that out of what I have written, but no.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 07:11:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
these two nations ... have a responsibility to have ... rules of engagement which will govern any military intervention in Europe
fits the bill...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 08:33:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I was not saying that they should have specific plans for each of the possible combinations of 27 European nations going to war on each other. The idea I was fumbling for is that they should have generic plans for the different types of combat situations in Europe, and more specific plans for likely flashpoints.

A military conflict between France and the UK being certainly among the least plausible cases; notably because of the relative symmetry of their forces (not to mention their nuclear arms [because I forbid you to mention them]).

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 08:43:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to beat dead lasagna ingredients, but I think the point is that war within the European Union is a blind spot of the EU elites.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 09:12:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for acknowledging that clearly. I had become convinced that you were reacting vigorously against any attempt to explore such a blind spot.

Now, I'm still puzzled because you seem to think that this blind spot is a good thing; i.e. that you don't seem willing to envisage any circumstances in which it would be better for an EU nation to intervene militarily rather than see a war worsen. Perhaps the subtlety of your irony escapes me.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 09:21:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Look, I have this great plan. Instead of imprisoning rapists we have them move in with their victims to make sure nothing bad happens to them ever again.

Tell me why that is a bad plan while intervention by the central EU powers in a civil war they mostly caused is a good plan.

by generic on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 09:36:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So when you see someone being raped, don't call the police. Because police intervention is worse than being raped.

Well, that depends on who the police are, obviously. The majority opinion here appears to be convinced that, if there is war within the EU, it will be because the elite in the central EU powers want it, and could gain some sort of advantage from provoking, then intervening in it. That proposition merits a bit of explaining, to put it mildly. Who's up for it?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 09:55:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
if there is war within the EU, it will be because the elite in the central EU powers want it
No, it will be because the elite in the central EU powers are clueless fucks.

Which they are, so there will be.

when you see someone being raped, don't call the police

If you see the government starving people to death, do you call the cops?

When the starving people start raping each other, it's scant consolation that the right hand of the government will mete out punishment in the communities destroyed by the left hand.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 10:00:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So when you see someone being raped, don't call the police. Because police intervention is worse than being raped.

Well, that depends on who the police are, obviously.

The right analogy is if you see someone being raped, call in drone strikes. Which seems to be sbout the direction that law enforcement is going, with rumours that US police departments are looking into using drones.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 10:02:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The majority opinion here appears to be convinced that, if there is war within the EU, it will be because the elite in the central EU powers want it, and could gain some sort of advantage from provoking, then intervening in it.

No. What I see is the European welfare states being burned down in a conflagration of misanthropy and stupidity. That leads me to the assumption that any war run by them will be equally stupid and misanthropic if not more so.
In fact stopping them from destroying Europe's economy seems the easier task compared to keeping an humanitarian intervention humanitarian. And up till now we are failing quite hard at it.

by generic on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 10:19:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, it'll be because the place is being run by short-sighted, arrogant fools who can't even contemplate that what they're doing could take us down that path. The EU has fixed war, so war and civil strife is no longer possible, therefore you don't need to think about it.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 10:39:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're assuming an outside military intervention doesn't count as "worsening the war".

As a recovering liberal interventionist (and there are a number of us on the blog), I simply don't see the obvious benefits of intervention. My point is, by the time intervention becomes your best policy option, the European project is a failure. So you're no longer debating from the point of view of the European interest.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 09:53:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually I'm not assuming anything. I'm not presuming that an interventionist doctrine would be a magic wand, and that every intervention would be quick and easy. But I am not prepared to concede that every intervention would be foredoomed to make things worse. And I think the question, distressing and painful as it is, to be an interesting one.

If we have war, then the European project is a failure. But the continent and its people continue to exist, regardless of institutional structure, so the question of the European interest is still pertinent. The EU, or its constituents, had no institutional obligation to intervene in Yugoslavia in 1991. Is that a valid excuse for not doing so? Do you think any such intervention would have made things worse?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 10:13:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Destroying the village in order to save it appears to be a basic tenet of European Union economic intervention.

There's one thing worse that either military intervention or no intervention: incompetent military intervention. I am confident the EU won't disappoint.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 10:19:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If we have war, then the European project is a failure. But the continent and its people continue to exist, regardless of institutional structure, so the question of the European interest is still pertinent.

No, it's not.

In the event of a war in Europe, the entities which are able to put boots on the ground will be, at best, acting in their own national interest (and more probably in the narrow special interests of a certain slice of their oligarchy). In terms of pertinence, the European interest is located somewhere slightly below the interests of the people being intervened in. The latter can, at least, shoot back.

The EU, or its constituents, had no institutional obligation to intervene in Yugoslavia in 1991. Is that a valid excuse for not doing so? Do you think any such intervention would have made things worse?

In principle, no.

In practice, given that the same countries who were going to be intervening had been the loudest cheerleaders for starting the civil war they were intervening into in the first place, yes.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 11:49:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps the subtlety of your irony escapes me
If you're going to adopt that tone, then I guess what I'm trying to say is that your approach to this problem is a liberal interventionist macho fantasy and that yes, maybe trying to be roundabout rather than blunt about it is a rhetorical mistake.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 10:13:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair enough.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 10:35:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I imagine that the various armed forces would given a severe dressing down for having those plans - don't forget that senior staff are generally (hah) political players. The existence of the plans would be an embarrassment, so they probably don't exist. Some of the military academic types might have game plans but I bet there isn't anything that would get them far if it actually happened.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 05:17:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am reminded of the Canadian Defence Scheme No. 1:
Defence Scheme No. 1 was created on April 12, 1921 and details a surprise invasion of the northern United States as soon as possible after evidence was received of an American invasion of Canada

And of course its US equivalent War Plan Red:

The war plan outlined those actions that would be necessary to initiate war between Great Britain and the United States. The plan suggested that the British would initially have the upper hand by virtue of the strength of its navy. The plan further assumed that Britain would probably use its dominion in Canada as a springboard from which to initiate a retaliatory invasion of the United States. The assumption was taken that at first Britain would fight a defensive battle against invading American forces, but that the US would eventually defeat the British by blockading the United Kingdom and economically isolating it.[3]


Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Wed Mar 6th, 2013 at 08:50:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's well known that military types create these plans against unlikely enemies because it's

  1. Part of the job description
  2. Potentially useful for war gaming in other contexts

So I wouldn't be remotely surprised to find that the UK's MOD has a plan to deal with a militarily hostile Europe. I'd be more surprised if it's a very detailed plan. But I don't think it's unlikely the possibility has been discussed and gamed out, if only to a basic extent.

That's completely different to the political doctrine which currently has the largely fictional Al Qaeda as Enemy of Democracy Number 1, with a present and active threat in Afghanistan.

Political doctrine is never debated. It's stated and propagandised, and it's purely for internal consumption. The real ends - which remain mysterious in Afghanistan, although personally I suspect opium and other drugs - are never stated publicly.

Which means that civil war won't happen in Europe unless it's useful and profitable to someone.

Just as the Nazis happened in Germany precisely because they appeared useful and profitable.

I'm finding it hard to imagine Catalonian independence - or its absence - being useful or profitable to anyone.

Likewise in Greece, which is an economic sideshow.

I can imagine the current crop of mad rulers breaking Greece just to prove they can, and for fun, with the possibility of useful profit, somewhat tangentially.

But actual civil war would surely spook the markets almost as much as a default would.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Mar 7th, 2013 at 04:23:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That it would spook "the markets" almost as much as a default is only an argument against war if the current crop of nutters are able to keep a lid on the situation.

Since I would not trust the current crop of rulers to run a piss-up in a brewery, I would not make any expensive bets on that proposition.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Mar 7th, 2013 at 05:48:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm finding it hard to imagine Catalonian independence - or its absence - being useful or profitable to anyone.

Except maybe Catalonians.

by IdiotSavant on Thu Mar 7th, 2013 at 06:56:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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