Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Britain was issuing contradictory and worrying statements on the establishment of an EU military planning capability over the last few days. The public support that Blair gave to this project convinced the United States that they could not rely upon the useful strategy of allowing Great Britain to defend their interests. The dispute was escalated through judicious public statements that reminded certain offshore islands of their client status; and put continentals on notice that their plan was viewed as a futile distraction.

The intervention of the United States is not an early bid to prevent the rise of an alternative power to thenmselves. Lord Robertson's disparaging reference to "paper armies" is a better guide to US thought in this matter. The superpower does not wish to see NATO degraded as the alliance is auseful tool for deploying support troops, especially now that it engages in out of area exercises.

We probably ought to be grateful that the US leash is curbing Blair's appetite for European integration. One wonders if the pressure applied led to increased stress levels this weekend.


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