Sunday, November 30, 2003
The House of the Result of the Result

Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of State for Defence, repeated the standard American line that NATO should retain its leadership role within Europe. This was repeated in response to reports during the negotiations over the European Constitution that the "Big Three", the usurpers of Yalta, had concluded their defence agreement.

Blair finally agreed to the Franco-German plan for a military planning unit, outside of NATO, and reportedly consisting of 30 "operational planners". This institution is a strong indication that Blair was willing to concede this battle in return for retaining other powers - no doubt they will be lost later. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard describes this as a

a definitive break with British defence doctrine of the past half century. But British officials hinted that the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, would rewrite the agreement if the US was adamantly opposed.

The response from the United States and NATO was critical, but muted, until they are able to respond to concrete proposals that, as yet, remain under wraps. The details are hazy but indicate that NATO maintains 'first refusal' on participation in any crisis and that the EU has secured the Strasburg option. The military headquarters will be located in SHAPE, or in Cortenburg in Brussels and/or in the military infrastructures of France, Britain or Germany.

To paraphrase Howe, compromising with the British has transformed Franco-German pretensions into an impotent farce. The prospects are that EU defence reforms are essentially neutered under this proposal and the French/Germans will now look to develop military co-operation outside of the auspices of the established European institutions

(21.15, 30th November 2003)


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