Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Another Rapid Reaction Force

Every so often, we hear that Europe has decided to start up another amalgamation that can be sent off to sunnier climes in order to bear the French man's burden. This is three and counting.

Last month, NATO's Response Force -- a 17,000 strong elite corps capable of intervening anywhere in the world within five days -- was declared operational. Then on Monday, EU defense ministers meeting in Brussels announced the decision to create 13 battle groups of 1,500 troops apiece ready to step in to conflict areas within 5-10 days.

As if this was not enough, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain agreed to establish a European Gendarmerie Force capable of policing trouble-spots earlier this year. The armed forces of Germany, France, Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg are also pooled together in Eurocorps, the Strasbourg-based body that currently runs the international peacekeeping effort in Afghanistan.

Blair, polishing his European crdentials, has already picked out the soldiers who will participate in this joint venture. As the continental pygmies do not have the capability to provide troops (before 2007), the 'battlegroups' sent out for peacekeeping and humanitarian duties will be provided by Britain and France. This is an additional commitment to the other EU 'rapid reaction force'.

Since 'battlegroups' will deal with crisis situations when NATO has declined to take any action. One can view this additional policy as a subtle tag from Chirac to prey upon that buffoon Blair and include the overstretched British army in France's next attempt to shore up its informal empire in Africa.

(23.20, 23rd November 2004)


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