Thursday 23 February 2017

The militarisation of Europe is a far greater threat than Brexit

Ray Kinsella

Mixed response: German Chancellor Angela Merkel with her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble. Photo: Hannibal Hanschke
Mixed response: German Chancellor Angela Merkel with her Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble. Photo: Hannibal Hanschke

The most searching challenge that the EU faces is not the fallout from Brexit - it's from the militarisation of Europe and the US-led Nato encirclement of Russia, endorsed by the Nato Summit in Warsaw last weekend.

It is as misconceived as austerity and authoritarianism, which are at the heart of the European crisis. But it is infinitely more dangerous. If the Chilcot Report on the war in Iraq proves anything, it is that the momentum towards armed conflict, once started, becomes difficult to contain.

Militarisation will make it much more difficult to deal with the EU's migration crisis, itself largely a consequence of the catastrophic effects of Western military intervention. A conflagration between US-led Nato and Russia would increase the numbers of refugees in Europe by an order of magnitude. As for the impact of such a conflagration on the European and global economy - well, all bets are off. We could not begin to model the impact - but we can look at post-war Europe and Iraq and Syria and Libya... Only what are euphemistically termed 'Defence' industries do (exceedingly) well out of war.

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