“The peace dividend is over: we have to invest in weapons”

We Europeans must choose now: missiles or health and education?.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
02 April 2024 Tuesday 04:22
5 Reads
“The peace dividend is over: we have to invest in weapons”

We Europeans must choose now: missiles or health and education?

It is not the EU; It is Putin who forces us to face this undesirable dilemma...

And what do you advise us?

Putin has proven to be aggressive in intentions and actions and we must prepare to dissuade him, but personally I am Irish, of neutral tradition, and this is the first time in my life that I have witnessed the invasion of a European country by another...

It happens to most Europeans.

But it is the realistic response to seeing that the peace dividend that the end of the world war and the fall of the Wall gave us has ended.

Is the European Union not enough?

That has demonstrated formidable resilience in the euro crisis; the migration crisis and covid. Do you think that Spain alone would have weathered it better?

I am convinced that no.

Do you think that Spain, Ireland or Portugal would defend their interests better alone against the empires: against China or against Russia?

I'm also convinced not.

Being part of the EU allowed all Europeans, rich and poor, to have equal access to vaccines.

Will we have a European army?

Security and defense are still very delicate issues of national sovereignty, but we will see close cooperation between European armies for which Von der Leyen will appoint a European Minister of Defense.

Is there no division between “EU first” and “NATO first” countries?

And there are even some “NATO only” ones. The debate is open. But in any case, we Europeans must guarantee our security and the only way is to invest in the European defense industry.

More money for cannons and less for schools and hospitals?

Because we are seeing military aggression in Europe and the unpleasant but realistic thing is to accept that the least expensive thing is to prepare to avoid suffering them.

Could we not influence to reach agreements that are less onerous than rearmament?

After World War II, we live in an era of peace in a world order that is now challenged by China, the so-called countries of the Global South and Putin. So if we want to maintain our freedom and prosperity we must prepare together so as not to be second-rate players separately and end up paying for inferiority, but rather to be first-rate players together.

How did the EU begin to find itself in need of weapons?

In 2012, the EU sent me to Ukraine to negotiate with the then president, led by Putin, Yanukovych, who had imprisoned his opponents and we visited them in prison.

Why did Yanukovych admit them?

Because we were going to sign a free trade agreement with Ukraine, but Moscow ordered it to reject it in 2013. And that's why the Maidan revolt broke out that same night. In February, the repression of the protests had already caused one hundred deaths.

But they managed to overthrow Yanukovych.

He fled to Russia and then Putin decided to invade Crimea, which he had already planned, with soldiers without uniforms, the men in green, who would also occupy the Donbass later in a tacit, non-reportable manner.

And the war in Ukraine has already lasted 10 years.

And the Ukrainians die in it while Putin managed to skyrocket his popularity and now crown himself the new tsar.

The US and the EU imposed sanctions on him.

They were naive little slaps and Putin skipped them without any problems and then Germany signed the Nordstream 2 treaty with Russia...

Later it turned out that it was a mistake.

Putin understood this as tacit consent and planned for Ukraine the strategy that allowed it to win in Chechnya and Georgia and, finally, Biden decided to withdraw from Afghanistan, a gesture that Moscow interpreted as weakness, and launched the total invasion of Ukraine. Putin was already another Peter the Great, refounder of the Russian empire.

Does that tsar want more than Ukraine?

Ukraine's problem for Putin is not whether it joins NATO or not; is that he considers it Russian by language, religion and tradition and believes that he must liberate it like all the Eastern countries that have a Russian population and that he also aims to control or invade. Because what terrifies him about Ukraine is the democracy and freedom that can spread to Russia.

What could come after Ukraine?

Your general talks about Odessa and Transnistria...

And Estonia has a large Russian minority.

That is why the EU will know how to finance its defense and the debate is opened on how it is financed while respecting the deficit rules.

Macron asks that the EU issue debt, Eurobonds, to finance this defense.

Remember that the German Constitution prohibits deficits. Anyway, that is the other great debate that has just begun.