Posts Tagged 'France'

EU plan for UK-French military merger inches closer

In September 2010 this blog explained to readers how plans for a Royal Navy aircraft carrier share with French Navy is nothing more than an element of a much bigger Tory idea dating back 14 years. We posed a question:

But what will be Cameron’s excuse when the deeply unpopular plan for the Royal Navy and French Navy to share aircraft carriers and integrate operations is confirmed?  After all, as EU Referendum reminds us, this is nothing more than the realisation of a long standing European military cooperation agreement signed by the Conservatives under John Major in 1996.

The Barclay Brother Beano, for reasons passing understanding, is still the Tories’ rag of choice. And it is there that the latest instalment in the drip feed of confirmation has been positioned…

(Note the date of the piece – 6 June – a typo error, or carefully timed release to fit with an announcement that has gone pear shaped?)

It has long been the EU’s plan for the UK and France to share military hardware in this way.  The article is a measure of the contempt in which the political class treats us, and an underlining of the ignorance/complicity of a fawning media that props up this worthless parasites.

What we are seeing is the end game, the execution of a long standing plan to bring about interdependence between the UK and French armed forces, which means Britain’s capability to undertake unilateral military operations will no longer exist.  We can only act militarily with the permission and active cooperation of others. The next stage will be the gradual assimilation of other elements of armed forces from other EU member states, operating under the blue banner and gold stars of the EU, giving Brussels its dream of a military capability under a unified command structure taking orders from the unelected and unaccountable mandarins who rule over us.

All this has been planned and delivered, hidden in plain sight of the electorate and the media, yet even now many in the media are still unable or unwilling to connect the dots and explain to our population what our political class has done. They are sickening quislings to a man and a woman.

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France’s latest justification for selling warships to Russia

An interesting follow up to a story this blog ran in January last year, when France confirmed it had done a deal to sell the Mistral class amphibious warship to Russia, along with advanced military technology.

The ¡No Pasarán! blog makes us aware that in an interview about the trouble in Tunisia, France’s new foreign minister, Alain Juppé, justified France’s sale of Mistral warships to Russia thus:

In Lisbon, I heard Barack Obama tell Dmitry Medvedev: “You’re not just a partner but a friend.” You can not blame France for delivering boats to a friend.

These are not merely ‘boats’.  These are command and control centres providing a helicopter borne and landing craft based amphibious assault function that fills a large gap in Russia’s military capability, enabling troops and tanks to be deployed from the sea.  The original deal was for one vessel, but now it seems to have grown to four.

As far as friend goes, what kind of friend feels the need to regularly probe our airspace with long range bomber and reconnaisance aircraft?  What kind of friend prevents suspects in the case of poisoning a dissident with radioactive material in this country from being brought to justice?  What kind of friend makes nuclear threats towards a peaceful European country?

Presumably France does not see Georgia as being as valuable a ‘friend’ as Moscow.  Having been invaded by Russia, which contrived a crisis in two breakaway regions in Georgian territory, Mamuka Kudava, Georgia’s ambassador to France, said last March that it would be “incomprehensible” if France were to sell the Mistral to Russia. It is an understandable view given that Russia’s senior naval officer Vladimir Vyssotski said last year that the Georgia conflict could have been resolved in ’40 minutes and not 26 hours’ if his forces had had the ships at the time.

Perhaps for the likes of Sarkozy and Juppé friends are determined by the size of their wallet and willingness to buy French equipment. One wonders how long it will be before Barack Obama revises his assessment that France is the US’ strongest ally as it helps re-arm the Russian military.

Galileo farce turning into re-run of Quaero project

It was just over three years ago that the Commons Transport Committee has said it has serious concerns about the merits of the £2.9 billion pound Galileo project and the way in which the European Commission planned to fund it.

Back then MPs on the committee were saying that the European satellite navigation system rival to America’s Global Positioning System (GPS) must be stopped from going ahead until its costs, risks and benefits have been thoroughly assessed.

Fast forward to today and we find that Berry Smutny, the CEO of OHB Technology, a company that has a £475 million contract to build 14 Galileo satellites, has been suspended after leaked US diplomatic cables revealed he considered the project to be a ‘stupid idea’ and ‘a waste of taxpayers’ money’. We also find that the £2.9bn bill for taxpayers in the EU is now estimated to have risen to around £6bn. Yet despite this obscene sum being devoted to the Galileo project, sheer incompetence and waste on a gigantic scale attracts no consequence.  As EU Referendum points out:

‘That Smutny has lost his job in itself tells you something. The euroslime can commit all sorts of indiscretions and rob the taxpayer blind, yet they get to keep their jobs. But one word against the EU’s spendthrift vanity project and you are out on your ear.’

Galileo is Europe’s attempt to match America’s progress in technology. This is the “Quaero” fiasco all over again – where French President Jacques Chirac’s decided to build a ‘European’ rival to Google. Being European it would obviously require a partner for the French, so Germany was wooed to take part in the great search engine collaboration dubbed ‘Quaero’.

Up to €2 billion of taxpayers’ money was pledged between the two countries and planning work got started, while Google and Yahoo! carried on going from strength to strength with their respective portals, leaving the European consortium in its wake. Less than a year later and the ‘Quaero’ consortium had fallen apart. What odds that Galileo goes the same way?  Or is this one different because the French has a military interest in the project despite years of lies peddled in various countries, including the UK, that Galileo was a purely civilian system?

Years of research and a lot of investment went into developing GPS for successful civilian use from its original military application. The EU wants the same prestige and capability in a fraction of the time, by copying an existing technology long after the Americans have already moved on to the next generation of technology.  The game of catch up will be never ending because vainglorious EU wastrels insists on centrally planning such projects and using public money in a scattergun fashion without revealing the real purpose of it.

France – our partner in defence

If the United States need a reason to scale back the extent of intelligence cooperation with the UK, then David Cameron’s God-awful treaty with Nicolas Sarkozy has opened a huge window of opportunity for Washington.

Not content with selling warships and technology to Russia – thus filling a gap in Russian military capability that slowed them down during the contrived invasion of Georgia – Paris is now selling nuclear technology to China. The Americans have always realised the French will do anything for money but probably did not think a British government would choose to align itself so closely with such an unreliable country. As EU Referendum says of Cameron, he:

…might just as well have parcelled up all our military and industrial secrets and sent them direct to Peking, cutting out the middle man.

Dr Richard North goes on to correctly observe that:

…you cannot be a “strategic partner” with both China and the United States. The UK has to chose and, in getting into bed with the Kermits, it has made its choice. It is a dangerous, stupid choice and one that we will all have cause to regret.

 

Cameron and Sarkozy complete phase one of building an EU Army

Listening on BBC Five Live to David Cameron’s comments during his joint statement with Nicolas Sarkozy on UK-French military cooperation underlines just how slippery and untrustworthy he is.

Cameron stated that Britain and France would remain sovereign nations with their own independent military capabilities. He said that in recent history there have only been two occasions when Britain has launched a fully independent military campaign, the Falklands War and Sierra Leone. Cameron then went on to point out France and Britain’s joint involvement in theatres such as the Balkans and Kosovo (of course he did not mention the French officer who passed NATO military plans to Serbia).

But deliberately missing from Cameron’s little speech was the word interoperability. Also deliberately avoided during his high speed pass over recent military history was any mention of the invasion of Iraq. yet this is where the risks of Anglo-French military ‘cooperation’ exist.

Interoperability in the context of this treaty means certain capabilities will be provided by Britain and others by France. It makes the two countries reliant upon each other and unable to operate independently.

Interoperability only works when the partners in a cooperation pact share a common aim. During the Iraq campaign where we supported the Americans, this was not the case as France refused to take part in the invasion. The UK was unhindered by interoperability constraints because we possessed the independent capability to put our troops, tanks and aircraft into theatre to invade southern Iraq. We didn’t need the French.

The Anglo-French treaty signed today by Cameron and Sarkozy makes Britain reliant on France in military matters because Britain will no longer retain the necessary capability to operate alone. They claim this reduction in capability is designed to save money. But what happens when Britain needs the French in order to be able to deploy the necessary men and materials to protect British interests overseas and the French refuse to provide the capability because they disagree with the action? It is an unacceptable and short sighted risk and Cameron’s assertion that Britain will retain a sovereign capability is a lie.

There is only one way to be certain that France and Britain will deploy together for military action – that is if the order comes from their government, the EU. There is ample evidence that this is the plan. As EU Referendum reminds us:

This is a continuation of the Maastricht Treaty agenda, as this briefing note makes clear. Agreed by the Tories under John Major, this set up the parameters for the development of a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). The process continued with the Franco-British meeting in Saint-Malo (France) in December 1998. That was when London and Paris agreed to jointly and actively work to make the European Union “able to carry out some security tasks on its own”.

With the two largest military powers in the EU brought together by this treaty it is much easier to subsequently add the armed forces of other EU member states to the mix, piece by piece. It is through this phased approach that the EU will achieve its ambition of being a military power and the federal superstate will boast its own army, navy and air force.

Cameron and Sarkozy have just concluded phase one.

Missing the point of military cooperation with France

Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, ventures forth in the Sunday Telegraph today to set out his view that a closer alliance with France will be good for Britain. In doing so he intentionally attempts to mislead the public about the long term direction of Britain’s defence policy.

But his derisory effort to give the impression that Britain’s interests come first, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, is worthy of scorn. It is a disgraceful attempt to deceive the British public. If you are not sure what I mean, try to make sense of Fox’s opening sentence:

Too often, the debate on defence within Europe has been focused on what the EU should or should not do. Yet it has always been my view that defence must be a sovereign, and therefore an inter-governmental issue.

The visions are mutally exclusive. You cannot have sovereign defence and make defence an inter-governmental issue. Fox continues:

When nations can benefit from co-operation without losing sovereignty, they should aim to do so – which is why this week will mark the beginning of a long-term commitment to closer defence and security links with France.

This is delusional rubbish. It doesn’t stand up to even cursory scrutiny. Any national defence capability that is dependent on the active cooperation and involvement of another nation before it can be deployed is, by definition, not sovereign. The Fox rationale of ‘cooperation’ being important in saving money is a red herring. The problem with our defence spending has not been the amount spent, but how it has been wasted on the procurement of the wrong equipment, usually at grossly inflated prices.

Let us be clear, Fox is not talking about international cooperation – a good example of which is NATO. Cooperation equates to the sovereign and independent defence capabilities of a number of countries coming together to achieve specific operational goals of mutual interest. What Fox is describing is interdependence – where the military force of a country (in this case Britain) is incapable of acting unilaterally and can only be deployed if another country provides the missing elements required to conduct operations.

This is not good for Britain.

As a number of people commenting on Fox’s Telegraph piece point out, everyone can think of conflicts in recent years where France would have refused to allow its assets to be deployed to enable British operations, because involvement in such actions would have a negative impact on French trade or financial interests. We know that even the closest of friends and allies sometimes oppose actions undertaken in our self interest – America during the Suez crisis anyone? We know that the interests of our friends and allies often conflict with our own wishes – France selling warships to Russia anyone?

But the observations of nearly all the commentators on Fox’s essay fail to make the final step on their journey. For any number of reasons they fail to recognise what the end game really is, perhaps because the destination is such anathema to them they could not conceive our government would work towards such an outcome… namely that defence is being readied to become an EU responsibility.

The goal is that the defence of the United Kingdom will cease to be the sovereign responsibility of the British government and that it will be, at some point in the future, managed by the EU. The goal that the most essential pillar of self determination of a nation state will be removed as a part of the objective of ever closer union on the path to full federal governance from Brussels.

No matter how close our friends and allies might be the United Kingdom absolutely must maintain an independent and sovereign military capability that can be deployed unilaterally to protect this country and defend this country’s interests overseas. Liam Fox, David Cameron, the coalition government and the rest of the political class are not serving Britain’s interests, but serving the wishes of the EU. And yes, the Tories with their weasel words and attempts to wrap themselves in the flag are complicit in this and have actively driven this forward.

Without being melodramatic there is only one word for such behaviour and that is treachery. When are people going to shake themselves out of their slumber and stand up against the dismantling of this country? How fitting it is that the word treachery comes from the Old French trecherie, from trechier, meaning to cheat, compare or trick.

French bureaucrats scupper ‘rescue’ from Calais

This story says it all about officialdom and petty bureaucracy.  Britons are struggling to get home thanks to the shutdown of airspace over the UK and parts of Europe.  So a few people use their initiative to use small boats to collect citizens wishing to return home.  A website had even been set up to register people’s details in advance to meet the requirements of border controls in France and the UK.

Over the years we have had thousands of illegal migrants from all over Africa and Asia successfully making the journey across the English Channel in the absence of effective French efforts to prevent them smuggling themselves into Britain.  But suddenly a number of French border guards are on hand to prevent a handful of British citizens from leaving France, deeming their actions ‘unauthorised’.

To add insult to the absence of common sense, an immigration ministry source in Paris is reported to have said:

‘There is no possibility of boats simply arriving in Calais and inviting strangers to return to Britain on them.  ‘Everything coming in and out of this border is strictly monitored at all times.’

Despite the self evident bullshit in that comment no doubt they kept a straight face as they said it.  Some of the stranded Britons were allowed to leave Calais, but only after stricter checks than they would have faced on a ferry journey or a flight – and only then on condition the boats did not return. No doubt when there is a need to stop illegal migrants crossing these uniformed goons will be nowhere to be seen, they will probably be out on strike complaining against some perceived injustice.

Thanks to these French idiots, instead of being helped to get home to resume their lives, many of those the boat crews had intended to bring home have been forced to stay in France against their will at personal cost and a cost to insurers.

Why is it the EU’s vaunted freedom of movement only seems to apply to criminals and illegal migrants?  It seems that bureaucrats and big state officialdom is only there confound common sense and to cause law abiding people as much inconvenience and discomfort as possible.  When it comes to the French, this manages to plumb previously unimagined depths of idiocy.  And this is a country our politicians propose we forge a closer military alliance with? Do me a favour.

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David Cameron our own French poodle

All credit to you, David Cameron.  You are really coming of age as just another machine politician.  You’ve got this European lark down to a fine art now.  It’s not that hard really, as you demonstrated when you met with President Nicolas Sarkozy today.

All you need to do is talk tough about the EU to your domestic audience, but fall over yourself to promise one of your senior partners in the bloc that you will be an “active and energetic” participant in the European Union if you win the general election.

Having pledged to the French that you will be a good, energetic little boy, you then go back to fight your election campaign telling voters that you ‘would never allow Britain to slide into a federal Europe’ of the type the French are working tirelessly to complete and you are pledged to be active in.

And on the subject of the Lisbon Treaty, having promised voters that if ratification was achieved before you came to power you would ‘not let matters rest there’, you quietly publish on that same party web page that you:

[…]would change the law so that never again would a government be able to agree to a Treaty that hands over areas of power from Britain to the EU without a referendum

even though the Lisbon Treaty negates the need for any future treaties.  It speaks volumes of your priorities, Dave, that you put more effort into seeking to reassure France over Britain’s EU ties than you do seeking to reassure the British people that you will repatriate political power from Brussels.  It’s just empty rhetoric, isn’t it Dave.  Ted Heath would be so proud.

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EU putting French interests first again?

You can almost hear lips being licked in anticipation in the Elysée Palace.  The Financial Times reports that the EU is divided about whether it should life its embargo on selling arms to China, imposed after the Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Members of the paper tiger are apparently jostling in an attempt to determine who dictates European foreign policy; national governments, the current holder of the rotating presidency of the EU, or Lady Catherine Ashton, the over promoted lightweight nonentity ‘foreign policy supremo’ who has never stood for democratic election in her life.  As the FT explains:

These matters were supposed to have been settled in December when the EU adopted the Lisbon treaty, a set of institutional reforms meant to strengthen the role of the foreign policy chief.

Ah yes, Lisbon.  That unimportant minor revising treaty that was presented to the British people as a mere tidying up exercise.  Anyway, we have Spain, as rotating President telling China that it intends to use its six months in the hot seat to drive forward the discussions on lifting the embargo. As  Spain is France’s ventriloquist dummy the real pressure here is coming from Paris as the Sarkozy government eyes another opportunity to sell its military hardware to a rival of NATO.

With America deciding to sell more weaponry to Taiwan, incurring Chinese wrath, the French have an eye to the main chance. Paris can see if they can get the EU arms embargo of China lifted France will likely reap further trade rewards from Beijing, filling the gap left by American goods that China will refuse to order as part of its Taiwan protest.

Given that the UK is opposed to lifting the arms embargo it is little surprise that Gordon Brown’s third choice for the foreign representative role, Lady Ashton, is nowhere to be seen and probably so out of her depth she wishes she was back chairing her old health authority.  With France already laying the groundwork for improved bi-lateral relations with China, using its tried and tested method of positive public pronouncements to demonstrate its desire for a deal, we will get a litmus test of the true extent of British influence at the heart of Europe.

The EU would need a unanimous agreement to lift the embargo, so Britain can easily prevent arms sales being approved.  But if we see the EU lift the embargo then we will have confirmation of what we’ve known for so long, that Britain is just a cash cow in the grand European project and that it is France along with Germany who benefit from the existence of the EU.

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Sarkozy says no to more troops for Afghanistan

Visiting this subject somewhat later than one would have wished, but better late than never.  It would have been delightful being a fly on the wall in NATO headquarters on Monday after Nicolas Sarkozy told French television he would not send a single extra combat soldier to Afghanistan.  It is only nine months since France rejoined NATO as a full member, but under this modern day Napoleon, the French are already upsetting the apple cart.  What is it with power crazed, short arsed Frenchmen?

Just weeks ago it became clear that with a classic Gallic shrug, France had done a deal to sell a Mistral class amphibious warship along with advanced military technology to Russia, although the European media corps has pointedly ignored it.  Now with NATO imploring its members to support the military effort in Afghanistan, Sarkozy grandstands for the French media and delivers a resounding ‘Non’ to the alliance.

It seems that under Sarkozy, France’s idea of being part of an alliance is to provide enhanced war fighting capability to its major rival and refuse point blank to send much needed combat troops to help fight the Taliban.  NATO must be wondering what exactly it gets out of France being a member, apart from Parisian petulance and a lot of headaches.  Perhaps Sarkozy would have sent an entire regiment if only the US and Britain had followed Russia’s example and offered to buy some French hardware…  With friends like the French, who needs enemies?  Ladies and gentlemen, I give you France.  Our selfless partners in peace and cooperation.  Santé!

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To Russia with love, warships from France

Another suitable title for this post would be ‘While Europe slept’.

In August 2008 France’s President Sarkozy packaged up and delivered to Russia an EU peace plan to bring an end to the short, one-sided conflict with Georgia.  A quick scan showed the plan had more holes than a sieve and favoured Russia disproportionately.  Eyebrows were raised.  It was no surprise though that Russia flouted its terms brazenly and the EU offered nothing more than a few limp words of disappointment.

Then in November 2008 Sarkozy energetically encouraged his EU colleagues to back Russian proposals for a Pan-European security pact that had previously been ignored by western European countries.  At the same time, despite France being aspiring to rejoin NATO as a full member within months having withdrawn from the alliance in 1966, Sarkozy publicly broke ranks over the proposed US Missile Shield in Europe.  Acting like Medvedev and Putin’s personal ventriloquist dummy, Sarkozy parroted Russia’s well rehearsed position, arguing that:

“Deployment of a missile defense system would bring nothing to security in Europe … it would complicate things, and would make them move backward,”

Russia was delighted that the Élysée was on board, on message and sowing disunity around western Europe.  Sarkozy’s hyperactivity had seen to it that EU backed down from their previously stated position regarding Russia’s aggression in Georgia and agreed to EU-Russian talks on trade and energy before troops had even left Georgian soil.  The obvious conclusion to draw was that French had identified in Russia an opportunity for an advantage and vested self interest was at play

But it is only in the last couple of weeks that the terms of the trade off have become clear.  The Georgian Daily reported on 9th January that Moscow was seeking to modernise its military capability by buying advanced technology in the shape of at least one Mistral-class amphibious assault ship (below), built and sold to the Russian Navy – by France.


It has taken fully 11 days for anyone in the western media to wake up to what’s going on, with the Washington Times finally going to print with a story on Wednesday titled ‘France likely to sell warship to Moscow -Deal raises concerns in NATO pact’.  A Google News search reveals that throughout the collective news media of the European Union nations, there is not a single word on this subject.  This despite the Georgian Daily’s observation that:

Russian officials currently emphasize the value of advanced technology transfers to Russia that would accompany the possible acquisition of Mistral-class ships. According to Pukhov, Russia is interested in the Mistral not only or primarily for its amphibious assault capabilities, but for its value as a command platform with advanced electronics for battle management and network-centric military operations at sea, as well as its hydroacoustics.

It would represent a significant enhancement of Russian offensive military capability that could have been put to devastating effect in Georgia had the vessel been part of the Russian Naval fleet.  No wonder small voices are trying to make themselves heard in an attempt to stop France assisting the military rearmament of the greatest risk to stability facing Europe.  Just ask Poland.

As for the rest of the EU, they are as usual snoozing comfortably at the wheel of the juggernaut, wilfully oblivious to the bigger one coming straight at them from the east.  Those people who keep saying Russia is not the military might it once was and using that as justification to reduce defence spending might want to reconsider in light of France’s traditionally self serving actions.

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