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Sudan. The US and the lying wimps in the EU and UN watch

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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    Nice dodge.
    the dodge is all yours.
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    (Original post by carldaman)
    Hold on: resolve this...I ask "How can you say the EU as a whole is weak militarily?" To which you reply

    How can you reconcile that with:
    talking of a single EU military presence was premature. essentially, a combined and central EU military force would obviously be a more powerful entity, but i believe it is doomed to fail, only weakening a member state.
    essentially, i was trying to clarify between a central EU defence force and the EU as a collection of member states, and appreciate that this didnt make sense.
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    (Original post by vienna95)
    the dodge is all yours.
    Quite how I don't understand I ask this question:

    (Original post by vienna95)
    Depends if the definition of wimps is nations that spend less than the US on their military budget or not doesn't it?
    and you gave this answer:

    i would define the strength of ones military spending as broadly determing the strength of ones military capabilities, yes. or do you have an entirely different suggestion?
    This comment, which I agree with by the way, does not tell me whether you define 'wimpishness' as I have describe, it does not answer my point at all - except to maybe assert to me that you believe military power is the only indicator of global influence.
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    (Original post by USUK1)
    The situation in Sudan has just been and in my opinion rightfully labeled as Genocide. When I get back to the UK I am going to let rip on anyone who says the US is an evil empire. Who is stopping the arabs killing the Darfur citizens. The US and only the US. The EU, UN etc should be ashamed. God I'm proud to be an American and damn am I ready to defend the great name of this brilliant nation when I get back to the UK.

    Do you agree??
    The US only recently (two days ago?) conceding that the situation in Sudan was a genocide, and have been trying to ignore it for as long as possible.

    That is, quite simply, a disgrace.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    This comment, which I agree with by the way, does not tell me whether you define 'wimpishness' as I have describe, it does not answer my point at all - except to maybe assert to me that you believe military power is the only indicator of global influence.
    CB - "I am sick and tired of Americans calling the EU wimps"

    based on the context of the thread, the natural context of the word 'wimp', and the remaining substance of that post, i took this comment to mean a refutation of the military weakness of the EU nations, in comparison with that of the US. as such, i pointed out some basic examples of where the EU desperately falls short of the US.....

    V - "perhaps you would like to compare the military contributions to peacekeeping efforts around the globe aswell as international bodies such as NATO, then have a look at Eurozone defence spending"

    CB - "The US spends more on defence than the EU, tell me something I don't know."

    you agree, and dont seem to take issue with the context in which had now placed the term, 'wimp', mainly, a weaker military power.

    V - "That the Europeans are 'wimps' in comparison?"
    CB - "Depends if the definition of wimps is nations that spend less than the US on their military budget or not doesn't it?"
    V - "i would define the strength of ones military spending as broadly determing the strength of ones military capabilities, yes"

    i assert and then clarify my understanding of military weakness, consistent with my first comment to your post.

    where is the dodge? if you are unhappy with my qualification, say so, but it hardly consitutes a dodge.

    in my eyes, you have avoided providing an alternative 'indicator' or assessment of military strength.
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    (Original post by vienna95)
    CB - "I am sick and tired of Americans calling the EU wimps"

    based on the context of the thread, the natural context of the word 'wimp', and the remaining substance of that post, i took this comment to mean a refutation of the military weakness of the EU nations, in comparison with that of the US. as such, i pointed out some basic examples of where the EU desperately falls short of the US.....
    There in lies your flaw. Surely it is how one uses ones military resouces that defines this concept, not how many of those resources one possesses? You suggest that, because these nations do not have the same level of spending on the military as the US they are unable to make any impact in military situations - if that is so, why would the US want to seek these countries military support in these situations? Most of the western European countries have a troop presence outside their nation - these are not the actions of 'wimps'. The EU member states see fit to not invest as much as the US into their respective militaries, but that does not mean the investment they do make is negligible.

    V - "perhaps you would like to compare the military contributions to peacekeeping efforts around the globe aswell as international bodies such as NATO, then have a look at Eurozone defence spending"

    CB - "The US spends more on defence than the EU, tell me something I don't know."

    you agree, and dont seem to take issue with the context in which had now placed the term, 'wimp', mainly, a weaker military power.
    No, 'wimp' is a weak military power, not a weaker military power.

    V - "That the Europeans are 'wimps' in comparison?"
    CB - "Depends if the definition of wimps is nations that spend less than the US on their military budget or not doesn't it?"
    V - "i would define the strength of ones military spending as broadly determing the strength of ones military capabilities, yes"

    i assert and then clarify my understanding of military weakness, consistent with my first comment to your post.
    You seem to be insistant that the europeans are weak military powers, were is the evidence for this? Just because they do not have the military resources of the US does not mean they are weak.

    where is the dodge? if you are unhappy with my qualification, say so, but it hardly consitutes a dodge.
    The dodge is that you did not answer me when I asked for clarification of your definition of 'wimp' in this context, you now have done, and it is a definition which states that all nations apart from the US are wimps, because all nations on this planet spend less on their militaries than the US - can you not see a flaw in this definition?

    in my eyes, you have avoided providing an alternative 'indicator' or assessment of military strength.
    That's because I do not wish to provide an alternative inidicator of military strength, I believe that a nations power does not solely reside in its military - the US is proof of this fact.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    There in lies your flaw. Surely it is how one uses ones military resouces that defines this concept, not how many of those resources one possesses?
    ownership of the resources precedes the use of them. which concept? and which flaw?

    You suggest that, because these nations do not have the same level of spending on the military as the US they are unable to make any impact in military situations
    there was never any suggestion of that. i suggested the EU commits comparably less and has a comparably weaker military commitment.

    - if that is so, why would the US want to seek these countries military support in these situations?
    political safeguards both internationally and domestically. can you then explain how you arrived at this conclusion? "US unilateralism causes in-fighting in the west"

    Most of the western European countries have a troop presence outside their nation - these are not the actions of 'wimps'.
    i dont see how you can make such a qualification.

    The EU member states see fit to not invest as much as the US into their respective militaries, but that does not mean the investment they do make is negligible.
    i never suggested that. the investment is disproportionate and not representative of the economic and/or political power the EU presents or poses as having.

    No, 'wimp' is a weak military power, not a weaker military power.
    how can you effectively define weak, void of any comparison or reference? based on the economic and political status of the EU, its military power is comparably weak, and certainly weaker than that of the US.

    You seem to be insistant that the europeans are weak military powers, were is the evidence for this?
    No. I am insistant that the Europeans are weaker in a military sense, and vastly under-commit to international operations where their political presence is of greater weight.

    Just because they do not have the military resources of the US does not mean they are weak.
    It has taken you three posts to object to that. Nevertheless, I never made that assertion.

    The dodge is that you did not answer me when I asked for clarification of your definition of 'wimp' in this context,
    I provided you with an answer that made clear my link between military spending and commitment with military power. As for 'wimp', I had made clear that this was on a comparable basis with US commitments, where the EU is certainly weaker and some might say, 'wimpish'.

    you now have done, and it is a definition which states that all nations apart from the US are wimps, because all nations on this planet spend less on their militaries than the US - can you not see a flaw in this definition?
    one that I did not make.
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    (Original post by vienna95)
    why?
    Why should we have a close look at art. 23 of the treaty on European Union (TEU)? Because, in a somehow convoluted way, it makes sure that, in the field of Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), no EU Member State (MS) will be forced into accepting a decision it opposes. In other words, below the surface, the principle of unanimity is preserved.

    The derogations to the principle of unanimity described in article 23, par 2, first indent, are not effective if a Member State opposes their implementation for a specific decision. There is then the need, in the Council of the EU, of a qualified majority simply for raising the subject in the European Council, where a final decision is then taken by unanimity (art 23, par 2, second indent).

    We are therefore, in the classical area of intergovernmental cooperation. Why this whole convoluted procedure? because , if a single MS or a couple of "unimportant" MS are the only ones opposed to a decision, political pressure on them will build up during the procedure, and compromises will be worked out. But if a MS is determinedly opposed "for important and stated reasons of national policy", it can effectively block the whole decision-making procedure

    (Original post by vienna95)
    there is no debate, just a lot of people disagreeing with each other
    a good description of most debates in the EU

    (Original post by vienna95)
    majority voting is a readible and credible tool for deciding common foreign policy. i asserted only recently that this was a devitiation from the standard procedure of vote by unanimity.
    I hope I succeeded in explaining why CFSP is ultimately still under unanimity. Yes, there is a slow, slow realization that there has to be a move towards majority voting if the EU has to act effectively in this area; but the draft Constitution does not innovate with regard to the present situation.

    Furthermore, military and defence decisions are explicitly excluded from the special procedure described above
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    (Original post by giordano)
    The derogations to the principle of unanimity described in article 23, par 2, first indent, are not effective if a Member State opposes their implementation for a specific decision.
    specific decision or reason? and the credibility of such a decision/reason is determined by who?

    But if a MS is determinedly opposed "for important and stated reasons of national policy",
    again, who defines "important reasons", the council?

    it can effectively block the whole decision-making procedure
    which is essentially the crux of the matter. since it either renders the process inefficient or obstructive, or places more pressure on the MS to concede issues of sovereignity to the council, with a dramatically alteration in the political nature of the EU.


    a good description of most debates in the EU


    I hope I succeeded in explaining why CFSP is ultimately still under unanimity. Yes, there is a slow, slow realization that there has to be a move towards majority voting if the EU has to act effectively in this area; but the draft Constitution does not innovate with regard to the present situation.
    I was aware of this situation, as I have and had read the article you cited. I wished to point out that there are and will be exceptions to the 'rule' of unanimity, as the EU attempts to obtain or submerge national executive under the unaccountable weight of a supra-national political leviathan.

    Furthermore, military and defence decisions are explicitly excluded from the special procedure described above
    "decisions having military or defence implications". a little ambiguous since very many 'common positions' and 'joint actions' will evidently have implications on the defence or military of a MS, for example, the CSFP now includes reference to "joint disarmament operations and contributions to the fight against terrorism" extending the scope beyond that of merely peace-keeping etc. perhaps you can clear that up for me?
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    (Original post by vienna95)
    specific decision or reason? and the credibility of such a decision/reason is determined by who?
    what I meant is , the derogations to the principle of unanimity are not effective if a Member State opposes their implementation with regard to a proposed decision


    (Original post by vienna95)
    again, who defines "important reasons", the council?
    the logic of this provision is to allow a Member State to block decision-making, for important national reasons . It would be ridiculous for any other MS to affirm that the blocking MS does not know what its own important national interests are. Stranger things have happened, but this seems rather far-fetched.

    (Original post by vienna95)
    which is essentially the crux of the matter. since it either renders the process inefficient or obstructive, or places more pressure on the MS to concede issues of sovereignity to the council, with a dramatically alteration in the political nature of the EU.
    There would be a strong political pressure on the reluctant MS to fall in line, and make joint actions possible; nothing would change from a purely legal/institutional point of view. No joint action could ever modify the Treaties.

    (Original post by vienna95)
    I wished to point out that there are and will be exceptions to the 'rule' of unanimity, as the EU attempts to obtain or submerge national executive under the unaccountable weight of a supra-national political leviathan
    Leviathanism is in the eye of the beholder. Unaccountable? all MS governments are accountable to their National Parliaments and electorates. The European Parliament has some competences, which in my view should be reinforced, so as to allow for better monitoring of the executives


    "decisions having military or defence implications". a little ambiguous since very many 'common positions' and 'joint actions' will evidently have implications on the defence or military of a MS, for example, the CSFP now includes reference to "joint disarmament operations and contributions to the fight against terrorism" extending the scope beyond that of merely peace-keeping etc. perhaps you can clear that up for me?
    This is another escape clause for reluctant Member States, but if there had ever to be a controversy on this point, I suppose that the European Court of Justice would have to rule on the validity of invoking this blanket "defence exception".

    It's highly unlikely that this will ever occur: politicians hate to have judges telling them what to do.
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    (Original post by giordano)
    the logic of this provision is to allow a Member State to block decision-making, for important national reasons. It would be ridiculous for any other MS to affirm that the blocking MS does not know what its own important national interests are. Stranger things have happened, but this seems rather far-fetched.
    so essentially the veto exists at the disgression of the MS who is free to determine its own 'important national reasons'. there is then no need for such a qualifier, unless, as i suspect, the remaining MS feel they may call exception to the reasons provided.

    Unaccountable? all MS governments are accountable to their National Parliaments and electorates. The European Parliament has some competences, which in my view should be reinforced, so as to allow for better monitoring of the executives
    Decisions taken by the EU Parliament and/or Council either by majority or unanimity are accountable to no-one, and cannot be considered as such by virtue of indirect member electorates.

    This is another escape clause for reluctant Member States, but if there had ever to be a controversy on this point, I suppose that the European Court of Justice would have to rule on the validity of invoking this blanket "defence exception".
    which is a concern. who is the European Court of Justice accountable to?

    It's highly unlikely that this will ever occur: politicians hate to have judges telling them what to do.
    so again, deadlock appears to be the inevitable option.
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    (Original post by vienna95)
    Decisions taken by the EU Parliament and/or Council either by majority or unanimity are accountable to no-one, and cannot be considered as such by virtue of indirect member electorates.
    The European Parliament is, of course, directly elected. The Council is composed by national Governments, who rely on majorities in their respective national Parliaments. What's so undemocratic about that? What European institutions lack, is legitimacy in people's minds, also because the European institutional structure is quite complicated. But legitimacy comes with time. Our national States took centuries to establish it.


    which is a concern. who is the European Court of Justice accountable to?
    Judges are, and should, be independent from political power during their period of tenure (5 years for the Court of Justice). Their mandate, however, is renewable (so, in that sense, they do depend somehow from their national Government, who designates them for appointment )


    so again, deadlock appears to be the inevitable option.
    or political compromise
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    (Original post by giordano)
    The Council is composed by national Governments, who rely on majorities in their respective national Parliaments. What's so undemocratic about that? What European institutions lack, is legitimacy in people's minds, also because the European institutional structure is quite complicated. But legitimacy comes with time. Our national States took centuries to establish it.
    I think that is what many people simply dont want, the legitimacy of a national superstate with not even indirect democratic accountability.

    or political compromise
    which obviously favours some nations before others.
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    OK, seems we have somehow whittled down issues

    (Original post by vienna95)
    I think that is what many people simply dont want, the legitimacy of a national superstate with not even indirect democratic accountability.
    Why "not even indirect democratic accountability?" by the way, several democratic countries have one indirectly elected chamber in the context of a two-chamber system (eg the German Bundesrat).
    A national superstate? rather a supranational State


    which obviously favours some nations before others.
    yes, some Member States are rather more equal than other
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    (Original post by giordano)
    Why "not even indirect democratic accountability?" by the way,
    national governments are indirect democracies. it would certainly be inconsistent to suggest that same level of democracy exists between the British electorate and the European Council.

    A national superstate? rather a supranational State
    yes, my mistake.
 
 
 
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