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Home arrow newsitems arrow EuroCorps' New Chief to EF: European Army Report on Afghanistan possible +Space/Missions/Enlargement

EuroCorps' New Chief to EF: European Army Report on Afghanistan possible +Space/Missions/Enlargement

Written by ACM
Thursday, 02 September 2021

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*Strasbourg/Pourtales Castle/Angelo Marcopolo/- "EuroCorps" New Chief (2021-2023), Lieutenant-General Peter Devogelaere, from Belgium, Replying to 2 "Eurofora"s Questions at the Press Conference concluding a Top-Level Ceremony for "Change of Command", at the superb Castle of Pourtales in Strasbourg's outskirts near Robertsau's Forest, announced, in substance, that the Multi-National Army Headquarters and Brigade corps was Ready to Contribute, if it was asked to do so, from  a European point of view, to the Current Reflexions (including by NATO) about what should have been done in order to prevent the recent Afghanistan Failure of a Controversial Global move, after 20 Years of USA-led Military Intervention, (notoriously Resulting in Taliban's power take-over, a Deadly ISIS Bombing killing more than 100 People at Kaboul' Airport, including 13 American Soldiers, added Even to the recuperation of a Lot of US Weapons, from Helicopters up to Dangerous anti-Aerian "ManPads", many Thousands of Asylum Seekers, etc, and a Country pushed at the limits of Economic and Humanitarian Catastrophe, as even UNO Warns)...

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    - "At a Time When the Global Order is frequently being Called into Question, and when Competition in International relations is becoming Increasingly Tough, sometimes giving way to Contestation and even Confrontation, the Presence, on This Morning (2/9/2021), of the Highest Military Authorities of (EuroCorp's 5) Framework Nations, and (6) Associated Nations, Demonstrates Europe's shared Ambition to Commit to its Collective Defense, and to Play a Full Part in International Security", stressed from the outset, in his Official Speech, the Head of Ceremony, French Army's Chief, General Thierry Burkhard. Calling EuroCorps "the European apid Reaction Force", as well as "a MultiNational Unit, Backed by European Nations", he stoped short, however, from Revealing Today what relevant Plans might have, in this matter, the Forthcoming 2022 French Presidency of the EU, (Just After the Dust Settles at the Current 2021 German Elections)...

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    - "Concerning Afghanistan, as NATO just announced that it currently prepares a Study on what really happened and what should have been done, wouldn't it be a good idea Also for EuroCorps to use its valuable Experience on the spot, in order to prepare a Report from a European point of View ?", "Eurofora" asked the New Commander, General Vogelaere, during the ensuing Press Conference.    

    (Indeed, "EuroCorps" has been Twice Involved in Afghanistan, on 2004-2005 and 2012-2013, including as the Head of the International Force's Chief of Staff, and Devogelaere personaly participated there several times. On this occasion, a French former Commander had already spotted f.ex. the particular issue of Women and Young Girls' Human Rights under a Taliban regime, as being of a potential key importance for the Future. [Comp. many Replies by EuroCorps' Heads a.o. to "Eurofora"'s Questions on Afghanistan, f.ex. at http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsinafganistan.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/lisbonrightsdefence.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchdefenceministerlonguetoneupolicy.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/sarkomerkeldealswithobama2009.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/natobama.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsafghaistanlibya.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsroleafterafghanistan.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpscommandersoneuautonomytools.html, etc]. Meanwhile, current President Biden's clumsy management of Afghanistan issue, with Talibans taking over very Rapidly, ISIS Killing more tha 100 People, including 13 American POWS, etc; made him Fall Down to 44% against 51% for former POTUS Trump at the Polls, shortly before Crucial forthcoming Mid-Term Elections, later this Autumn 2021).

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    - "This Army Headquarters, that we dispose, is there for European Union's benefit", stressed , as a matter of General Principle, EuroCorps' New Chief, from the outset of his Reply to the above-mentiond "Eurofora"s Question). "Sometimes, there are elements of Studies, or of support, on certain aspects".

    => "And we ("EuroCorps") are Ready to Work Together, and give our Appreciations and thoughts on certain key points. So, that's Possible, i.e. to Give our Opinion, as an Army Headquarters", he Positively ensured, on the occasion of Afghanistan).

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    +"EuroFora" went on to point out that, "Recently, your collegues in the USA created a Space Force, which became very Popular. Concerning Europe, could f.ex. EuroCorps, at least, include the use of Space Technologies in your Training ?", we Asked.

    (Indeed, US Polls revealed that Space Force, created by former POTUS Donald Trump, was one among the Most Favored Issues by the American People on 2020)...

    -"It's not our vocation", at least until now. "We are mainly a Land-setting Army Headquaters, and we are not yet involved in such kind of developments". So,  "for the time being, in Europe, it's, particularly, at the level of several Member States that the First concrete Initiatives in that direction already exist". he modestly but prospectively highlighted.         

    + "But, don't you use, at least, Galileo (Space Geo-Localisation) and several other Space Technologies already in your current work ?", "Eurofora" wondered.       

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    - Indeed, "we are dealing, f.ex., with AirBorn Integration, which is absolutely normal, (in addition to Sea Naval operations), etc. But Not Yet on the Space area as such", EuroCorps New Leader, carefuly added, (apparently open to eventual developments in the foreseable Future)...

    ("EuroCorps"' wider Mission to Become, sooner or later, a "Pluri-Modal" Force, able to use Land, Air, Sea, and -why not ? also Space- Links and relevant Technologies, had been Strongly Underlined during an Earlier Top-Level Event in Strasbourg, including Defense Ministers. [See, f.ex. at ..., etc]. And Recently, "EuroCorps" was Trained on the "Renewal" of its "Command, Control and Information System", as General Burkhard observed Today. But, according to what had Told us anOther Experienced former Army General, working as EADS' Top Expert, the Most Important "3C" Lacuna in Europe's necessary Capabilities that would allow it to have a full "Autonomous" Defense, was the Lack of an "Early Warning System", based on Earth Observation from Space, able to give Timely and Clear Alerts Warning about Risks of Attacks from Nearby Geo-Localized Hostile Forces, [f.ex. by Analysing Photos revealing the Chemical Reactions of Rockets Launching, etc]).  

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    However, in parallel, anOther, Earth to Earth, Important Developement, recently, seems to be "EuroCorps" New Trend towards an Enhanced Attractivity :

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    Indeed, Both the currently Outgoing and Incoming "EuroCorps"' Chiefs, Lieutenant Generals Colodjiej (France) and Devogelaere (Belgium) had a Valuable Experience in  working together with Other European Countries : (Colodjiej at London, UK, assuming later also the role of International Relations' Head in the French Army, while Devogelaere studied and worked extensively in Germany, including at the prestigious "Führungs-Akademie", etc), while they also served in "HotSpots" as Lebanon, Mali, and Others accross the World.

    => This coincides, Nowadays, with the expected Enlargement of "EuroCorps"' fully_fledged core "Framework Nations", (France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg), also to Poland, that Gneral Devogelaere Expects to be Realized "towards the Beginning of Next Year : 2022", since "Both the Polish themselves and all Other Nations very much Wish to do so", as he stressed at Today's Press Conference).

    But it's also Austria, which has Just recently Joined the Group of "EuroCorps"' simply "Associated Nations", (currently : Italy, Romania, Greece, Poland and Turkey), represented by a "Liaison Officer" in Strasbourg, as the Organisations' Head Press Officer, Marie-Luise Skura, reminded "Eurofora" Today.

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    All this, Obviously, "Strengthens <<EuroCorps'>> European and International Basis", as the Chief of the "Change of Command" Ceremony, French Army's Head, General Burkhard, stressed Today : An almost Necessary move of GeoPolitical Adjustmment, since a Realy "European" Force could Not leave Out an EU's  Central Core Nation as Ausstria, while Keeping Turkey, which naturaly concerns "EuroCorps" 2nd role, Also as an efficient NATO tool in certain cirumstances : Indeed, after having recently been Certified and Served as a NATO's Rapid Reaction Force on 2020 (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsandnatoonlibya.html, etc), "EuroCorps" is Also due to Become, on 2024, even a "NATO's Joint Task Force HQ", as General Burkhard observed, (a move that Devogelaere said to have been "Well Prepared" by his Predecessors).

    Before that, "EuroCorps" will finalize its current "European Training Missions" in Mali and Central Africa, with the participation of General Devogelaere himself on the spot, as he announced at Today's Press Conference.

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    +Meanwhile, the departing former EuroCorps' Chief, General Laurent Colodjiej (2019-2021), speaking at the same Press Conference, observed that he was Glad to have Led such a "Unique" Army HeadQuarters as "EuroCorps", particularly Based in Strasbourg, at the Heart of Europe, with a Franco-German Culture and inspiring "European Citizenship".

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    General Colodjiej, who was promoted Today as "Commander of the Legion of Hounour", by decision of French President Macron, in a moving Ceremony here, on the occasion of his Retirement from the Army in general, had, apparently, eyed quite well a quite astonishing phenomenon : Indeed, Both a Young French Lady, Graduate of Strasbourg University, and a Sportif Middle-Age German former School-Teacher, who Kindly Helped "Eurofora", as "EuroCorps"' Press Officers, in various practical ways, during and after the Official Ceremony, were, in fact, "Reservists", as they told us : I.e. EU Citizens accepting to Offer their Various Acquired Capabilities to the service of European Defense... Our German interlocutor even told us that he could do so up to 10 Months per Year, and had followed "EuroCorps" during a so Long Period of Time as ..."since 1993", i.e., by a Striking Coincidence, as Long as "Eurofora"'s co-Founder himself !...

    A Previous Top-Level Conference in Strasbourg had, already, throroughly Analyzed and Theorized the Recent Development of such a Strategy,, resolutely Aiming to regularly Attract various Qualified, Experienced, and Motivated People, to such a Voluntary Service to National and/or European Defense. => European Citizens, are they a precious "New Weapon", due to considerably Strengthen the Defense of Europe in the foreseable Future ?

 

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(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  


    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
---------------------
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...
---------------------------------------

- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".


- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...


    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

- "If Europe doesn't take its part for Peace in the Middle-East, nobody else will do that in our place", Sarkozy stressed.
-----------------------
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

    - On Climat-Energy, the 2007 German EU Presidency had fixed a triple 20% aim for 2020 (20% renewable Energies, 20% reduction of CO2 emmission, 20% energy efficience/economies), and the 2008 French EU Presidecny realized that, making the necessary compromises in order to modernize EU's industry, but without throwing some former Central-Eastern European Countries into abrupt Economic break down risking "social explosion".

    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.

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