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  1. #31
    Highly Hollow Wandering's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    How about a bunch of attack on the less developed nations?
    Hey, leave the kids alone :steam: !! No, seriously, I see your point. Such military protection is an integral part of the EU package for those less developed (or just smaller) nations. Defending them would be a matter of honor for the bigger/more developed/better armed EU countries.

    But then, who would even *bother* attacking such countries in the first place? Most likely, it would be neighbours, not countries such as the US. Don't you think?

    How about an attack on only one major nation, like the UK or Germany?
    You can have the UK (I'm only half-kidding: the UK never truly integrated within the EU, and its in-your-face affiliation with the USA and consequent opposition to France and Germany in the Iraq war affair didn't help).

    Germany would be something else entirely. First because it's one of the EU founding nations. But most importantly because it's almost literally at the geographical heart of Europe: you attack Germany, the neighbouring countries are bound to suffer collateral damage. Their survival instinct would kick in.

    Or, attacks aside, how about a declaration of war on Europe?
    I think it would depend where it came from, and what prompted it. There are issues that could cause a divide among the EU members - mostly issues related to loyalties to other causes, such as religion or nationality.

    Look, I know we all like to poke fun at our politicians, but I believe assessing the EU at that level is an under-estimation that would have grave results for any commander that made it.
    I agree, but I also think that the EU leaders are very aware of the inherent fragility of the EU itself. *Nothing* is ever a given, and a common military decision is one of the least given things of all.

    Nations with far less petty squabbles have banded together in times of need. Since World War II, the major European nations have been like bickering kids, not blood enemies.
    This might be true. But it might not be, too.

    See, I'm living in Slovenia right now. Under Tito, Yugoslavia was a unified federation of republics all rather "happily" working together. All the different nationalities and religions were banding together against the outside world (Yugoslavia was one of the main leaders of the world's non-aligned countries), and it seemed like the feuds of the past were just that, things of the past. And then Tito died. Yugoslavia survived on its inertia for a while, but then things took the appallingly nasty turn that we all know about. What happened was literally un-believable: mixed families tearing apart, mixed communities ferociously turning on each other pretty much overnight, yesterday's friends killing and raping each other. It was like the Yugoslavian era had never happened.

    Europe has learned some lessons from the wars of the 20th century. Things like: "never assume that it can't get worse", or "never assume that past issues will automatically remain in the past".

    For example: do you know that even after all France and Germany have done together to build Europe, after all the buddy-buddying and friendshipping and all that stuff, we still haven't signed any peace treaty signalling the end of WWII? Technically, France and Germany are only in a state of armistice. Yes Germany has surrendered, been occupied and torn apart and whatnot. But there has been no peace treaty between Germany and any other country (that I know of anyway). We all know better than to re-visit those old wounds, because we know we might not have what it takes to look at them without re-opening them...

    The EU has a lot of potential. On some matters it's already starting to enter into that potential. But on some others it's still gingerly dancing around potentially explosive issues, trying to get an ever-increasing number of people who don't necessarily like everybody else in the room to just sit down and have a nice and polite tea-party together for the time being.

  2. #32
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    I would debate the strength of the U.S. military. I mean how do you really measure it in comparison to the rest of the world? We don't have the most troops. China and North Korea dwarf what we have. Heck, we can't even keep what we have. We can't exactly use nuclear weapons because they would devastate the globe. Our technology is superior, but it's far from immune to cheap RPGs and is somewhat ineffective in urban warfare. About the only thing we really have is good position on other countries since we have bases just about everywhere and have a substantial navy. But that could also be seen as us stretching our forces too far. We have most of our military in Iraq, so if North Korea wanted to shove two millions troops into California, only the glorified Japanese coastguard is really there to stop them.

  3. #33
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    Hey, leave the kids alone :steam: !! No, seriously, I see your point. Such military protection is an integral part of the EU package for those less developed (or just smaller) nations. Defending them would be a matter of honor for the bigger/more developed/better armed EU countries.
    Another note is the basic nature of national defense.
    Let's say Russia is running like a scourge across the small eastern members.
    If such a thing happened, there is no reason to assume Russia would become friendly as soon as it hit central Europe.
    That would be like thinking that a tank will run over fifty people and then stop before it gets to you. It would be prudent for the Western members to intervene.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    But then, who would even *bother* attacking such countries in the first place? Most likely, it would be neighbours, not countries such as the US. Don't you think?
    Yah. Russia, if any nation. But do remember that most of this is hypothetical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    You can have the UK (I'm only half-kidding: the UK never truly integrated within the EU, and its in-your-face affiliation with the USA and consequent opposition to France and Germany in the Iraq war affair didn't help).
    Hahaha.
    I knew you were going to mention the Brits. Yeah, they have a chip on their shoulders for sure, and they are a separate island.
    They do seem like the most likely to splinter, but still...
    [/QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    Germany would be something else entirely. First because it's one of the EU founding nations. But most importantly because it's almost literally at the geographical heart of Europe: you attack Germany, the neighbouring countries are bound to suffer collateral damage. Their survival instinct would kick in.
    Indeed. I think that is very true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    I think it would depend where it came from, and what prompted it. There are issues that could cause a divide among the EU members - mostly issues related to loyalties to other causes, such as religion or nationality.
    I was thinking a declaration of war on all of the EU, by Russia or the USA mainly. As much as the UK kisses America's ass, they must have their limits.
    As for Russia; much of the European stability came as a result of defense against the USSR, so I doubt there would be much question there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    I agree, but I also think that the EU leaders are very aware of the inherent fragility of the EU itself. *Nothing* is ever a given, and a common military decision is one of the least given things of all.
    On the other hand, survival is a given.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    This might be true. But it might not be, too.

    See, I'm living in Slovenia right now. Under Tito, Yugoslavia was a unified federation of republics all rather "happily" working together. All the different nationalities and religions were banding together against the outside world (Yugoslavia was one of the main leaders of the world's non-aligned countries), and it seemed like the feuds of the past were just that, things of the past. And then Tito died. Yugoslavia survived on its inertia for a while, but then things took the appallingly nasty turn that we all know about. What happened was literally un-believable: mixed families tearing apart, mixed communities ferociously turning on each other pretty much overnight, yesterday's friends killing and raping each other. It was like the Yugoslavian era had never happened.

    Europe has learned some lessons from the wars of the 20th century. Things like: "never assume that it can't get worse", or "never assume that past issues will automatically remain in the past".
    First of all, it's because Europe has learned some of those things that they will stick together. People who fear trouble are the least likely to get into it.

    As for the Tito situation, I think it's a bit different.
    That event in Yugoslavia is one of the worst the area has ever seen, but it came after Tito. On the other hand, the EU was formed after the Great War, which is the worst thing that's happened anywhere.
    The EU already knew the bottom before it came into existence, and I think that's a major advantage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    For example: do you know that even after all France and Germany have done together to build Europe, after all the buddy-buddying and friendshipping and all that stuff, we still haven't signed any peace treaty signalling the end of WWII? Technically, France and Germany are only in a state of armistice. Yes Germany has surrendered, been occupied and torn apart and whatnot. But there has been no peace treaty between Germany and any other country (that I know of anyway). We all know better than to re-visit those old wounds, because we know we might not have what it takes to look at them without re-opening them...
    That may be more a matter of formality that practicality at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wandering View Post
    The EU has a lot of potential. On some matters it's already starting to enter into that potential. But on some others it's still gingerly dancing around potentially explosive issues, trying to get an ever-increasing number of people who don't necessarily like everybody else in the room to just sit down and have a nice and polite tea-party together for the time being.

    We'll have to see.
    I do appreciate your level of intelligence regarding this matter, though.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  4. #34
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    More interesting and unfortunate facts here- mostly from the Congressional Budget Office and a friend of mine who's in the military- we may be the most powerful, but we're overextended and therefore underfunded. Not to mention that we're more in debt to other countries now than we were in all past wars and crises combined!


    These figures are about a month and a half old, but here

    $604 billion dollars- amount of money spent from 2003 to 2007 on the Iraq War
    $415 billion in interest through 2007 on our foreign debt relating to the war in Iraq
    $2 billion dollars a year in repairing brain injuries alone

    Also, have you spoken with anyone in Iraq about the difference in quality of weapons and vehicles between the US soldiers and defense contractors? While the US military are stuck driving around in lighter armored vehicles usually, the defense contractors have MUCH better vehicles, which can withstand IED explosions much better- one of my friends was really upset because a couple of guys he'd gone through training had been blown up recently in thier Humvee and yet whenever the defense contractors would arrive anywhere they were driving vehicles which would have protected his friends to the point where they probably would have been ok. He's been told repetedly that the US can't afford to buy better vehicles or protection for US soldiers.

    So even if we are the biggest and best armed military in the world, we still are both spending ourselves into a hole that I don't look foward to paying to get out of, and we're doing an inadequate job of funding whatever we get into good thinking decision makers.
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  5. #35
    Highly Hollow Wandering's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Let's say Russia is running like a scourge across the small eastern members.
    If such a thing happened, there is no reason to assume Russia would become friendly as soon as it hit central Europe.
    Ah, Russia. Which brings us, of course, to NATO. And to the not-so-clear relationships between the various members of the EU and NATO. Complicated, complicated.

    I was thinking a declaration of war on all of the EU, by Russia or the USA mainly.
    The USA are technically limited by their participation in NATO. How do you attack the very countries you are sworn to support when they are attacked??

    Russia... Quite frankly, Russia isn't that stupid. And the EU is not its biggest military concern. NATO is. Especially now that it's literally on its doorstep. If anything, it's in Russia's interest to *encourage* the political reinforcement of the EU, independently of NATO.

    First of all, it's because Europe has learned some of those things that they will stick together. People who fear trouble are the least likely to get into it.
    *Ahem* Munich Agreement, 1938?

    As for the Tito situation, I think it's a bit different.
    That event in Yugoslavia is one of the worst the area has ever seen, but it came after Tito. On the other hand, the EU was formed after the Great War, which is the worst thing that's happened anywhere.
    The EU already knew the bottom before it came into existence, and I think that's a major advantage.
    Actually, this is exactly the kind of reasoning that I'm afraid of. Assuming that Europe can't do worse than WWII is opening the door to Europe doing just that: worse than WWII. Back in the days between WWI and WWII, the feeling was the same: nothing that happens from now on can be worse than WWI. We know where that led us. I personally think that the day we actually start to believe that WWII was the worst Europe could ever do to itself, is the day it starts preparing its next, even worse, internal war.

    That may be more a matter of formality that practicality at this point.
    If that were true, we'd use this formality as an opportunity to show the world (read: the USA) just how strong and unified the EU has become. Believe me, it goes *way* deeper than just formality.

    I do appreciate your level of intelligence regarding this matter, though.
    Huh, thanks But really, I don't know that much about any of this. It's all so incredibly complicated! From inside-country politics to global EU politics, with everything in-between, nationalistic and/or religious alliances (such as the Russia-Serbia link) or antagonisms, discrepancies between the various councils (EU, NATO, UN, and so on)... It's all a big mess, and all it could take to burst into flames may be just one crazier-than-usual leader at the head of the wrong country at the wrong time.

  6. #36
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Well, Wandering, I think it should be considered that much of this talk about the USA or Russia is based on the reaction assuming it did happen, not the plausibility of it happening.
    It's just for discussion.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  7. #37
    Senior Member "?"'s Avatar
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    I started a thread on the ENTP fourm a couple of years ago, which seems to be coming to fruition. I have wondered why this nation has not gone through a revolution. The closest thing that we had was civil unrest during the 60's. I have always thought that it will take a full blown revolution to even things out. Interestingly, if that occurs I don't think we will ever be a capatilistic country again.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by "?" View Post
    I I have wondered why this nation has not gone through a revolution.
    TV

  9. #39
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by "?" View Post
    I started a thread on the ENTP fourm a couple of years ago, which seems to be coming to fruition. I have wondered why this nation has not gone through a revolution. The closest thing that we had was civil unrest during the 60's. I have always thought that it will take a full blown revolution to even things out. Interestingly, if that occurs I don't think we will ever be a capatilistic country again.
    My guess is that people are more afraid of change and discomfort than they are of being controlled. History shows that people with put up with a lot of restrictions before revolting. It literally has to be so bad that the consequences of living in a hardscrabble rebel camp and being shot at all day are worse than tolerating the unfair laws. Basically, things have to reach a "breaking point." This is unlikely as long as people have some illusion of freedom, and a certain degree of security and comfort.

    At this point, we still have many important freedoms. But the noose has been tightening in some ways.

  10. #40
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Interesting. I've always wondered why Jews would let themselves be worked to death in concentration camps without revolting. I'm getting that whole "boiling frog syndrome" feeling about America's situation.

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