neverfail wrote: ↑
Sun May 19, 2019 2:38 am
There are a lot of Europeans who are (believe it or not) more concerned about Germany becoming militarily more powerful again than they are about Russian expansionism.
France for instance was done over by their Teutonic neighbor three times in the course of a century. While France long ago made peace with Russia (while it was still the USSR) it keeps a stockpile of nuclear bombs along with intermediate range missiles to deliver them just in case the barbarians to their northeast get frisky once again.
Most nations in Europe that were occupied by Nazi Germany (recalling what an insufferably overbearing bunch Germans can be when they have the upper hand) would support the French position.
cassowary wrote: ↑
Sun May 19, 2019 3:16 am
I may be wrong. But I don't think Europeans are worried about the Germans anymore. That was a long time ago when the Germans behaved as badly as Russians do today. But why don't we ask a Frenchman?
Alex, where are you?
Hi everybody... it's agreeable to be asked for, thanks
I think it's generally advisable to worry about present, then potential near-term, then potential long-term threats - not yesteryear threats.
First, a little correction to the History record Neverfail
We did have three wars against Germany in the course of a single lifetime, however we were not "done over" three times. France won WWI, doing more than any other nation to defeat Germany, though we did have two major allies in victory that is the UK and Italy, and a lot of less important ones including the US.
That being said, this is all passé
Germany is now one of the most pacific countries on Earth, possibly the very most. The risk that they would all of a sudden aim at military agression again is about the same as the risk of a zombi invasion. In the (very) long term, of course nothing can be excluded. But you focus first on present, then on near-term potential threats.
For countries in Western Europe, both present and near-term potential threats to national survival are as low as one could dream. Obviously Jihadist activity is a very actual threat, but it's a small one: neither bombs nor suicide fighters can endanger the existence of even the smaller European nation. For a country like France, the solution is to maintain a limited but effective all-aspect global nuclear deterrence force - which is additionally rather cheap - this to provide a hedge against return of war being major powers. When they can no longer depend on the US, such countries as Germany and Italy might choose to build national nuclear deterrents, or to go the pacifist "we don't need any guarantee" way, or to find some way to mutualize the effect of the French force.
Some Central European countries have a different view, notably Balts and Poles: they see Russia as a potential near-term threat. Their solution is to depend on the US to provide guarantee, and they don't trust Western Europeans to be an alternative. When they can no longer depend on the US, they might choose a variation of the "Finland" solution that is combination of a foreign policy very friendly towards Russia plus a very serious military (relative to their size) based on universal military service - both tending to disincentivize any potential Russian agression.