Two senior European Union officials are calling for the creation of a European rapid reaction force that could be deployed anywhere, citing the crisis in Afghanistan as an opportunity to end decades of paralysis. The EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, and the Chairman of the EU Military Committee, General Claudio Graziano, said at an informal meeting of EU defence ministers in Brdo pri Kranju,Slovenia (german Egg near Krainburg) that the EU should start building a 5,000-strong rapid reaction force to respond to conflicts beyond its borders. This would also reduce “dependence” on the United States.
– The chaotic withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan is likely to act as a catalyst for the development of a common European Union (EU) defence, which should include a permanent rapid reaction force
– Josep Borrell told reporters in Brdo pri Kranju after his arrival. EU defence and foreign ministers will also discuss this at their informal meeting in Slovenia on Thursday and Friday.
– Sometimes there are events that act as a catalyst for historical processes and lead to breakthroughs. I believe that Afghanistan is one of them.
– Borrell explained before the start of the meeting.
Borrell said the EU battlegroups created in 2007 but never deployed should be replaced by a force of 5,000 men. “We need to find a more combative solution,” he stressed. “It is clearer than ever that we need a bigger and stronger European defence,” he said. He said he hoped the initiative would enter the planning phase as early as October or November.
– The situation in Afghanistan, the Middle East and the Sahel shows that the time has come to act and that we need to start building a European military force that has a rapid response capability and signals the EU’s determination to act as a global strategic partner.
– said General Claudio Graziano.
On Monday, the 20-year war in Afghanistan, the longest war in U.S. history, ended. US President Joe Biden announced in mid-April that US troops would withdraw from Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attack in New York, but later changed that date to August 31. The Taliban launched a major offensive against Afghan government forces in May, taking advantage of the withdrawal of international troops from the country. The radicals took control of more and more areas, ousted the government troops, who offered little resistance, and finally entered Kabul without a fight on August 15. Critics say Washington’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was ineffective, a view shared in opinion polls by a large majority of Americans.
Source: Magyar Nemzet