Germany is making preparations towards the development of a European Army, which has been growing up silently within NATO, but would be without Trans-Atlantic leadership or operational command from the U.S. The European Union is carrying out a major naval exercise in the Baltic Sea, where Germany is leading the action. The pretext used for the exercises would be to prepare for the containment of Russia.
To this end, the European Union would be raising the capacity of its navies and who has been standing out in the leadership between European countries is Germany. According to Reuters, the Germans are leading the naval exercises on the Finnish coast with the participation of 3,600 sailors and soldiers, plus 40 ships and 30 aircraft from participating countries.
Expressing this, the captain of the Hamburg frigate, Sven Beck, stated that “The Baltic Sea is our front yard, so we and our neighbors obviously want to be able to move freely on the sea lines.”
Russia has already stated that there is no threat of any kind directed at European countries, but the problem around this situation would be the installation of US missile systems being restructured for new missile launches in the vicinity of the same region where Russia had installed its Iskander-M missile systems in 2013.
In addition, military experts believe that in a possible conflict, Russia could block the Baltic Sea by eliminating trade lines and hampering the transport of naval support from Western Europe.
In the face of the situation, the European Union has decided to carry out military exercises, where they will practice demining, as well as escort procedures for transport ships and combat simulation.
Germany has been trying to take over the naval leadership in Europe since the Crimea was annexed to Russia. And the country is managing to position itself as a leader. The fact is confirmed by the German Defense Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, in declaring that Germany must “take greater responsibility for the region.”
According to Captain Beck, “We don’t have a big navy, but in relation to the Baltic countries it is huge. So we are happy to take the responsibility,” Captain Beck echoed.
For much of the Cold War, and in the following decades, the United States took a leading role in NATO by taking responsibility for Europe’s security against Russia. However, the US president believes that Europe should learn to defend itself by opening up another path for German leadership in the region.
As FRN has been assessing these developments, the German desire to take leadership on naval matters in Europe is in line with previously stated aims to create a European Army. This would naturally flow out of existing NATO structures, minus the United States.
In previous NATO actions involving European states, the EU side of NATO operated as an integrated command, essentially as a single force.