Obama calls for greater European unity


#1

bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-36132526

**Obama calls for greater European unity

US President Barack Obama has called for greater European unity, describing it as a “necessity” for the world.

Speaking in Germany, he accused Europe of complacency over its own defence and called on Nato allies to spend more on international security.

Mr Obama also appealed to the EU to rise above current divisions which, he said, were weakening the continent**.

A migrant crisis and a UK referendum on EU membership in June have raised questions about Europe’s unity.

Mr Obama called on EU states to share the burden of mass migration and see off those he accused of “exploiting people’s fears”.

Speaking in Hannover, Mr Obama said he was to send up to 250 more special forces troops to Syria to support local militias in the fight against so-called Islamic State (IS).
The new deployment will bring to 300 the number of US special forces soldiers in Syria.

**He said that in the face of shared security threats, a “strong united” Europe remained a “necessity for all of us”.

“It’s a necessity for the United States because Europe’s security and prosperity is inherently indivisible from our own,” he said.

“A strong united Europe is a necessity for the world because an integrated Europe remains vital to our international order.”**

He said that every Nato member should be contributing “its full share - 2% of GDP - towards our common security - something that doesn’t always happen”.

He added: “I’ll be honest, sometimes Europe has been complacent about its own defence.”

**Mr Obama described the EU as one of the biggest achievements in modern history.

“More then 500 million people, speaking 24 languages in 28 countries, 19 with a common currency in one European Union, remains one of the greatest political and economic achievements of modern times,” he said.

Mr Obama was speaking ahead of key talks in Hannover with the leaders of the UK, Germany, France and Italy.** Syria and other foreign policy issues were believed to have topped the agenda.

At the weekend, Mr Obama told the BBC the UK would have less influence if it voted to leave the EU in the June referendum.

He also said the UK could take up to 10 years to negotiate trade deals with the US if it left the EU.

His warnings have angered UK campaigners who want to leave the EU.


#2

I liked the speech, particularly his eulogy of EU history.


#3

Surprised he requires airforce one,book air hyperbole.Don’t tell us what to vote for and we won’t tell you which prospective president would be the least embarassing


#4

What a hoot! He’s adopting Trump’s critique of Europe not bearing its fair share of its own defense.

Oh, and he’s sending more “boots on the ground” in Syria where we have no right to be, after being so adamant about leaving Iraq, where we had every right to be.


#5

That’s true, although Trump seemed too go too far by questioning NATOs existence, which Obama thankfully hasn’t done.


#6

I’ve never been mistaken for being a fan of President Obama, but I to like the speech.

As an overburdened American with the seemingly endless mission of policing the world, wasting precious lives and treasure, it would be nice to see Europe help a bit more in this mission. These days, Europe can barely field a battalion or two for overseas missions without being completely strung out and weakened from the effort. In todays world, this is unacceptable. America is not a bottomless pit of money and we would like to have nice highways and infrastructure like Europe has, but we seem to have no money to invest in our own future.

I do not however agree with the following -

**

Mr Obama described the EU as one of the biggest achievements in modern history.

“More then 500 million people, speaking 24 languages in 28 countries, 19 with a common currency in one European Union, remains one of the greatest political and economic achievements of modern times,” he said.

**

I believe the EU will go into the dustbin of history as an abject failure soon. At least I hope it does before they try it here in North America and elsewhere. I like my liberty and my sovereignty…


#7

Your forgetting that the U.S. is already itself a continental sized country - a huge continent spanning union :smiley:

Pot calling the kettle black???


#8

Exactly, the U.S. Is a European size union of states, each with their own identity, which sacrifice a degree of sovereignty to be part of a greater Union for the common good.


#9

:thumbsup:


#10

Obama wants a liberal Europe to be united against a conservative Russia.


#11

For some crazy reason, whenever I bash the EU to Europeans, they frequently respond with “You Yanks are afraid of us surpassing you economically”, to which I answer “Doesn’t national sovereignty mean anything to you” ?


#12

Foolish if he thinks that. There’s no real difference between one aristocracy and another than the resources that support them.


#13

I’m not sure each has all that distinct an identity. There are how many identities in reality? Northeast seaboard, deep south, upper south, southwest, upper Midwest, northern plains, west coast. That’s six, by my count.


#14

He’s done so much for American unity…


#15

those were my exact same thoughts.!


#16

The U.S. doesn’t trust any of the NATO countries. You can see that during some of the multi-nation military exercises. Most have no access to any classified materials, briefing, or computers. They always have to sit at one corner with no view to the command and control area. Sometimes, i feel sorry for them. But in a way, their live is good. Chillaxing the whole time while we are busting our butt off for 2/3 weeks. America is always there for them.

The Brits, on the other hand, are more welcomed. They can have access to many areas of our military operations including Intel and spec ops.

BAE is deeply involved in many top secret programs of the U.S. government.


#17

Obama is drawing down America’s military strength significantly. There is no good reason to think he truly believes in a strong Europe.


#18

bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35930130#

**US to increase military presence in eastern Europe

30 March 2016**

The US is boosting its troop presence in eastern Europe in response to an “aggressive Russia”, the military says.

An extra armoured brigade is being deployed, meaning a total of three will be there on a continuous basis.

The BBC’s diplomatic correspondent says it is the most significant US reinforcement of Nato since tensions flared over Russian action in Ukraine.

Last month the Pentagon announced plans to quadruple its budget for European defence in 2017.

Doesn’t sound like it.

I admit he had done so before the Ukraine crisis (focusing on the Asia Pivot and pulling out of the Middle East) but there seems to have been a significant change in direction.

Hillary is hardly likely to “scale down” military wise if she wins :wink:


#19

The differences between the British economies and those of the rest of the European economic community are negligible enough that little will change for the British either way.
Britain will remain with a social democratic economy in all cases, not a lot different than either Sweden or France or Germany or what Sanders and a large contingent of American Democrats aspire to.

The system works well enough for supply welfare to the indigenous and the burgeoning refugee classes. What would really change is if unity also involved military spending sufficient to make Europe a military power independent of America.

There would be a real trade off involved in making Europe unified in that way.


#20

Texans seem to have quite a distinctive identity, rooted partly in their having been an independent republic for a short period (was that following the Alamo and Revolution? My historical knowledge is a bit faint on that front :slight_smile: ).

The same seems to apply to Vermont, also an independent republic for a short period, much less religious than the rest of the US and apparently more liberal than the average.

Then you have the broader Southern/Northern divide, of course.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.