Written by: Dr. Munther Suleiman and Jaafar al-Jaafari
The positions of some Western European countries contrasted with the US’s priorities in the European continent, seeking to consecrate its sovereign right, albeit in a limited way, unlike London, which came out of the mantle of the “European Union” with direct support and support from Washington, in a complete integration of their joint efforts and a continuation of the colonial tasks of extending control. And expand their areas of influence.
This was translated at the beginning of this year by a US-British military announcement on January 19, 2021, of the launch of “joint combat exercises” with the deployment of the “Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier group”, which includes the latest American “F-35B” fighters, in Later in the spring, they are escorted by the USS “The Sullivans – DJ-68”, armed with Aegis-class guided missiles, and stationed in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
The US statement issued in this regard briefly clarified the unique goal of joint cooperation “in order to prepare for operations at the global level, to be carried out based on the special relationship that binds the United States to the United Kingdom,” according to the American representative of the United Kingdom Strike Group, Simon Doran, “to advance American national interests. Security and stability in Europe and Africa. “
Doran warned the opponents that “they must be concerned about the combat capabilities of the” The Sullivans “joint strike force, in which a group of countries, along with America and Britain, participate, including Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal.
The “Queen Elizabeth Group” left its home base in early May, in the mission of an “international navy called Group 21”, the largest in over four decades, and since Britain’s occupation of the Falkland Islands (Argentine Malvinas, an archipelago group of about 200 Island) in 1982. Other warships will join the group during their war games missions, most notably from India, France, Australia, the United States, Japan and South Korea.
After completing the NATO war games, the new “strike force” will proceed to carry out similar missions in the Mediterranean, with the participation of the French nuclear aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle”, and then one of its groups will head towards the Black Sea, and the rest will proceed to cross the Suez Canal and dock at the British naval base In Amman. The last and primary destination is the South China Sea to complete the military exercises, with the participation of the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, North Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.
The “new” British trends came as the culmination of Britain’s plan to “review its strategy”, which placed Russia at the top of the “big threats” and China as an international competitor, which entailed unprecedented investments in the volume of military spending, amounting to 221 billion pounds for a period of 4 years, That is equivalent to 2.2% of the gross domestic product, in the context of London’s efforts to “find a new place for itself on the international stage,” and in light of the deterioration of its relations with Russia and China.
In the same context, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson affirmed his country’s readiness to “send military forces to Yemen”, before the British House of Commons on March 24, 2021, preceded by a statement by former British Chief of Staff David Richards that there was “pressure to deploy forces in the region.”
Military missions in the “Middle East” region are entrusted to European countries, in the context of the United States reducing the spread of its forces in the region and focusing on confronting China and Russia. This is the result of a statement by a “high-ranking European Union official” promising to establish a “military rapid intervention force”, consisting of a battalion of about 5,000 personnel, backed by warships and warplanes, in which 14 countries participate, namely France, Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic and Ireland. And Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Slovenia and Luxembourg.
It is worth noting that the idea of ”incorporation” was circulated in Europe in the years 1999 and 2007, but it did not receive a serious translation at the time. As for what distinguishes it now, it is the strong support for it from France and Germany, under the guise of abandoning NATO pressure and replacing it to achieve European goals in the first degree, after it had faltered during the term of former President Donald Trump (German “Deutsche Welle” network, March 12, 2019. ).
The official added that what Europe would like to do is “to be able to rapidly deploy this intervention force, in case there is a legitimate government in a country that fears the influence and control of a terrorist group over it. This force will be able to manage external crises and spread quickly.” A European military force “equipped in combat and logistical” to deploy outside the borders of the European Union countries, in the regions of the Arab Gulf, the “Middle East” and the eastern coast of Africa, to be linked in one way or another to the leadership of the “NATO” alliance, given the membership of a large number of participating countries. NATO Deputy Secretary General Mercia Geoana confirmed it, saying that there is “importance for cooperation between the European Union and NATO on the issue of readiness for military action and collective policing” (Seminar at the European Council, May 6, 2021).
The translation of the European military initiative is marred by many doubts at the present time, as it appears that the European Union politicians have divergent orientations through the inconsistency of their financing contributions, which brings attention back to the reality of the American policy in urging Britain to leave the European Union, Brexit, and its readiness to play a complementary role. To take control of colonial rule and restore its previous dream, described by its Prime Minister, Johnson, of seeking to “become the largest naval power in Europe”
One can get to the truth declared and implicit in the American and British positions through the visit of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to the meeting of the seven countries at the level of foreign ministers, in addition to India, this month in London, and the confirmation of his British counterpart Dominic Raab that the two countries “are firmly opposed to Russia” in Ukraine, and agree on the need “to fulfill its international obligations, through the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.”
The subordination of British policy to the United States is a controversial relationship between two parties who complement each other in the tasks of controlling major resources around the world, reinforced by the empire’s ancient dream of reviving its ancient glory. Following the heated debate in Washington over the withdrawal of its “combat” forces from Afghanistan, Britain announced that it would “withdraw almost all of its forces” as well, which number about 750 soldiers (The Times, April 13, 2021). Remarkably, the announcement justified the move by saying that the British soldiers “would have faced difficult circumstances without American support.”
Britain, similar to the new US strategy, reviewed its previous policies and published them in an official memorandum issued by its Foreign Ministry entitled “Global / Global Britain in a Competitive Era: Integrated Review of Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy”, dated March 16, 2021, coinciding with the Biden administration New in the White House, which “comes at an important era for the United Kingdom” and its place in the world. It was accompanied by London’s decision to reduce about 10,000 soldiers from its military forces in favor of investing in technologies of “robots, drones and electronic warfare, and an increase in the number of ships and marine submarines” and their crews.
Its Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, stated that his country’s future tasks and goals are the result of a strategic review, the most important of which is “increasing the maximum number of nuclear warheads from 180 to 2660, allocating combat budgets in the fields of outer space and the Internet,” and establishing a command for the newly created space forces. The new warships will replace the “old frigates” in the Navy, as indicated by the deployment of the Royal Aircraft Carrier “HMS Queen Elizabeth”, to carry out missions in the Indian and Pacific Oceans regions, and Britain will send forces “to confront Islamic extremism and the Russian and Chinese influence in Africa, on board about 250 members of the US Marine Corps The aircraft carrier is one of the two largest warships built for the Royal Navy with highly advanced specifications and equipment, and the other is the “Prince of Wales”.
Britain’s liberation from the “restrictions” of membership in the European Union directly contributed to reviving its imperial dream, relying on its firm alliance and integration of its tasks with the United States across the world, especially in the face of the rise of Russia and China, to impose its democratic model and commercial market values, in intense competition with profound changes in the system The old world.
Britain was a partner inconsistent with the goals of the European Union, in the project of the crucible of European belonging and transferring the powers of its “national” states to the nascent European institutions, and considered it an obstacle that carried additional financial burdens to support less wealthy European countries, and it was waiting for opportunities to leave it since 2016, until it came. Direct support from the administration of President Donald Trump, by completing its exit procedures on February 1, 2020, and Washington compensating it for the economic losses it will incur after Brexit, by concluding a comprehensive economic agreement with it, according to a statement by former National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Britain did not reveal an imperial secret in its return to an effective practice in the issues of Arab peoples in the first place, but rather boasts that it left the region to return to it again after regional and international changes, and replaced it with the American empire, which it considers “the younger brother” with colonial cooperation with France.