President Donald Trump has thrown down the gauntlet by demanding that Europe spend more on defense. And the Europeans have responded—but in the worst way possible.
In a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently echoed French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for the creation of a European army. She also called for a European security council that would be able to prepare important decisions more swiftly. “We should work on the vision of creating a genuine European army one day,” she said. Merkel stressed that this would not be an anti-NATO army, but that it would complement the existing efforts of the alliance.
Earlier that week, Macron had said that an EU army was needed to “protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia, and even the United States.” President Trump reacted to the statement by tweeting:
Emmanuel Macron suggests building its own army to protect Europe against the U.S., China and Russia. But it was Germany in World Wars One & Two – How did that work out for France? They were starting to learn German in Paris before the U.S. came along. Pay for NATO or not!
Loud applause reigned in the European Parliament after Merkel announced her support for an EU army, as those wanting to unite the continent in one centralized state saw their dream as closer than ever before. The European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator and EU uber-federalist Guy Verhofstadt applauded the declarations by Macron and Merkel by saying that “we have fought for this for many years.”