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Macron Calls for 'European Army' to Counter US, Russia

'Peace in Europe is precarious,' French president says, warning against rising nationalism
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2018 9:44 AM CST
French President Emmanuel Macron looks on at the Ossuary of Douaumont near Verdun in France on Tuesday during ceremonies marking the centenary of World War I.   (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP)

(Newser) – Emmanuel Macron is calling for the formation of a "real European army," and while two of that potential force's foes, per the French president, are usual suspects, it's the third that's raising eyebrows. During a tour of WWI memorials in Verdun on Tuesday, Macron encouraged countries in Europe to establish a unified military effort to shield the continent "with respect to China, Russia, and even the United States of America," reports AFP, via Time. "When I see President Trump announcing that he's quitting a major disarmament treaty, who is the main victim? Europe and its security," Macron noted, apparently referencing Trump's pulling out of a nuclear weapons pact with Russia last month.

"Peace in Europe is precarious," he added, with the Guardian noting Macron also warned of rising populism and nationalism there. Macron will be hosting a global "peace conference" in Paris on Sunday that will include Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, among other top leaders, and he's expected to keep cautioning against what he calls the "leprosy" of nationalism—especially when compared to the past. "I am struck by similarities between the times we live in and those between the two world wars," he told local media. The BBC, meanwhile, doesn't know if this idea will ever fly, noting that "there is no evidence that any group of European countries has the political will or economic muscle to spend sufficiently on defense to make up for the United States' raw power." (Macron has had some bodyguard issues.)

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