EU army might replace U.S. troops in Syria after withdrawal
After U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the American military forces illegally occupying certain areas of Syria would be pulled out, the ground for an end to the conflict would appear to be possible within the near future with the joint effort of the Syrian government, Russia and Iran.
The U.S. troops have been supporting their Kurdish proxy warriors in north-eastern Syria and thus prolonged the instability in the region as well as provoking Turkey whom they are sharing a border with. At the time of this writing, a fragile truce is in effect between the Kurdish militias and Turkey.
It was initially planned that the USA’s European allies would be taking over the training and organization of some of these Kurdish groups but some of their core allies have rejected this request. For example, the Danish government recently said no to deploy their special forces among the Kurds in Syria which is quite remarkable if you look at Denmark’s previous track record of always being the first volunteer whenever Washington DC wants something done.
In the EU though, the German Federal Minister of Defence, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has called on other EU countries to band together and send a joint force, apparently not under U.S. control, to monitor and create a “safe zone” between the Kurds and the Turks in Syria. This is interesting since this might be the first step towards the creation of an EU army which is something the liberal federalists pushing for a “United States of Europe” see as a next step for further integration.
While it is positive from a multipolar point of view that Europe seems to be moving towards more independence in military matters it is unfortunate that the function and goals of an EU army would not be much different than what European NATO countries have been performing under American hegemony. Alone the fact that this EU army would be created in the name of interventionism in Syria is a bad sign, also no comments or concerns seem to have come from the German government or any other potential European joiners as to whether they should seek permission from the UNSC or the Syrian government before deploying any EU soldiers in this sovereign country.
Almost simultaneously with the German call for an EU army, Syria’s ally Russia and Turkey seems to have come to an agreement that they together would secure and patrol the zone affected by Kurdish militias in north-eastern Syria thus making the proposal for the deployment of an EU army obsolete. This would be the best long term solution since this would block any possibility of EU forces to supply and support any proxy groups on the ground in the region and thus create a situation where peace and stabilization in Syria could take place.