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Year 2010 No. 52, November 8, 2010 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

Anglo-French Declaration on Defence and Security Cooperation:

No to Militarisation and Aggressive Alliances!

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Anglo-French Declaration on Defence and Security Cooperation

For Your Information:
Anglo-French Defence Treaty

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Anglo-French Declaration on Defence and Security Cooperation:

No to Militarisation and Aggressive Alliances!

The UK-France Summit that took place last week in London concluded with two major declarations: one on preventing so-called “illegal immigration” and the other on what the British and French governments chose to call “Defence and Security Co-operation”, by which is meant preparations for wars and further aggression. As a consequence of the Summit two treaties were signed between the two governments, which pledged to co-operate militarily and to establish a closer relationship between the armed forces and defence industries of both countries. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, went as far as suggesting that the result of these agreements “will make our citizens safer, more secure and better protected in the global age of uncertainty in which we now live”, adding that the agreements “will also help us to maintain and strengthen our defences at a time when national finances are severely challenged”.

The mass media has been quick to seize on the fact that the “entente” has been forced on the two governments by economic circumstances. While this may be a consideration, no evidence has been produced by either government of any “savings”. Indeed Britain and France currently have the third and fourth largest military budgets in the world, half of the total military spending of all European countries. The measures agreed this week, which include joint missile construction and use of aircraft carriers and a joint “expeditionary force” or rapid deployment force, as well as other forms of military and military-industrial cooperation are designed to further consolidate the monopoly power of the armaments and “defence” industries of Britain and France. They will further bolster the military capabilities of the two countries to intervene globally, as well as creating the conditions for both to enhance their position within Europe and within the warmongering NATO, which will shortly hold a major summit in Lisbon, which Russia will also attend. As part of the treaty signed this week, Britain and France will also jointly support the expansion of the ALTBMD missile defence system for Europe, one of the key agenda items at the Lisbon summit. In short the military agreements signed this week aim to strengthen the military capabilities of the two countries, the EU and the warmongering NATO alliance.

Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, commented that the new entente was “a decision which is unprecedented and shows a level of trust and confidence between our two nations which is unequalled in history”, while David Cameron spoke of a “new chapter” in co-operation between the two. However, it may be remembered that Blair’s first government also made similar “unprecedented” military agreements with France at St Malo in 1998, before embarking on its warmongering rampage throughout the world. The St Malo agreements also paved the way for wider agreements on an enhanced EU military capability within NATO.

Like its predecessor the coalition government makes every effort to claim that its warmongering activities around the world are somehow connected with maintaining the security and well-being of the citizens of Britain. But this is to turn truth on its head. Events in recent years have demonstrated that the military intervention and occupation, as well as threats and other forms of intervention by British governments and their allies, have created ever greater global instability and insecurity for the people of Britain and other countries.

The new Anglo-French entente is clearly designed to enable similar and even more aggressive acts to be committed in the future and the “Declaration on Defence and Security Co-operation” clearly signals the intention of the two powers to intensify their threats against Iran and the DPR of Korea, as well as other countries. The warmongering alliance between France and Britain, as well as the threats issued against Yemen and other countries, have been taken against the interests of the people of Britain and without our consent. They point to the need to continue to demand and fight for an anti-war government which removes foreign troops from Britain and brings home British troops from abroad – a government which refuses to act on behalf of the big armaments monopolies and withdraws from NATO and all warmongering alliances.

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For Your Information

Anglo-French Defence Treaty

These are the main elements in the ''Declaration on Defence and Security Co-operation'' signed on November 2, 2010, by Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

:: Nuclear weapons – A joint facility to be built at the existing Valduc research centre in France to ''model performance of our nuclear warheads and materials to ensure long-term viability, security and safety''. It will be supported by a Joint Technology Development centre at Aldermaston in the UK.

:: Combined Joint Expeditionary Force – The tri-service CJEF – capable of involvement in anything up to ''high intensity'' operations – will not be a standing force but will be available ''at notice for bilateral, Nato, European Union, United Nations or other'' operations. Combined land and air exercises will begin in 2011 with ''progress towards full capability in subsequent years''.

:: Aircraft Carriers – The UK will fit ''cat and trap'' to its future aircraft carrier so that both countries fighter jets can fly from each other's naval vessels. By the early 2020s that should allow the creation of a ''UK-French integrated carrier strike group''.

:: A400M – Final negotiations are under way for integrated support for both countries' fleets of military transport aircraft, and co-operation will be sought on training.

:: Drones – Joint working on the next generation of unmanned spy planes to come into service in 2015-2020. Longer-term assessment of options for the next generation of combat drones – not due to be operational until 2030.

:: Defence industry and research – Aim to cut 30% of the cost of complex weapons systems through 10-year strategic plan including a single European prime contractor. This will act as a test for co-operation in other industrial sectors. A combined 100 million euro (£87.5 million) minimum annual research and technology budget looking at critical future areas such as electronic warfare.

:: Other initiatives include a cyber security framework, joint working on specifications to tackle marine mines and the possibility of France using ''spare capacity'' in the UK future air-to-air refuelling fleet ''provided it is financially acceptable to both nations''.

The document said that Britain and France have ''reached a level of mutual confidence unprecedented in our history'' and ''do not see situations arising in which the vital interests of either nation could be threatened without the vital interests of the other also being threatened''. So the two countries will ''enable our forces to operate together, to maximise our capabilities and to obtain greater value for money from our investment in defence''.

(source: Telegraph Media Group Limited)

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