EUs inability to act on world stage laid bare by Afghanistan crisis – Pretty pointless!

Afghanistan may become a 'rogue state' warns Nick Ferrari

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Brussels has been left largely on the sidelines in the international debate following the Taliban’s capture of the war-torn country. With no real foreign policy powers, eurocrats have been left to issue statements and make empty threats to the terror group. One of the reasons why the EU has been unable to assert itself on the situation is because of the unwillingness of its member states to cede control of foreign policy to Brussels.

Italian MEP Paolo Borchia told Express.co.uk: “It’s not a surprise that US strategy was not able to build a peaceful future for Afghanistan and failed.

“Now we should think to defend vulnerable people, like women and children, by assessing humanitarian corridors, without open doors for potential terrorists.

“EU foreign policies, as usual, will only be naked theory as each member states has its own interests and, as a consequence, run their own national foreign policy.”

In recent days, the EU has tried to generate a united front between its 27 capitals.

This includes holding emergency meetings of the bloc’s foreign and home affairs ministers.

One such intervention by eurocrats came from the EU’s most senior foreign diplomat Josep Borrell.

The Spaniard threatened the Taliban with “isolation” if it seized power of Afghanistan through violence.

He said: “If power is taken by force and an Islamic Emirate re-established, the Taliban would face non-recognition, isolation, lack of international support and the prospect of continued conflict and protracted instability in Afghanistan.”

Just days after Mr Borrell made his statement, the organisation marched through Kabul as government officials and security forces fled the country and handed control to the group.

Policy expert Pieter Cleppe, of Brussels Report, said: “That the EU’s foreign policy service has little sway in Afghanistan is one thing.

“That is resorts to pretty pointless calls to ‘isolate’ the Taliban is yet another.

“It illustrates how the EU’s foreign policy body is following the same kind of naive foreign policy worldview, which is dominant in international insinuations, like the United Nations.”

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The EU has said it will work with the Taliban as long as its chiefs respect human rights.

Mr Borrell said: “We have to get in touch with authorities in Kabul. The Taliban have won the war and we have to talk to them.”

But this willingness is likely to cause disunity amongst the EU’s member states.

While the bloc’s foreign affairs chief wants to continue providing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, Germany has decided to temporarily halt it.

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Further ruptures in EU unity are expected to emerge while the flows of refugees fleeing the Taliban increase.

Many EU governments are fearful that the Afghan crisis could lead to a repeat of the 2015 migrant crisis.

But the situation also shows that the bloc has little strategic autonomy from America.

The US-led operation in Afghanistan was assisted by European forces, and Washington’s withdrawal soon saw many follow suit.

Writing for Politico, Max Bergmann, a senior fellow at the Centre for American Progress, said: “The tragic turn of events in Afghanistan should serve as a wake-up call for the European Union.

“When the United States unilaterally decided to end its presence in the country, Europe had no choice but to follow suit. And as Afghanistan fell rapidly to the Taliban, all the EU could do was stand by, helpless.

“The Continent’s leaders didn’t have the means to insert forces in Afghanistan even if they wanted to do so, exposing not just the failures of two decades of US and NATO efforts but also the failure of the alliance’s post-9/11 approach to European defence.”

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