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The UK blockading Portugal is completely unrealistic. Portugal is their oldest ally, after all.

Also, German troops getting as far as Metz. Thionville, maybe.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 at 10:27:38 AM EST
The royal Navy consists of 27 ships, most of which are small and incapable of being part of a blockage. We couldn't blockade Calais and Dunkirk, let alone all the others.

Also, Gibraltar is still armed to the teeth and heavily dug in. Occupying it would probably require a significant mobilization of the Spanish army and the casualties would be colossal. A Pyrrhic victory at best

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Feb 10th, 2015 at 01:13:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the current nuclear doctrine is applied, the german troops would never go through the border. The french nuclear doctrine is quite adamant about nuking any country that would cross french borders... Which means either you get a localized war in Luxembourg, either it's the end of it all.

Additionnally, I do not believe that current armies are able to fight traditional wars between modern states. The only forces in shape in europe are Britain's and France's. All the other countries have cut too much of their defence budget to get anything usable against a great power.

My last comment would be that, during the belgian stand-off between flanders and wallonia a few years ago, there has been a quite-military training on the french side of the border under the label "flanders terrorist are attacking in Lille, what should we do"...

by Xavier in Paris on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 05:52:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Polish and Finnish armies are in OK shape too.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 05:56:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Judging from the exercises in Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, some dirty warfare (state terrorism monopoly?) might be in the pipe.
by das monde on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 06:19:58 AM EST
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Small size and low rediness of armies makes dashes like the attact to N'Dnamena more likely to succeed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_N%27Djamena_(2008)

by Jute on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 06:51:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the current nuclear doctrine is applied, the german troops would never go through the border.

In my scenario, I assumed that the German government fully recognises this in the first invasion, but the second government is insane, while France also has to take a possible British return strike into account.

I do not believe that current armies are able to fight traditional wars between modern states. The only forces in shape in europe are Britain's and France's. All the other countries have cut too much of their defence budget to get anything usable against a great power.

I actually agree, that's why the Hungary–Slovakia war in my scenario quickly becomes a quagmire and France defeats Germany soundly twice, without nukes. But IMHO what comes after that is not peace but something like Ukraine or worse.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 07:00:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course any future war will look like the Ukraine - 'terrorists' on one side, proxy states and 'aid' on the other.

The idea that national armies will go marching all over Europe in a WW2-ish kind of a way is way past its use-by date.

In any case, we may not live that long. Putin is being backed into a corner by the US, economically and militarily.

That's not a good thing to be doing to the world's biggest nuclear superpower.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 07:51:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In case anyone missed it, my nitpicking critique was satirical in nature, as I see the whole war scenario, as applied to western Europe, as fantasy. Eastern Europe, less so.

But we do need to do some serious thinking about what happens if Le Pen is elected president. My opinion is that she doesn't get a clear majority in the Assembly, leading to either :

  • enough of the UMP rump are prepared to work with her to give her a parliamentary majority. This is very grim because a lot of them are well to her right.
  • constitutional chaos because she can't form a government. This is my preferred option.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 07:22:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tnis wouldn't be constitutionnal chaos: it's what we call cohabitation, and we (that's a french we) are quite used to it.
by Xavier in Paris on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 11:15:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In case of Le Pen winning the elections, I'm much more worried by the people who would like to demonstrate aqgainst the result, because it would surely lead to a police repression with some deaths (police is very pro Le Pen in France). And people agaisnt Le Pen are still quite numerous (something around 60% who thinks she is unfit for power)
by Xavier in Paris on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 11:17:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As for the police being right-wing : it's not as simple as that (though a majority of uniformed cops certainly are). But not strictly relevant : in my observation, the police hierarchy obey the minister of the Interior (not the President).

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 11:58:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thinking it through : Legislative elections follow the elecion of Le Pen, and give some sort of three-way split between left, right, and FN. A non-FN cohabitation government would have to be "UMPS" (a favourite catch-phrase of the FN : UMP, PS, all the same).

Quite different to the cohabitations under Mitterand or Chirac, much more conflictual. Le Pen could dissolve the Assembly after a year (the constitutional minimum). The danger is that, after a year of powerless posturing and foreign-policy adventures, the voters give her a parliamentary majority the second time.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 11:55:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, there wouldn't be "powerless adventures" because in the french constitution the government decides almost everything.

What gives our politics their flavour of monarchy is just the fact that the governement is choosen by the prez' and that we are used to it. It's not implemented in the text and we had various episodes when this was true (the last being probably between 2005 and 2007 when chirac was physically unable to preside).

by Xavier in Paris on Wed Feb 11th, 2015 at 12:01:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bear in mind that the President defines foreign policy and decides military matters.

This led to some squabbles under previous cohabitations, as I recall, but ended with governments backing off. It was actually no big deal (stuff like who represents France at a NATO meeting), because there is disappointingly little difference between PS and UMP in either domain.

This will be very different under a Le Pen cohabitation. Which is why I foresee both foreign adventures and constitutional crisis. Imagine, for example, a unilateral declaration by President Le Pen of a withdrawal from the Schengen area.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 06:56:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not completely true: the president is leading the armed forces when engaged: he has the final say in using nuclear weapons. But he does not decide all military matters. He has to consult the parliament in case of declaration of war (unlikely) or in case of foreign intervention (mali type). He is completely helpless in choosing the size and organisation of armed forces. He has no power to decide which treaties are to be signed...and ratified.

And he has to sign the laws passed by his government. It's an obilgation, even if he could delay them a litle. The french constitution is a lot less presidential than what is usually considered. It's just that, after the III and IV republic regimes, we sort of collectively choose a more presidential regime over the situation that prevailed before. And even this consensu is being modified in the last years, as more and more people ask for a return to IV republic era mechanisms.

by Xavier in Paris on Thu Feb 12th, 2015 at 10:15:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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