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France and Germany should have intervened conjointly to separate the belligerents in Croatia; they could have imposed an orderly secession, with future accession to the EU as incentive, and prevented most of the 140 000 deaths.
There are plenty of excuses why it didn't happen, but does anyone want to argue that it wouldn't have been a better outcome?
And ever since, I have been convinced that the EU needs an army. I'm as anti-militaristic as hell, but if you want to live in the real world, then you need to acknowledge that every sovereign entity needs to have the means to defend its existence.
I imagine there would be debates in Ireland about taking part in such an army, but I can't see any way around it.
It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue
- Queen Elizabeth II
But then you need to make an equal (or larger) commitment to activities that promote peace. That includes a lot of things: disarmament, easing of tensions between countries, repudiating international economic factors that trigger hostilities.
In the case of the US border with Mexico, for example, the immediate problem is people wanting to escape bad economic and social conditions in Mexico. But a good deal of those bad economic conditions are the result of US policies regarding petroleum and subsidized farming and illegal weapons exports and drug imports. How can a small farmer in Mexico hope to compete with a gigantic government-subsidized industrial farm in Iowa, especially when every day he runs the risk of an encounter with a heavily-armed drug gang?
Admittedly, though, it is sort of hard to see what the west could have done to be more cooperative with Russia...
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