NATO second-in-command on a European army: good idea?
In the era of "America First", Europe's leaders are pushing their own "Europe First" agenda — one that could potentially include a continental army of their own.
Both French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are calling for a European army, arguing that a mutual defence force is needed to protect Europe from Russia and China.
So should Europe be military master of its own house?
NATO's deputy Secretary-General Rose Gottemoeller doesn't necessarily think it's a bad idea.
"The notion that Europeans as a group should be putting more resources into defence capabilities, into their armed forces, is one that I think is a very positive thing," she told Chris Hall in a phone interview from Deer Lake, Nfld., where her flight to Halifax was rerouted due to poor weather.
"But we always stress that this cannot be something in competition with NATO. It has to be complementary."
Despite U.S. President Donald Trump not being a fan of the idea, Gottemoeller thinks it has value.
"We're not talking about some kind of concept of strategic autonomy, but European forces that would be inherently at one with the forces that NATO deploys, forces that would contribute to the collective defence."