Europe: Militarizing Continent on Endless War Footing

French special forces have given their vehicles so much wear and tear that Renault has received orders for an additional 443 patrol vehicles. According to France's defense procurement agency, the vehicles are designed for "the operational needs of more demanding missions, such as intelligence or neutralization actions in hostile areas as discreetly as possible."

Multispectal imager; European Space Agency Sentinel 2 satellite
Meanwhile, the Germans and Italians are sending a contingent of "trainers" to Tunisia, with the hope of training Libyan forces to take on Islamic State fighters, who in amazingly bold attacks have established a foothold in Northern Libya, right in the Mediterranean and not far from Southern Europe's shores. 

Islamic State attacks against oil facilities near Sidra and Ra's Lanuf have left what looks like a dark tear across North Africa, with US and European forces ready to further embroil themselves into the collapsed state's civil war. Many analysts argue that it was the US and European bombardment of Libya which guaranteed that Tuareg militias loyal to former Libyan strongman, Moammar Gadhafi, would flee south and destabilize Mali.

Mali, a former French colony, saw its moderate Muslim population subjugated by heavily-armed Islamic militants sporting the spoils of Gadhafi's arsenal. France's predictable subsequent intervention in Mali -- Operation Serval -- was heralded as a great "success." In February of 2013, President Hollande traveled to Mali to celebrate the brief removal of Islamic militias from Bamako, Mali's capital.  

France's Mission Accomplished. Mali
That same month of 2013, an article on Abreu Report -- France's "Mission Accomplished" -- opined

"Pentagon strategists can see what is obvious: the Islamist forces withdrew strategically to the more inhospitable north of Mali, where they are well-entrenched and have more base of support... Nonetheless, President Hollande has taken one of the most expensive photo-ops for a European head-of-state in recent memory. He has traveled to a warzone, at grave taxpayer expense, to be photographed as the victorious savior of a jubilant people... Don't expect that French forces will actually be able to withdraw soon; the quagmire has just begun." 

Today, Mali is under a state of emergency. In November of last year, Islamic militants -- drawing from the Iraqi insurgency cookbook -- raided a hotel in Bamako, taking 170 hostages and killing 20. The terrorist assault came a week after the Paris attacks which left 130 dead. The two attacks have formed the perfect storm for French military adventurism, with there being almost certain guarantee that Hollande will have no real public opposition to continuing his multiple wars abroad. French forces continue taking fire in Mali, and the Germans just last week decided that they were going to join the fight, sending hundreds of troops. 

German defense minister with female Peshmerga soldiers
To coincide with that deployment to Mali, Chancellor Merkel is also sending hundreds more to Iraq to help train Kurdish fighters facing the Islamic State. In 2014, Germany broke its post-WWII taboo against foreign military involvement and is not only actively arming the Peshmerga with heavy weapons and sending German trainers to Iraq, but also flying Kurdish soldiers to train in Bavaria.

As Germany returns to its roots, NATO expansion continues rattling its old World War II archfoe, with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, saying yesterday: "We did not overcome Europe's division: 25 years ago the Berlin Wall fell, but Europe’s division was not overcome, invisible walls simply moved to the East. This created the foundation for mutual reproaches, misunderstanding, and crises in the future.” 

Meanwhile, President Putin is arming the Serbians with the S-300 air defense system, affirming: "If Serbia had the air defense system in 1999, it would have avoided destruction from the three-month NATO air campaign launched against it." That attack was launched due to Serbia's bloody crackdown against Kosovo Albanian separatists.
A Brother's Revenge

Putin, who prevented Ukraine from joining the European Union by annexing Crimea and secretly backing proxy militias to destabilize the nation, is the subject of serious conspiracy theories in Poland surrounding the 2010 plane crash in Russia that killed nearly 100 members of the Polish political elite. 

Last month, in an article -- The Plane Crash Conspiracy that Explains Poland -- Foreign Policy reported that deceased former President Kaczynski’s brother, "Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has devoted an inordinate amount of time and energy since the crash working to prove that it was not an accident and that the then-governing Civic Platform party, for political or geopolitical reasons, has covered up the truth."

Political conspiracies are hard to dislodge, and if there was any doubt when Putin annexed Crimea that a new Cold War was on the horizon, 2016 has already started with more tension than many years saw during Soviet times.