Surprise surprise, the eurozone crisis of confidence has returned with a vengeance, only this time with apocalyptic statements from the EU’s president, Herman Van Rumpoy, that if the Euro did not survive, neither would the EU. First we must strip away the hyperbole; the presumption of a continuation of europe’s ‘natural’ state of warfare and ethnic cleansing without the moderating influence of a pan-european ‘national’ identity is utter clap-trap. The reality is that if the Euro does not survive then the EU of ever-deeper political union will not survive, instead it might devolve back to something that more closely resembles the European Community of old. Whether this is a terrible thing is a matter of perspective. However, there is no doubt that the current Eurozone without full economic governance and the political mandate for a transfer-union will never function effectively, or that the current direction of sequential bail-outs as contagion spreads is destined for catastrophic failure for all members and neighbours.
So if political union is impossible, and collapse is unconscionable, what other option exists?
CDProjekt are about to embark on one of the most risky experiments in PC gaming history, releasing a their new title DRM-free on Good Old Games and doing so from day one. One way or another we will soon know the answer to the question we have all been asking for years; is it possible to create a viable business case for developing and publishing DRM-free media in a digital & online world?
The experiment will have far reaching consequence’s, well beyond the realm of PC gaming itself.
The SDSR was never going to be satisfactory, the perpetual wars during declining budgetary prominence was always going to result in a car-crash, and sure enough that crash arrived with the financial crisis in 2008. This has resulted was a lot of unsatisfactory decisions, mostly due to the (correct) commitment to the Afghan mission conflicting for the desire for a force structure for 2020 and beyond, but did we avoid making the difficult choices demanded by RUSI in the FDR paper; capability cost trends?
What that is recognisable can we pull out of the rubble?
France and Britain have concluded a set of new Defence agreements that will see the countries work more closely together, but what will be the result? The countries share a great number of complimentary & similar characteristics including GDP, Defence budgets, UNSC membership, nuclear deterrents, overseas dependencies & global foreign policy ambitions, but both have defined their ambitions through opposing reactions to the Suez crisis. In both instances to never find themselves marginalised in world affairs through opposition from the US, but on the one hand by by converging already complimentary ambitions, and on the other by creating a european framework through which independence of the US can be achieved.
What does this agreement tell us about how those ambitions have evolved since the Cold War?