CANZUK - An upcoming superpower?

The EU is looking more toothless than ever before. Meanwhile, the USA has been hit by a worrying crisis which may cripple it for years. The western world is facing major hurdles. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Meet CANZUK. A theoretical union between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Just a hundred years ago, the British Empire was the foremost global power. By the year 1920, the British held over 35 million square kilometres of land. Making their empire the largest in world history. At its peak, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire; a testament to just how large and widespread its territory was. However, after two world wars, the United Kingdom was superseded by its ally, the United States of America. For decades following the Second World War, The USA and the USSR became the two competing superpowers. The UK still held significant power but was losing its colonial territories. As time went on, the UK sought to integrate with Europe for a variety of benefits. Yet their early attempt to enter a union with Europe was vetoed by French president Charles de Gaulle. Over a decade later they joined the European Communities (EC). Since then, the UK has been less independent. Thus Great Britain lost its power, as the European Union sapped away its strength.

However, to think that Britain was going to fade away would be a foolish assumption. In June 2016 52% of Brits decided to vote in favour of Brexit. By the end of 2020, the transition period will be complete. Ending decades of being shackled by the rest of Europe and starting a new era. An era where the UK will be able to control its own destiny and have more freedom to ramp-up cooperation between the Commonwealth realms. Therefore being able to forge a closely-knit union where all members have a common language, history and vision for the future.

HMS_Queen_Elizabeth_in_Gibraltar_-_2018_(28386226189).jpg

Dave Jenkins - InfoGibraltar, CC BY 2.0 - The Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Gibraltar for her first overseas port visit. The 65,000 tonne future flagship was conducting a routine logistics stop having left her home in Portsmouth a week earlier for helicopter trials. (MM180007)

Unlike the European Union, CANZUK nations are very similar to each other. All four have very similar GDP per capita and standards of living. This ensures that one-way migration doesn't take place. In Europe, many residents of Eastern European nations head as west as they can. Meanwhile, there is little to no migration eastwards. This is problematic. Due to similar economic and living conditions across CANZUK nations, migration will be balanced. The benefits for citizens of CANZUK nations will be life-changing. Those who wish to move to a hotter climate or vice-versa can do so with ease. Skilled workers who cannot find a job in their own country can be offered jobs in other CANZUK nations. Trade deals which previously wouldn't exist would be secured due to CANZUK trade negotiations... The list goes on. CANZUK will undoubtedly benefit all citizens of the four nations.

The estimated population of CANZUK would exceed 136 million. Meanwhile, its total land area would be 18,187,210 square kilometres. Making it larger than Russia. CANZUK will have access to both the North and South Pacific and Atlantic. Allowing for global power projection.

With tropical rainforests, an expansive desert, snowy mountains, pine forests, prairies and the polar region of northern Canada, there are countless landscapes across CANZUK. This not only means that there is a large variety of resources but also the luxury of being able to test technologies in harsh conditions, both hot and cold. This is particularly useful for military training. Wars are often fought in harsh environments. Training in both hot and cold climates can better prepare a military for future conflicts which may arise in tough climates or terrains such as in the Arctic or the Middle East.

Canada has access to the Northern Pacific, Northern Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. Meanwhile, Australia has access to the Southern Pacific and the Indian Ocean. It's also close to the South China Sea. Meaning it could serve as a launchpad for power projection throughout Southeast Asia. Australia, New Zealand and even the Falkland Islands could serve as key strategic zones for future standoffs in the Southern Hemisphere. Both the Arctic and the Antarctic hold immense untapped resources which may prove to be vital in the future. CANZUK is set to be a key player in both polar regions.

Due to their isolation, CANZUK nations are practically impervious to land invasions. Meaning that they can focus on interests beyond their borders rather than worrying about a massive land intrusion like Europe does. The only notable border which CANZUK shares with another nation is the Canada-United States border. However, the USA has and will continue to have good relations with Canada therefore it is not seen as a risk.

Currently, CANZUK nations have well equipped, well trained albeit small militaries. However, they possess large economies and strong defence industries, so they can easily expand their military size. A large combined military is necessary if CANZUK wishes to carve out its own future. Recently there have been indications that CANZUK nations are prepared to expand their military strength. Australia revealed a 270 billion AUD defence plan which includes acquiring hundreds of AGM-158C long-range anti-ship missiles. This is in direct response to the growing threat from China. It's also due to the realisation that Australia cannot continue to rely on the USA for its own security.

Similarly, the UK has also realised that it may need to step up and shape its own future. Great Britain once had the most advanced aircraft designs in the world. The British were years ahead of the rest of the world in the aviation industry. Nevertheless, they were soon overtaken by the USA and eventually took a back seat. The British continued manufacturing parts and engaging in joint projects such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and of course the F-35. But has not designed a fully indigenous combat aircraft in a long time. But change is coming. BAE Systems and Rolls Royce are two extremely valuable companies that are more than capable of designing and producing advanced aircraft. They are working on the Tempest 6th Generation fighter, which may be the world's most advanced aircraft once complete. Britain is committed to leading the military aviation industry once again and the Tempest project is the perfect way to regain the crown.

The Royal Navy recently commissioned two new carriers. These are of the Elizabeth-class, the largest warships to ever enter service in the Royal Navy. They are capable of carrying approximately 60 aircraft, including F-35Bs. That capacity combined with the potency of the F-35s means that the Royal Navy is stepping into a new era. Meanwhile, the Royal Australian Navy has two Canberra-class LHDs. These can function as light aircraft carriers. Australia is receiving F-35s, however, strangely there have been no orders for F-35Bs. This means that the ski ramps on the Australian LHDs are currently pointless. Australia should definitely acquire F-35Bs, not only because they will boost force projection but also justify having two STVOL compatible carriers.

All together, CANZUK nations could build an enormous fleet allowing for operations across the globe. If necessary Canada could acquire carriers in the future. A combined carrier fleet could exceed 10 vessels, making CANZUK the only entity with force projection capabilities similar to the USA. Of course, more carriers require extra ships for protection. So the current fleets require a multitude of additional vessels to protect the carriers from threats. Each ship in a carrier strike group has its own role, such as anti-air or anti-submarine warfare. Though expensive to maintain, a large amount of carriers makes sense for CANZUK. This alliance is formed of nations which are surrounded by oceans. Therefore aircraft carriers can serve as the first line of defence by allowing fighter jets to operate far from home in order to hold back airborne or naval threats. Or to assist in conflicts on other continents. Aircraft carriers are the ultimate defensive and offensive assets for CANZUK.


uKu77PL.jpg

Current CANZUK fleet - notice that the Canberra-class isn't considered a carrier. This may change if Australia decides to buy F-35Bs. That said LHDs are multipurpose ships that also carry landing craft.


By 2023 the first of the Type 26 frigates will be delivered. These anti-submarine frigates are designed by BAE Systems Maritime - Naval Ships. The British, Australian and Canadian navies are all set to receive them. This is an indication that further cooperation in the defence sector may be on the way. If CANZUK launches a joint defence industry initiative it could quickly propel the union's defence output well past France and Germany, into Russian and American territory. With Australia's mining boom finished, and the UK's exit from the European Union, a larger defence industry makes sense, as it will not only expand military capabilities but also add many billions to the economy via exports.

Some may fear the rise of CANZUK. They may call it the resurrection of the British Empire. If the CANZUK Union comes into fruition, it will undoubtedly emerge as a superpower. However, this is inevitable. We are heading towards a multipolar world and the west desperately needs an additional powerhouse in order to maintain a strong position. CANZUK could also serve as a new voice for the west, allowing it to start a rapprochement process with nation's which the USA has alienated. Due to a lack of powerful foreign lobbyists in comparison to the USA, CANZUK can tackle issues with pragmatic and beneficial decisions, instead of serving to the highest bidder. Meaning that CANZUK may become a better representative of the west than the USA ever was.

As France carves out its new foreign policy, keep your eyes on what the UK does. The "frenemies" will face off, however, not directly. The two nation's will most likely back opposite sides in upcoming proxy conflicts. The competition for influence throughout the region and beyond will form new alliances. The UK, by itself cannot maintain its strength in the coming decades. But by working with rising regional powers (such as Turkey), as well as having the backing of the CANZUK alliance, the UK can ensure that it is not squeezed by the EU & Russia. Incidentally, a strong United Kingdom, means a strong Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It is in all of these nation's interests to form a tightly-knit union, as the geopolitical landscape enters a new, uncertain era, where the USA is no longer an omnipresent global superpower.
 
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Hexciter

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The EU is looking more toothless than ever before. Meanwhile, the USA has been hit by a worrying crisis which may cripple it for years. The western world is facing major hurdles. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Meet CANZUK. A theoretical union between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Just a hundred years ago, the British Empire was the foremost global power. By the year 1920, the British held over 35 million square kilometres of land. Making their empire the largest in world history. At its peak, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire; a testament to just how large and widespread its territory was. However, after two world wars, the United Kingdom was superseded by its ally, the United States of America. For decades following the Second World War, The USA and the USSR became the two competing superpowers. The UK still held significant power but was losing its colonial territories. As time went on, the UK sought to integrate with Europe for a variety of benefits. Yet their early attempt to enter a union with Europe was vetoed by French president Charles de Gaulle. Over a decade later they joined the European Communities (EC). Since then, the UK has been less independent. Thus Great Britain lost its power, as the European Union sapped away its strength.

However, to think that Britain was going to fade away would be a foolish assumption. In June 2016 52% of Brits decided to vote in favour of Brexit. By the end of 2020, the transition period will be complete. Ending decades of being shackled by the rest of Europe and starting a new era. An era where the UK will be able to control its own destiny and have more freedom to ramp-up cooperation between the Commonwealth realms. Therefore being able to forge a closely-knit union where all members have a common language, history and vision for the future.

View attachment 4778
Dave Jenkins - InfoGibraltar, CC BY 2.0 - The Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Gibraltar for her first overseas port visit. The 65,000 tonne future flagship was conducting a routine logistics stop having left her home in Portsmouth a week earlier for helicopter trials. (MM180007)

Unlike the European Union, CANZUK nations are very similar to each other. All four have very similar GDP per capita and standards of living. This ensures that one-way migration doesn't take place. In Europe, many residents of Eastern European nations head as west as they can. Meanwhile, there is little to no migration eastwards. This is problematic. Due to similar economic and living conditions across CANZUK nations, migration will be balanced. The benefits for citizens of CANZUK nations will be life-changing. Those who wish to move to a hotter climate or vice-versa can do so with ease. Skilled workers who cannot find a job in their own country can be offered jobs in other CANZUK nations. Trade deals which previously wouldn't exist would be secured due to CANZUK trade negotiations... The list goes on. CANZUK will undoubtedly benefit all citizens of the four nations.

The estimated population of CANZUK would exceed 136 million. Meanwhile, its total land area would be 18,187,210 square kilometres. Making it larger than Russia. CANZUK will have access to both the North and South Pacific and Atlantic. Allowing for global power projection.

With tropical rainforests, an expansive desert, snowy mountains, pine forests, prairies and the polar region of northern Canada, there are countless landscapes across CANZUK. This not only means that there is a large variety of resources but also the luxury of being able to test technologies in harsh conditions, both hot and cold. This is particularly useful for military training. Wars are often fought in harsh environments. Training in both hot and cold climates can better prepare a military for future conflicts which may arise in tough climates or terrains such as in the Arctic or the Middle East.

Canada has access to the Northern Pacific, Northern Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. Meanwhile, Australia has access to the Southern Pacific and the Indian Ocean. It's also close to the South China Sea. Meaning it could serve as a launchpad for power projection throughout Southeast Asia. Australia, New Zealand and even the Falkland Islands could serve as key strategic zones for future standoffs in the Southern Hemisphere. Both the Arctic and the Antarctic hold immense untapped resources which may prove to be vital in the future. CANZUK is set to be a key player in both polar regions.

Due to their isolation, CANZUK nations are practically impervious to land invasions. Meaning that they can focus on interests beyond their borders rather than worrying about a massive land intrusion like Europe does. The only notable border which CANZUK shares with another nation is the Canada-United States border. However, the USA has and will continue to have good relations with Canada therefore it is not seen as a risk.

Currently, CANZUK nations have well equipped, well trained albeit small militaries. However, they possess large economies and strong defence industries, so they can easily expand their military size. A large combined military is necessary if CANZUK wishes to carve out its own future. Recently there have been indications that CANZUK nations are prepared to expand their military strength. Australia revealed a 270 billion AUD defence plan which includes acquiring hundreds of AGM-158C long-range anti-ship missiles. This is in direct response to the growing threat from China. It's also due to the realisation that Australia cannot continue to rely on the USA for its own security.

Similarly, the UK has also realised that it may need to step up and shape its own future. Great Britain once had the most advanced aircraft designs in the world. The British were years ahead of the rest of the world in the aviation industry. Nevertheless, they were soon overtaken by the USA and eventually took a back seat. The British continued manufacturing parts and engaging in joint projects such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and of course the F-35. But has not designed a fully indigenous combat aircraft in a long time. But change is coming. BAE Systems and Rolls Royce are two extremely valuable companies that are more than capable of designing and producing advanced aircraft. They are working on the Tempest 6th Generation fighter, which may be the world's most advanced aircraft once complete. Britain is committed to leading the military aviation industry once again and the Tempest project is the perfect way to regain the crown.

The Royal Navy recently commissioned two new carriers. These are of the Elizabeth-class, the largest warships to ever enter service in the Royal Navy. They are capable of carrying approximately 60 aircraft, including F-35Bs. That capacity combined with the potency of the F-35s means that the Royal Navy is stepping into a new era. Meanwhile, the Royal Australian Navy has two Canberra-class LHDs. These can function as light aircraft carriers. Australia is receiving F-35s, however, strangely there have been no orders for F-35Bs. This means that the ski ramps on the Australian LHDs are currently pointless. Australia should definitely acquire F-35Bs, not only because they will boost force projection but also justify having two STVOL compatible carriers.

All together, CANZUK nations could build an enormous fleet allowing for operations across the globe. If necessary Canada could acquire carriers in the future. A combined carrier fleet could exceed 10 vessels, making CANZUK the only entity with force projection capabilities similar to the USA. Of course, more carriers require extra ships for protection. So the current fleets require a multitude of additional vessels to protect the carriers from threats. Each ship in a carrier strike group has its own role, such as anti-air or anti-submarine warfare. Though expensive to maintain, a large amount of carriers makes sense for CANZUK. This alliance is formed of nations which are surrounded by oceans. Therefore aircraft carriers can serve as the first line of defence by allowing fighter jets to operate far from home in order to hold back airborne or naval threats. Or to assist in conflicts on other continents. Aircraft carriers are the ultimate defensive and offensive assets for CANZUK.


View attachment 4779
Current CANZUK fleet - notice that the Canberra-class isn't considered a carrier. This may change if Australia decides to buy F-35Bs. That said LHDs are multipurpose ships that also carry landing craft.


By 2023 the first of the Type 26 frigates will be delivered. These anti-submarine frigates are designed by BAE Systems Maritime - Naval Ships. The British, Australian and Canadian navies are all set to receive them. This is an indication that further cooperation in the defence sector may be on the way. If CANZUK launches a joint defence industry initiative it could quickly propel the union's defence output well past France and Germany, into Russian and American territory. With Australia's mining boom finished, and the UK's exit from the European Union, a larger defence industry makes sense, as it will not only expand military capabilities but also add many billions to the economy via exports.

Some may fear the rise of CANZUK. They may call it the resurrection of the British Empire. If the CANZUK Union comes into fruition, it will undoubtedly emerge as a superpower. However, this is inevitable. We are heading towards a multipolar world and the west desperately needs an additional powerhouse in order to maintain a strong position. CANZUK could also serve as a new voice for the west, allowing it to start a rapprochement process with nation's which the USA has alienated. Due to a lack of powerful foreign lobbyists in comparison to the USA, CANZUK can tackle issues with pragmatic and beneficial decisions, instead of serving to the highest bidder. Meaning that CANZUK may become a better representative of the west than the USA ever was.

As France carves out its new foreign policy, keep your eyes on what the UK does. The "frenemies" will face off, however, not directly. The two nation's will most likely back opposite sides in upcoming proxy conflicts. The competition for influence throughout the region and beyond will form new alliances. The UK, by itself cannot maintain its strength in the coming decades. But by working with rising regional powers (such as Turkey), as well as having the backing of the CANZUK alliance, the UK can ensure that it is not squeezed by the EU & Russia. Incidentally, a strong United Kingdom, means a strong Australia, New Zealand and Canada. It is in all of these nation's interests to form a tightly-knit union, as the geopolitical landscape enters a new, uncertain era, where the USA is no longer an omnipresent global superpower.
Is this your article? If then, a nice achivement for the forum. I hope many will contribute for more. Thank you!
 
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Webslave

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nice article.Not sure if the so called countries did indeed plan such an alkianfe though
There's a growing amount of people who are supporting the idea, including some MPs. I could definitely see it forming eventually, but right now it's still in its infancy.
 

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Let me give a counter-perspective.

I don't see an actual country forming across oceans (colonies from thalassocracy is different era) in the mid term (anything is possible in long term, as long term just depends on how you define that time period heh).

Thalassocratic colonial structure evolving to separate nations/polities over time (like we saw with British empire in 19th - 20th century) is largely one way process if you ask me....I really doubt that genie can be put back into bottle or re-invented some new way in modern world.

Take it from one that was present just a short drive from where the UK flag was lowered for last time in HK.

Take case of Canada (where this one now is), its already having serious issues politically...both past (and lingering) and present + new issues w.r.t national confederation structure and issue transmission and what Canada is etc...

Ignoring Quebec separatism (really long subject to get into), there are serious grievances within Canada regd. this w.r.t its prairie provinces (who have very different set of issues they want represented in priority compared to what the major 2 national parties, esp liberals would prefer) and also British Columbia kind of left on west coast end with its own unique isolation past the rockies (and thus looks internally and to west coast US lot more for its cues...explaining why NDP can form sustainable majority local govt there unlike anywhere else in Canada).

Thus I do not see Canada being too interested in expanding these kind of issues to accomodating British and ANZAC politics...esp given Canada would have a diminished role given it would represent in total just about a quarter of the hypothetical total trans-oceanic union's population....given British and ANZAC population weight.

In fact I would have to see major action w.r.t ANZAC confederation (i.e AUS + NZ) given they are actual proximity (which was the argument put for the EU and ongoing debate on that success given brexit etc).

I say this given Australia constitution iirc literally has accommodation still in it for NZ to join (NZ just didn't back then)....for there to be anything of this concept to then expand across oceans. But NZ so far does not pursue this...it is fine with the major agreements signed so far with AUS.

Thus I think there will be a further increase of cooperation (defense, intel etc), some further opening/integration of trade/migration/investment/travel ease between these countries (and like minded heritage country groups in general)...but I think that's as far as it will go for this century and likely beyond.

This is also putting aside some large economic realities....

A basic number being Canada trades with UK across a full year (26 billion USD)....what Canada does with US in just couple weeks (2019 total year trade was 720 billion USD).

I would imagine UK trade with EU has similar stark dimensions....as Australia increasingly also shows w.r.t China/Asia (given its location) w.r.t the others.

@Saiyan0321 @Waz @Kaptaan @Yankeestani @Joe Shearer @Vergennes @Madokafc @Indos @T-123456 @anmdt @#comcom et al.
 

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Meet CANZUK. A theoretical union between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Nice idea and unlike @Nilgiri I think this could float. Essentialy it would be reworking of the British Empire v.02. With regards to the point about trade flows being with USA [Canada] and Europe [UK] I agree geography has it's own logic. But don't forget the trade flows you see today are the product of the political set ups like EU and configured over 45 years.

Now with Brexit flows will change given they will be freed from EU.
 

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Without having read the article yet what comes first to my mind is the immense distance between the member states which is a major set back.
I agree with you. The only military alliance that could possibly work in this century is the one having common borders. It's the same reason why consider Quad is also bound to fail.

By military, I don't include Intel and clandestine alliance like Five Eyes.
 
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How many citizens can respond to questions about importance of maritime transport? Importance for economy? Use for diplomacy?

"Sea blindness" is a big issue. Citizens Inability to recognize importance of sea or to recognize its national and international importance.

It is very important to establish maritime culture as a state.

 

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How many citizens can respond to questions about importance of maritime transport? Importance for economy? Use for diplomacy?

"Sea blindness" is a big issue. Citizens Inability to recognize importance of sea or to recognize its national and international importance.

It is very important to establish maritime culture as a state.


People forget this is what made the British Empire formidable. The old style geopraphy alliances from Medieval ages are out sync with modern world. Technology today has shrunk the globe. This fact is what has been latched on to by British elites. If played right the world can be yours. If not you can just remain a 'village chief'.
 

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Nice idea and unlike @Nilgiri I think this could float. Essentialy it would be reworking of the British Empire v.02. With regards to the point about trade flows being with USA [Canada] and Europe [UK] I agree geography has it's own logic. But don't forget the trade flows you see today are the product of the political set ups like EU and configured over 45 years.

Now with Brexit flows will change given they will be freed from EU.

I think an alliance can be worked upon. 2 are already in one explicitly (with mutual defense clause) i.e UK and Canada are NATO founding members.

It would not be a stretch to expand that to Australia and NZ over time.

But I do not see anything past a military alliance forming much less working sustainably. Similarly I frankly think such military alliance will always involve the US....NATO itself (for transoceanic and even trans-land given the importance of these in an alliance global war) is reliant on US military logistics (direct or funded) to the tune of 80%+.

Trade, economic and intellectual flow and such will of course be improved upon with time....that is only natural....but again that already happens and does not need a binding political union to action further.

Scotland is always seeming ready to pop off the UK at any moment these days...and I have already mentioned the interior issues of Canada. Those would have to be strong consolidated non-issues before expanding political unions in todays world.

Without having read the article yet what comes first to my mind is the immense distance between the member states which is a major set back.

Yes and the economic norms from this. So military alliances sure, but political unions.....very doubtful.


I agree with you. The only military alliance that could possibly work in this century is the one having common borders. It's the same reason why consider Quad is also bound to fail.

By military, I don't include Intel and clandestine alliance like Five Eyes.

Honestly the english world alliance (forget political union) is not going to work without US in it. Lot of people for example don't even understand what NORAD encompasses for example. Argument sake say NATO dissolves for some reason (extremely unlikely)....Canada cannot just extricate itself from NORAD and throw its lot in exclusively with a UK+AUS alliance. The level of breakdown in Canada US relationship for NORAD (and all other security paradigms) means a very serious issue has developed that a CANZUK alliance simply cannot fix.

In fact pre-ww2, people can read up about "War Plan Red"....to see what the context of Canada was in such a hypothetical world.

NZ for all intents and purposes is a non-entity here frankly.

As for the quad, it wont be an alliance (there will be no mutual defense clause), but it will not be a failure. It works on a certain cooperation built on sharing doctrine practice...so should a war of that nature breakout where all parties are involved....there is basis to work upon regd the adversary weaknesses (esp given its logistical problems).
 

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Not really.

Well fact it even comes up (as referendum) and SNP and mrs fish have strong political leverage there is something similar to Canada issue with Quebec.

SNP after all argues they would win referendum done now with post-brexit and are working to have one again asap. These are federally recognised/applicable referenda too (given the way the UK formed), unlike Canada's (two) that were done unofficially by the quebecers (similar to how catalonia did theirs).

I think that has to be done and dusted for a trans ocean political union to even be thought about.

It limits to alliance strengthening in my opinion.
 

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Not happening unless there is rapid shift from Ameriphilla in the Anglosphere

Past that, 80% cold hard logistics provided/funded by US in NATO.

Trump pay-up-grifters threats was very actioned by this alone (media never went into it coz orange man bad, but military folks know...and you see the forking out over time now).
 
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