The following is a letter sent to Straftor on 7 February 2013, outlining how Catalan independence stands to benefit Allied operations in Africa, and how Spanish policies are undermining them.
In your otherwise very interesting piece on international support for French operations in Mali, you forget to mention how Spain is sabotaging Allied efforts to promote peace and stability in Africa by:
1.- Refusing to renounce the used of force in Catalonia and put an end to the harassment of Gibraltar, thus limiting the capabilities available to NATO. It is no coincidence to see Madrid contributing so little to French operations in Mali.
2.- Sticking to her long-held opposition to the EU-mandated rail and highway Mediterranean Corridor, linking Gibraltar to France along the Mediterranean coast (following ancient Roman roads) and improving the logistical support network available to NATO in the Western Mediterranean. Given Mali's location, it is clear that this policy is harming Allied efforts in the region.
3.- Blocking the participation of Catalan enterprises in the international consortia building key systems such as the transport aircraft you mention in your piece. The additional cost from this policy of industrial apartheid, which seeks to divert part of the work involved to Spanish regions with zero industrial tradition, results in higher prices and a resulting lower number of available assets.
For these three reasons, Africa, NATO and France stand to gain much from Catalan independence. The Atlantic Alliance needs serious members, not Trojan horses sabotaging deployments from inside.
Guest professor, Nagoya University (Japan)
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