This is why as much as the EU can be a source of grief for the Washington Establishment, they would rather have Europe united and Britain a part of that union. Britain has historically served as a check to the independent aspirations of Paris and Berlin.
American strategists want enough instability in Europe to keep NATO at the forefront. With the Western drive toward Russia, there's a strong desire to keep European Imperialism under wraps, or rather under the auspices of US sponsorship through the NATO command structure. It's something of a dance, a delicate balance. Historical forces keep trying to rear their head and the United States is trying to both harness and control these natural tendencies by dominating the theatre.
The last time the EU was ascendant and NATO in question, the instability of the Balkans and a faux-humanitarian argument were used as a justification to keep Europe within the American orbit. In other words the United States utilised the instability and conflict and widened them. The Balkan Wars became a project to help consolidate Europe and justify the existence of NATO. During the Cold War NATO was (for the sake of argument) defensive but in the post-Cold War era, NATO would be turned into an overt aggressor. Like a shark, if US Imperialism failed to keep swimming (expand) it was destined to die. That's no less true today. This (in part) explains the drive toward Russia and NATO involvement in Afghanistan.
In order to keep Europe within its fold, the US had to embolden its nations and foster militarism. But these forces once unleashed prove difficult to contain. For several years, due to the 'mismanagement' of the Bush administration, Europe was on the verge of slipping away. One of Obama's successes, whether acknowledged or not was to bring Europe back into a closer partnership with American Imperialism. The conflicts in Syria, Libya, Ukraine and the growing tensions with Russia and the refugee crisis have all helped US goals in this regard.
It is unlikely France and Germany will get too far down this path toward autonomy. German military and intelligence sectors are closely wed to Washington. France has more of a record of dissent when it comes to US policy and strategy and yet Germany is the only nation at this point that has enough European standing and economic power to pursue autonomy. The formula is somewhat dubious but the moment is ripe or at least contains possibilities.
The US may push for some sort of NATO action in order to keep the command structure under its firm control. During the Cold War the United States utilised 'stay behind' forces, basically clandestine far Right guerilla groups to foment terror across Europe under the guise of the extreme Left. Operation Gladio as it was known in Italy had its parallels in many of the nations of Europe. These operations attempted to steer European politics to the Right, toward anti-communist policies and into a stronger embrace with Washington.
Today the Middle Eastern wars have afforded CIA dominated Western intelligence agencies an opportunity to develop networks of arms smuggling and recruitment among the immigrant population. Ostensibly these networks are feeding and supporting the wars in Syria, Libya and elsewhere. And yet, this also affords opportunities to utilise elements within these networks to foster chaos and instability in Europe itself. Like Gladio during the Cold War, this new era of intelligence sponsored and permitted attacks drives European politics, incites militarism and empowers NATO and thus the United States. In virtually every case, the terrorists attacking Europe are known to the intelligence agencies. The 'Keystone Cops' argument is a ruse which simply feeds more money and power to these agencies. Are the agencies deliberately creating these cells and issuing orders? Not necessarily. They can create the conditions, monitor them and if convenient, look the other way.
This is dark and disturbing to many people and enters the realm of the unthinkable but there's a lot of evidence to suggest this is the case both yesterday and today, both in Europe and in the United States itself.
If France and Germany pursue this course, we must look for a new wave of terror attacks to bring their policies into line. The US has less control over French intelligence (both the DGSI and DGSE) than they do Germany's BND or BfV. German intelligence has long been dominated by the United States going back to their utilisation of former Nazi Reinhard Gehlen to establish an 'organisation' in what would become West Germany. The Gehlen Organisation would eventually become the BND.
While the US collaborated with these agencies in the 1990s, particularly in the Balkans, in the wake of 9/11 there has been a concentrated effort on the part of the United States to establish closer ties and to integrate operations. Hints of these relationships have been revealed through leaks and investigative journalism. One thinks of the 'Alliance Base' outside Paris and German based Operation Eikonal, the collaborative project between the BND and the NSA.
The following link contains some interesting tidbits from the Stratfor leaks regarding French intelligence. It's also noteworthy that French terror attacks began in earnest under the Hollande administration... resulting in a Left-leaning government embracing militarism and now setting the stage for a resurgence of the French Right. History repeats itself.
Here's another sampling indicative of Washington's angst regarding French intelligence:
Many of the 'conflict' areas are with regard to industry. This has been the case for many years.
This article from the 1990s while interesting, is laughable in that tries to pretend the United States doesn't do the same thing. The record of US espionage operations in France is long, established and dark. The Boeing- Airbus battle has been the source of particular vitriol and intrigue. It's bigger than just the corporations. These companies are intimately tied in with their military-industrial sectors.
Here are some additional links of pertinence:
The US has long funded the French Right (both Front National and formerly the OAS) and yet at this point their nativism and nationalism might harm US aspirations in both France and Europe. Sarkozy represent the type of 'balanced' Right-wing candidate the US wants to see, someone committed to Atlanticism and yet also militaristic and on board with US Imperialism.
The Brexit has definitely empowered Germany and has diminished British influence. More than ever the Brexit will lead not to British autonomy, but instead to its subjugation and dependence on the 'alliance' with Washington.
The Washington Post article (linked below) has a point. Fear of Trump plays a part in this, though this has long been an aspiration of the European Establishment. Trump and the present climate surrounding Brexit have created the climate for such a move. At this point, it's just talk, however you can be sure Washington is watching with great concern.
There's also another economic aspect to the story. Germany and France both wish to bolster their defense industries. It's an ugly but well known secret that these sectors play a huge part in Western economies, diplomacy and power for respected national Establishments. Europe has long been suppressed and subjugated to America's war economy. A new era of European autonomy would bring about an arms sales bonanza both within Europe and eventually without its borders.
Everyone is looking for high quality products, the types produced in Europe and something that frees them of being too dependent on the United States.
Many Christians are involved in US think-tank and defense sectors and unfortunately they have and will continue to participate in US attempts to derail European autonomy and in addition they are profiting from the expansion of American militarism. Christian brethren in Europe are being pulled into this climate of instability and growing militarism as their societies are polarised. Many Christians are distracted by the 'struggle for civilisation' and bitterness toward immigrants and European rivals as well romantic nationalist aspirations and irredentism. More than ever, Christians need to divorce themselves from the Establishment apparatus and live as Second-Class Citizens, strangers and pilgrims on the earth.