The French in the New World of America, the Spanish, the French sniffing around Australia and beaten to it by the British in 1788, the Dutch there also on the other coast a century earlier, the Chinese ten years ago in Africa - it's going on the whole time, as the Germans can attest.
In my time in Russia, the British were "known" over there for using the British Council for its purposes and I was caught up in the wash in 2008 when the BC was expelled from Vladivostock.
And so it goes on and on. Exxon in Sakhalin is another example.
This one below is from the heart of "the enemy", the European Council on Foreign Relations and I'd say it's par for the course:
The murder of three Russian journalists in the Central African Republic in July 2018 raised new concerns about Russia’s presence in Africa. Because the reporters were investigating the activities of Russian private military contractors (PMCs), there has been widespread speculation that they were killed at the behest of a Russian state determined to expand its presence on the continent. This explanation is plausible: after years of irrelevance in resource-rich but politically unstable central Africa, the Kremlin has heavily relied on PMCs – a cost-effective and efficient tool for hybrid confrontation – in making its return to the region.
Putin publicly supported the creation of mercenary groups in 2012 but, officially, they remain illegal in Russia. Although the Kremlin refuses to acknowledge their existence, PMCs have become an essential tool of Russian foreign policy. This has been apparent in both the Ukraine conflict and the Syrian civil war. By employing irregular armed groups, Moscow has gained the luxury of plausible deniability: the ability to simultaneous be and not be party to a conflict, thereby escaping public accountability for casualties of war. The Kremlin’s response to the decimation of a Wagner Group unit in Syria in early 2018 provides a good example of this.I could equally write of the US and NATO in the Ukraine through their puppet Poroshenko - let's be evenhanded here. And now we have the spectre of the EU Army:
It rather undermines talk of the nationalism versus patriotism which Macron went on about on the 11th at the Arc de Triomphe, surrounded by flags and the military. It's not my intention to get into party politics in this post, only to point out that nationalism and imperialism has never died and all the EU is is a new artificial nation, not unlike Belgium, its headquarters.
Sackerson sends these two links which delve into this matter of the Merkel Army:
Sackers' further comments:
Or does [Frau Merkel] mean merely to start it off as that until the EU is a full nation and can indeed boast its own national armed forces?