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"Europe dreams of a common military but has too ..." Topic


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615 hits since 15 Jun 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2017 9:56 p.m. PST

…many types of tanks.

"Following two of last year's biggest political surprises—US president Donald Trump's election and Britain's vote to leave the EU—European leaders say they can no longer rely on those countries to help shore up their defense. This has led to renewed talk of closer military ties between EU members. It will require overcoming differences in language, culture… and tanks.

EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said last week that Europe's protection can no longer be "outsourced," echoing an earlier warning from German chancellor Angela Merkel. Likewise, French president Emmanuel Macron said he would deepen cooperation between European powers.

The gap between US defense spending and the rest of world is vast. The Americans currently spend about €545.00 EUR billion ($611 billion), more than double the EU, which includes Britain's contribution for now, according to a European commission white paper published this month and cited by Juncker. The US invests about €108,322.00 EUR per soldier, more than three times what the EU spends…"
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Amicalement
Armand

ITALWARS Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2017 7:41 a.m. PST

"Following two of last year's biggest political surprises—US president Donald Trump's election and Britain's vote to leave the EU—European leaders say they can no longer rely on those countries to help shore up their defense. This has led to renewed talk of closer military ties between EU members. "
but it has been compensated with a very good big and reliable surprise..the entering on their alliance of Montenegro Army

Personal logo Waco Joe Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2017 7:43 a.m. PST

I keep waiting for Krupp Arms to be resurrected.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2017 8:26 a.m. PST

Joe,

I can see that happening.

Dan

Vigilant16 Jun 2017 8:46 a.m. PST

Well the header and comparisons in the article are stupid since they are not comparing like with like. You might as well compare the EU to the entire continent of America, which would give you a similar disparity of equipment types. So the US has only 1 type of MBT, so does each country in the EU. The real problem with a European army is that despite the wishes of a few politicians, and as demonstrated by the populations of the EU countries, the EU is neither a single country nor a federation of countries. Getting them to agree on anything is like herding cats, the chances on agreeing on a single type of tank, helicopter, rifle or ship with all those different defence industries is nil.

doug redshirt16 Jun 2017 11:24 a.m. PST

Don't most of the tanks use the same size gun now?

Zyphyr16 Jun 2017 1:48 p.m. PST

Generally speaking Western ammunition is pretty standardized. It just that most of the rest of the logistics tail is massively varied.

mckrok16 Jun 2017 1:55 p.m. PST

Isn't the Leo II the most common tank in Europe by far?
Personally, I have my doubts. If the Europeans couldn't get 'a common' military together during the Cold War with large, Warsaw Pact armies next door and memories of WWII fresh in grandma and grandpa's minds, I doubt they can get it together now.

pjm

Lion in the Stars16 Jun 2017 2:09 p.m. PST

If the Europeans couldn't get 'a common' military together during the Cold War with large, Warsaw Pact armies next door and memories of WWII fresh in grandma and grandpa's minds, I doubt they can get it together now.

Exactly.

IIRC, the LeClerc is almost as common as the Leopard, in terms of number of active tanks on the books. And then you have all the T72s from former WarPac nations, which may or may not have been modified to take NATO standard guns.

The big problem for Europe is that they haven't spent 2% of GDP on defense like the NATO treaty required, basically since the mid-1960s. So in order to catch back up, they'd need to spend probably 5% of their GDP for 15-20 years, and that's just not sustainable for their economies.

Gustav A Inactive Member17 Jun 2017 3:07 a.m. PST

Lion,

"The big problem for Europe is that they haven't spent 2% of GDP on defense like the NATO treaty required, basically since the mid-1960s. So in order to catch back up, they'd need to spend probably 5% of their GDP for 15-20 years, and that's just not sustainable for their economies."

Nato's own data show that your are in error, average European Nato defence GDP was 3.7% 1974-1984 for example
PDF link

Indeed the 1970-1989 summary shows that apart from Luxembourg all European members spent 2% or more PDF link

The 2% GDP goal is as far as I can tell a recent invention, can't find a mention of it earlier than 2006. And the 2% goal says very little about actual military capability, it is in many ways a red herring and should frankly be dropped in favour of a focus on developing actual capabilities and deployable forces.

foxweasel Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2017 4:03 a.m. PST

Gustav, those figures are 30 years out of date, Lion is correct.

Gustav A Inactive Member17 Jun 2017 5:06 a.m. PST

foxweasel,
Given that Lion's claim was that the European Nato nations hadn't spend 2% or more since over 50 years back the 1970-1989 numbers were appropriate do demonstrate the error of that claim. Re-read his text:
"The big problem for Europe is that they haven't spent 2% of GDP on defense like the NATO treaty required, basically since the mid-1960s."
Notice the "mid-1960s" at the end.

foxweasel Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2017 5:33 a.m. PST

Fine, I'll rephrase it for you. Most European NATO countries haven't spent 2% GDP on defence for a long time.

Vigilant17 Jun 2017 7:07 a.m. PST

mckroc – there was no need for a European army until recently because there was NATO. And NATO was as much an American foreign policy platform to face off against the Soviet Union as it was a European defence system. Also the EU did not exist until after NATO and when it did was only a relatively small number of countries, not the large body it is now. Also bear in mind that when the Soviet Union collapsed no-one, the US included, thought that there was a need for large conventional forces any more. It is only recent American views on NATO coupled with the growth of an aggressive Russia under Putin that has brought the prospect of the need for a European only army into the minds of the European politicians.

Gustav A Inactive Member17 Jun 2017 7:29 a.m. PST

foxweasel,
That is not quite the same as claiming that the European part of Nato havn't fullfilled their obligation for over 50 years. Also the 2% GDP goal only came into existence in 2006 if the research briefing held by UK House of Commons library is correct link

Which if correct pretty much renders any complaint about the 2% GDP goal null and void if applied to the period before 2006.

Now I will agree that after 2006 far too many European Nato members have not met the 2% guideline, what is worse is that the money that has been spent often has been spent on the wrong things due to the focus on peace keeping and counter-insurgency expeditionary forces while conventional combat arms were allowed to decline.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa18 Jun 2017 6:30 a.m. PST

Basically the EU Army is a Federalist clique vanity project (and I'm pro-EU). My guess is it won't get much beyond the joint HQ within the next decade. The procurement could easily go pear shaped if the other member states think its just a Franco-German carve up. Then there is the issue of what's this army for, and this may be the bigger issue, as I can see some eastward facing countries wanting an army they can point at someone, something which others might be more ambivalent about.

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