perttime

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It is not so much a military issue. It is a matter of political willingness to act as a European Federation. There are many who do not want EU to take control and bypass the Member States in decision making.
 

Grey Havoc

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uk 75

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The reluctance of prosperous European countries to provide their own defence is the root of both NATO's and any Europact's problems.
Put bluntly if countries with greatly more money than Russia and considerable depth in industry and technology keep ducking the issue, then so be it.
 

totoro

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The answer is to size up the euro force according to political will to spend money.

So if the will and money is there for just one brigade. So be it. That's the EU army. If there is money for 10 brigades, that's fine too.

Of course those brigades or battalions would have to be part of national armies. So if France wants to send its unit to Africa but Germany doesn't, then there is no argument there. Such deployments are then paid for the individual country, not by EU army fund.
 

TomcatViP

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High ranked Ppl speaking of the EU force are too Franco-centric generally. In essence, there are European countries that have had a much faster pace in that while doing so to better integrate with Nato: the low lands countries co-share airspace policing tasks and share ressources in air transport.


I see as the future if what an Eurocorp can be. Nobody really want to see NATO fade away when it has worked so well so long.


France and Germany did the same:


This kind of local partnership are the ones that make sense and reflect on a cultural reality.

The next step at EU level should be to completely cancel the usage of Russian heavy lifting and buy a real long range heavy transport fleet able to equal the capacity of the US Air Transport command.

The evacuation of Afghanistan has shown how under capacited are Europeans with some countries having to make 10 to 20 more rotations to reach an equal nbr of evacuee (something they did not achieve obviously).

This should be the urgent priority addressed by the Euro R&D budgets and not the pile of wasted opportunity that it proves to be today, even when Ukraine is still in the European sphere of influence, something that might not last forever without more supports.

The urgency is not in re-inventing a Nato.eu inside Nato but to augment the might of it with Europe financial and industrial power used as a resource (not a finality).
 
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Fluff

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The explanation that if the Germans dont want to go, then only France will go, basically explains why we can come back here in 20 years time, and still talk about it.


Its literally just another layer of bureaucracy, another 10 2** generals.......
 

TomcatViP

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But other countries have done it and use it every days inside Nato.
The problem is not the concept but the centric approach of the dominant dialogue that tends to mask the reality of the efforts.
 

Foo Fighter

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This is why their needs to be a method of acquiring military kit where changing governments change theories, topics and tea/coffee brand etc. I wonder what would happen if projects could actually be run cohesively?
 

Grey Havoc

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uk 75

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One of the problems with the EU compared with NATO is the constant warning to its members not to dine a la carte.
NATO has coped as an alliance of sovereign nations with members in various states of membership and levels of participation.
The EU by contrast insists on everyone obeying the same rules and stamps down hard on those who don't. A cynic might even argue that by making it painful for a country to leave, the EU is closer to the Breshnev doctrine of the Warsaw Pact.
There is plenty of scope within NATO for European cooperation. The Anglo Dutch amphibious force comes to mind.
The history of the Leopard main battle tank and the utter failure to reconcile the French and German approaches to what essentially became two versions of the same tank (Leo 1 and AMX30) should be compulsory study for would be Eurogenerals.
Worryingly for France, Leo 1 did become a Euro tank being bought by Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. All with a 105mm gun provided by the Island Apes in UK.
France learnt its lesson and browbeat Germany on Alpha Jet trainer/close support jets and PAH2 helicopter gunships. Left to their own devices Germany would have bought A7/A10s and Apaches.
Not surprisingly on bigger ticket items like warships (frigates designed with NL and then own industry) and fast jets (Tornado and Typhoon) Germany left France well alone.
Equipping a European infantry battalion ought to be straightforward. Choose the most widely available, best, cost effective rifles etc. No such unit exists and it is unlikely to.
 

TomcatViP

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Here is a quick description of the deal by the Greek press:

 

supergaleb

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EU needs a unified fighting force and for NATO to cease to exist as at this point only thing that comes with it is baggage of getting dragged into one American led conflict into another without end of sight and next is what? Against China that is far away from Europe and has no interest coming anywhere close to Europe on the point of having ground forces there or anything hence only thing that may come from China is nukes flying towards Europe if European Union yet again joins in American led crusade to maintain American hegemony.

Might as well be cannon fodders for American when I get drafted because of their bullshit.
 

uk 75

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EU needs a unified fighting force and for NATO to cease to exist as at this point only thing that comes with it is baggage of getting dragged into one American led conflict into another without end of sight and next is what? Against China that is far away from Europe and has no interest coming anywhere close to Europe on the point of having ground forces there or anything hence only thing that may come from China is nukes flying towards Europe if European Union yet again joins in American led crusade to maintain American hegemony.

Might as well be cannon fodders for American when I get drafted because of their bullshit.
You put the European case very succinctly
The problem for France and Germany is not America or China it is how to deal with difficult neighbours ranging from Russia through Serbia to Turkey.
A coherent European military force can only be created by Berlin and Paris giving the lead.
We shall see whether Herr Stolz and M.Macron (assuming it is them) can do anything to turn grand words into substance.
 

Fluff

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EU needs a unified fighting force and for NATO to cease to exist as at this point only thing that comes with it is baggage of getting dragged into one American led conflict into another without end of sight and next is what? Against China that is far away from Europe and has no interest coming anywhere close to Europe on the point of having ground forces there or anything hence only thing that may come from China is nukes flying towards Europe if European Union yet again joins in American led crusade to maintain American hegemony.

Might as well be cannon fodders for American when I get drafted because of their bullshit.
You put the European case very succinctly
The problem for France and Germany is not America or China it is how to deal with difficult neighbours ranging from Russia through Serbia to Turkey.
A coherent European military force can only be created by Berlin and Paris giving the lead.
We shall see whether Herr Stolz and M.Macron (assuming it is them) can do anything to turn grand words into substance.
Not even if they both had 30 years to work on it.
 

muttly

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Nato cease to exist, no interest in china, cannon fodder for the U.S. When Russia
comes calling where will you turn to.
 

uk 75

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Though this will again upset the moderators and others, the key point is that France and Germany now have an excellent opportunity to set up a coherent European Defence Community.
The UK is now out of the EU so can focus on NATO without upsetting its neighbours who prefer European to US leadership.
Defence of the Continent should be led by France and Germany. UK focus will be on the Baltic States and Norway where NATO does make a difference. The timely deployment to these flanks of UK Apaches and fast deployable Army and Royal Marines by C17 is our forte not heavy combined arms divisions. Let the Armee de Terre and Bundesheer shell out to replace US V and VII Corps.
 

zen

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What is a EU controlled Military for?
 

uk 75

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What is a EU controlled Military for?
The purpose of the original European organisations beginning with the Coal and Steel community was to bring France and Germany together politically after generations of conflict.
Other countries damaged by European conflict then joined in, notably Italy and Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands (Benelux).
Attempts at defence cooperation started with the Western European Union (WEU) which amongst other things commited Britain to deploying 155,000 in BAOR and RAF Germany.
The WEU underpinned NATO..
With the end of the Cold War the Russians wanted the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) to take over from the Warsaw Pact and NATO.
For a variety of reasons, notably the collapse of Yugoslavia and Russia's war in Chechnya this never happened and NATO remained the key security provider.
French and German opposition to the US led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the Trump era US withdrawal from various commitments have refocussed these countries' interest in a European led alternative to NATO. The UK withdrawal from the EU has made this easier.
France's nuclear capabilities coupled with the sophisticated defence industries of Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Spain are more than adequate to develop a European Defence Force.
What is lacking are the political skills that led men like Ernest Bevin to create NATO.
The close relationship between the US and UK has not been replicated between France and Germany.
Donald Rumsfeld had a point when he called the "New Europe" of Poland and Hungary as looking to the US not Brussels. You could add pre-Erdogan Turkey to that list
As I wrote earlier it will be for Scholz and Macron to succeed where their predecessors failed. The erratic personalities of Biden and Johnson may make their task easier.
 

zen

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So if the EU is intent of becoming a Federal Superstate, then obviously a EU Military is inevitable.
But to achieve this will require significant compromises by member states and in turn significant guarantees to member states. The current EU, which is hardly run by the EU Parliament and thus not representative of any European Demos, or EU democracy. Is either going to have to change significantly or it will become an Empire in all but name.
That latter outcome can only deliver revolts against itself.
As it is Hungary and Poland risk being ejected from the Union, the rise of Eurosceptic parties is widespread and strategically Franco-German dominance threatens even the Dutch to walk away from the Union.

A changed EU however could achieve much. But can the profound compromises be achieved?
 

Opportunistic Minnow

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I can assure you the Dutch have no intention to walk away from the EU.
Good to hear. For my part, I was quite heartened by HNLMS Evertsen's presence alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth while one belonged to an EU nation and one did not. More please!

Reading back through this thread, I feel compelled to suggest that perhaps Brits might recuse themselves from this thread for a short time and allow more Europeans to chime in. It does begin to read a little like "mother knows best".
 

zen

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I can assure you the Dutch have no intention to walk away from the EU.
I can assure you I've heard odd rumblings from the Netherlands.
-----------
Reading back through this thread, I feel compelled to suggest that perhaps Brits might recuse themselves from this thread for a short time and allow more Europeans to chime in. It does begin to read a little like "mother knows best".
Hmmmmm.....
And does that include you?
 

Arjen

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The odd rumblings from a small minority of Dutch. EU support is strong here, and stronger since brexit. We're drifting off topic here...
 

Fluff

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I can assure you the Dutch have no intention to walk away from the EU.
Good to hear. For my part, I was quite heartened by HNLMS Evertsen's presence alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth while one belonged to an EU nation and one did not. More please!

Reading back through this thread, I feel compelled to suggest that perhaps Brits might recuse themselves from this thread for a short time and allow more Europeans to chime in. It does begin to read a little like "mother knows best".
I think that may have been because of something called NATO.

And we kind Brits didnt go through Brexit to recuse ourselves! We will never be recused!!! Who's with me as we storm the european beaches in our rubber dingies.....
 

zen

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The odd rumblings from a small minority of Dutch. EU support is strong here, and stronger since brexit. We're drifting off topic here...
True but the general point still stands, the EU needs to change to make an EU military work.
 

zen

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I can assure you the Dutch have no intention to walk away from the EU.
Good to hear. For my part, I was quite heartened by HNLMS Evertsen's presence alongside HMS Queen Elizabeth while one belonged to an EU nation and one did not. More please!

Reading back through this thread, I feel compelled to suggest that perhaps Brits might recuse themselves from this thread for a short time and allow more Europeans to chime in. It does begin to read a little like "mother knows best".
I think that may have been because of something called NATO.

And we kind Brits didnt go through Brexit to recuse ourselves! We will never be recused!!! Who's with me as we storm the european beaches in our rubber dingies.....
Certainly we haven't sailed the islands off, we are still off the coast of the European continent.
 

uk 75

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I for one have been trying to help the EU realise its potential.
The Netherlands is a key member since the beginning. The Germans are only just retiring the last of their excellent Dutch designed frigates, which also helped Greece get a decent Navy.
Equally the Dutch had the sense to buy Apaches rather than Tiger gunship helos.
Working with the Dutch Navy notably in amphibious warfare and conventional sub training the RN I am sure was glad to have HNLMS Evertsen with them.
 

Opportunistic Minnow

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And does that include you?
If people stop quoting me thus eliciting a response, yes by all means. I just found telling the Dutch they're leaving was a tad arrogant and I attempted a friendly "woah, dude". Many may in fact know their own mind! Just a thought.
I think that may have been because of something called NATO.
Nay....toe? Nat-oh? Never heard of it.
 

zen

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'Rumblings' is a shorthand for rumours and reports that don't get broadcast on mainstream media in this context.
To take it as 'instruction' is deliberate misreading. Clearly with an agenda.
'Dude'
Perhaps some should realise all os not consensus within member states of the EU?
The view that reform is needed to make an EU military work is entirely reasonable, as is questioning the need.
Expression of opinion is not suppression of others.
 

Arjen

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I just found telling the Dutch they're leaving was a tad arrogant and I attempted a friendly "woah, dude". Many may in fact know their own mind! Just a thought.
I appreciate zen's point that European nations should change their attitude for EU-battlegroups/-rapid-reaction-forces to be succesful. Over the years, Dutch political leadership has refused to spend enough on defence to match its foreign policy ambitions. Either cut ambitions to what you spend on defence hardware and personnel, or spend enough to avoid an armed forces breakdown. Dutch voters haven't forced Dutch politicians to make that choice.

What Dutch leadership has done - out of necessity - is seek more cooperation with our close neighbours. With the Belgian navy. With the German army. What it has not done, because the electorate would not stand for it: distancing from NATO.

'Rumblings' is a shorthand for rumours and reports that don't get broadcast on mainstream media in this context.
I don't know about rising anti-EU feeling in the Netherlands, I don't know where such talk originates. It wasn't borne out by the March elections or the previous elections. In my view, the prevailing Dutch sentiment to remain stems purely from us seeing ourselves as a nation that lives and dies by trade. Exiting the EU would harm trade, as most of that is with other EU members. Defence plays little or no role in that. If news about rising anti-EU feeling in the Netherlands can be found in other media than 'mainstream' media, please point them out.
 
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Hood

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I suppose the only rational reason to form EU forces would be if it proved impossible to raise a NATO force for whatever political reason (e.g. several European nations wanted to intervene in a situation Washington had no interest in).

It seems that many battlegroups have been formed since 2005 with a stanbdy roster but the fact is none have ever been deployed. It has been said this is due to the political process being slow, although the battlegroups are meant to be deployable within 5-10 days. The Military Staff of the European Union (EUMS) already exists has organised dozens of military missions since 2002 so that seems a flimsy excuse.
Possibly the lack of dedicated air and sea transport assets attached the Battlegroups has been a factor?

Anyhow, it feels very much like a perennial good idea that gets politically reaffirmed every time something happens but which actually exists but is never used every time something happens.
 

zen

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Arjen,
Thank you for your input on the Dutch view.
In a way you've confirmed what I've suspected and heard elsewhere.
I cannot give easy links as digging them out is time consuming. Memory issues mean I've forgotten when and were, but the tone was clear. That taking the Dutch for granted and trying to drag them out of NATO was asking for trouble.

Similarly I've heard EU sceptical voices from Poland, Hungary, Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Ireland, Sweden and Denmark.

Anyway, in terms of equipment, a breezy assumption everyone will buy French or German is doomed to fail.
In terms of a EU Military, unless it is directly recruiting from every state it is beholden to states own militaries contributions.
When a bunch if Croatian turn up with VHS-2 rifles slung, how are they to be supported by others with different rifles?
Same ammo yes, same magazines. But scopes? Do different rifles use the same captive pins? Bet you they don't.

How do you replenish stocks of one country's military contribution, unless it's coming from that country?
How many Exocets does Sweden have?
How many spare M88 engines does Italy hold?
How long before you end up getting Spanish soldiers revolting over being given German rations. "Where is my paella, and why is so much sauerkraut on my plate?"
 

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