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A "European Army" is now a real possibility

This is a discussion on A "European Army" is now a real possibility within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; The Litvinenko situation is a very scary one, he was given a lethal dose of a Polonium isotope, he died ...


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Old September 20th, 2012   #16
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The Litvinenko situation is a very scary one, he was given a lethal dose of a Polonium isotope, he died a very slow & painful death (sorry if stating the obvious, not sure how much you know about it).

I've got no refference or evidence, it's completely a gut feeling, an insticnt or an intuition, that Britian allegiance with America will bite us Brits in the backside. I have nothing against the American people, it's their government I have deep concerns about. I feel the only option would be closer links with Europe.

Anyway I should be keeping my comments as factual as possible, I don't want to come accross a complete nut.

I'm looking forward to the 'next gen' of military tech in relation to missile deffence, looks very interesting.

In the case of the Euro Fighter's development, just another in a long list of cases where the scientists & engineers should be left to get on with things. Without politicians poking their noses in.
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Old September 20th, 2012   #17
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This Euro-Military agreement, not hat its going to happen, may very well spell the end of NATO. Which would be a disaster for Europe. It would be one to just to combine military assets for a unified strike/defensive force but we all know its not that easy.

Whats that saying? "To make cooks spoil the broth"? The fact is that Europe is still a collection of Nation states with different national priorities, let alone opinion, and its two most powerful states, France and Britain, will never go along with it. Even if they did it would only increase the dissension in the group.

When body bags start coming home, or even the threat of it, Nationalism will rise and weaken the collective strength of the unified military. If they even are able to agree on force use in the first place. Let alone force structure, individual budget responsibilities, leadership selection, who gets what defense contracts....ect I see either the economic strongest nations holding sway ; IE Germany, or coalitions binding together. Its all so unworkable.



This perplexes me. I cant understand either thing you said and you havnt explained why your saying it. Please go into detail if you get a moment.

I get it. They want to do Libya's and Yugoslavia's without US involvement and they want to distance themselves from US policy. But they even want to do that to varying degrees. They cant even agree on that.
There is no doubt that Britain & America have done profound things together in the past, most of which neither country would have been able to accomplish by themselves. It's just the 'special relationship' is becoming more & more onsided. I can't put up links, I've not posted enough times, but if you google 'extradition between uk & usa imbalance' you'll read some unsettling statistics. Well at least unsettling if you're a Brit. I'm not anti America, but I'm openly cautious in how the friendship between the two countries are progressing. Which why I feel Britain's only real choice is to become stronger proponents of the EU.
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Old September 21st, 2012   #18
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The UK will never need to take on countries the size of the US or Russia or China on their own anyway, but at least we have the option to chose which conflicts we get involved in and how we go about it.

With this proposal, there's a potential for British lives to be lost over an interest of no significance to Britain just because there was an overriding majority.

Then there's the flipside, if Britain has a dispute (similar to the Falklands) which other nations wouldn't be keen to have their servicemen killed over and therefore veto EU army involvement overruling the UK, do we just roll over? Or do we then get stuck in every time an EU member has a dispute?

How hard would it be for Britain to extricate it's units from this "European Army" and go about conducting independant operations should the need arise (if the rest of the EU doesn't want in?)

The biggest point is that because of this, Britain will have less say in the EU Army than it has at the minute in regards to EU defence policy. Currently Britain can veto EU defence policy and essentially keep itself out of disputes with no significance to Britain (i believe), with this new initiative we could kick and scream all we want but because there's a majority against us then we are treaty bound to commit our Armed forces.

Basically, the deployment of our armed forces will be decided by the proposed EU president and their foreign ministry and not the UK prime minister, no matter what we say.
Let's think about the Falklands & other overseas territories for a moment, in the context of the EU.

France has territories in the Americas, Indian Ocean, & Pacific. Denmark & the Netherlands have territories across the Atlantic. Spain has footholds in Africa, & two million people several hundred km closer to the Moroccan coast than any part of mainland Spain. Portugal tends to sympathise with states whose overseas territories are threatened by neighbours.

France, in particular, would not tolerate any merged defence forces or policy which resulted in a weakened commitment to the defence of its overseas territories, & this would make it very easy to ensure that such a commitment extended to all overseas territories.

As for cases where we'd be reluctant - well, look a the last few decades. How many wars have there been which we might have been forced into against our will, & how many have we got into on US coat tails which we might have stayed out of? As far as I can see, the tallies are zero & either one or two (in Iraq).

The possible area of change is in wars of choice, such as our very effective little intervention in Sierra Leone (much to the benefit of the locals), & the Libyan war. The main barrier to such actions would be Germany.

Personally, I don't see it happening for a long time, it ever. Increased co-operation in such areas as logistics, & doing something about the mess of competing development projects, would be the most useful things that could be done in the short term.
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Old September 21st, 2012   #19
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Let's think about the Falklands & other overseas territories for a moment, in the context of the EU.

France has territories in the Americas, Indian Ocean, & Pacific. Denmark & the Netherlands have territories across the Atlantic. Spain has footholds in Africa, & two million people several hundred km closer to the Moroccan coast than any part of mainland Spain. Portugal tends to sympathise with states whose overseas territories are threatened by neighbours.

France, in particular, would not tolerate any merged defence forces or policy which resulted in a weakened commitment to the defence of its overseas territories, & this would make it very easy to ensure that such a commitment extended to all overseas territories.
Didn't think about it like that, that's a good point. Although Spain would most probably be an issue even though it's in the same situation as the UK, what with Gibraltar and all.

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As for cases where we'd be reluctant - well, look a the last few decades. How many wars have there been which we might have been forced into against our will, & how many have we got into on US coat tails which we might have stayed out of? As far as I can see, the tallies are zero & either one or two (in Iraq).
Again, this is very true. But I think it's prudent to at least consider the potential arising in the future.
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Personally, I don't see it happening for a long time, it ever. Increased co-operation in such areas as logistics, & doing something about the mess of competing development projects, would be the most useful things that could be done in the short term.
Agreed, there are more effective ways to increase European defence intergration of sorts than creating an EU Army.

One way i'd be keen to see develop would be greater EU naval training, something like a European RIMPAC-style event, could be very beneficial.

Last edited by RobWilliams; September 21st, 2012 at 08:39 AM. Reason: grammar correction
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Old September 21st, 2012   #20
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UKIP must be having orgasms over this - at last, they've got something relevant to b*tch about!


I think the European army angle is the least of our worries if things play out the way you'd expect if individual country veto disappeared.
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Old September 21st, 2012   #21
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I think the European army angle is the least of our worries if things play out the way you'd expect if individual country veto disappeared.
Definitely, it's worrying when the comments from some of the people putting this forward seem to be indirectly referencing the UK when they talk about single members dictating EU defence policy.

The idea of a majority pass will happen I reckon in one form or another, but i'm still of an advocate of "You only deploy if you want to go in"
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Old September 21st, 2012   #22
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I'm more worried about the EU overruling other areas which may be more immediately concerning. Giving the EU an army would be like giving a fish a bicycle.
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Old September 21st, 2012   #23
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Im still perplexed my friend. Google "aliens visiting Earth" and you'll find "unsettling statistics". Heres a real statistic for you. Millions of Brit and Yank young men, I was one, spent years of their Lives together defending foreign Lands either in self defense or the defense of Freedom.

I wouldnt read the Links anyway. The International media is a dangerous thing and I filter everything I read and hear. Objectivity is a hard thing to find nowadays. And besides I want to believe there was some reason I spent years in Europe and The Mideast when The Soviets were in town.


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Originally Posted by Biggsydaboss View Post
There is no doubt that Britain & America have done profound things together in the past, most of which neither country would have been able to accomplish by themselves. It's just the 'special relationship' is becoming more & more onsided. I can't put up links, I've not posted enough times, but if you google 'extradition between uk & usa imbalance' you'll read some unsettling statistics. Well at least unsettling if you're a Brit. I'm not anti America, but I'm openly cautious in how the friendship between the two countries are progressing. Which why I feel Britain's only real choice is to become stronger proponents of the EU.
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Old September 21st, 2012   #24
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Indeed - historically, both countries have tended to come running when t'other has picked up the phone -- and it's been a mutually rewarding relationship. It's worth us exploring more solid opportunities with key European players (France and Germany spring to mind) but they needn't (and shouldn't) exclude the UK working with the US as we have in the past.

Nor do I have much faith in the concept of a European common foreign policy, let alone a defence policy becoming apparent in the near term.
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Old September 22nd, 2012   #25
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Does anyone really see France giving up their independent foriegn policy or military? Just look at the history of France and NATO.

Besides, this is just a call to set up a committee to draft a proposal to circulate for discussion. An actual EU military is years, possibly decades, away.
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Old September 22nd, 2012   #26
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I would suggest to most people on this thread to go and dig out the treaty governing the European Defence Community.

The Gaullists shot it down in parliament in 1953, but it was a rather solid proposal at a joint European army developed over a period of three years. And it included national reservations for using troops for their own purposes. Sure, we'd have to remove the "German restrictions", add a peacetime national component for strategic assets and lower the "basic units" from divisions to brigades - but otherwise we could pretty much implement it immediately and straight off.

The UK wouldn't be part of that of course. Neither Spain. Or certain other nations that tend to... vote opposing to the central European bloc.
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Old September 22nd, 2012   #27
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I'm just going to let you all digest that one, personally i'm furious. The following is a key point



I know posting articles without commentary is frowned upon, but i'm at a loss for words at this, I just hope to God it's not true.
can Great Britain simply depart from the EU?? I heard some talk about it, ever since the pound and Euro

sorry for bad quote, blame the no link for newbie thing which the link ain't mine to start off with...

Last edited by swerve; September 22nd, 2012 at 10:43 AM. Reason: Tidied up quote.
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Old September 22nd, 2012   #28
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can Great Britain simply depart from the EU?? I heard some talk about it, ever since the pound and Euro

sorry for bad quote, blame the no link for newbie thing which the link ain't mine to start off with...
All you needed was a " ] " on the end of the [quote=RobWilliams;251979 part and that'd come up a treat as the [/quote] end part was fine. Just watch out with the backspace key

As to leaving the EU, It's one of those things that's widely thrown around the UK very often and that is turning slightly too far into politics.

Debating a EU Army/defence policy isn't as political as discussion on leaving the Euro which this forum isn't too keen on doing, things generally heat up more when politics is involved so be careful
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Old September 23rd, 2012   #29
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Actually a EU Army has its benefits and a significant benefit is the costs reduction that will be spread over the participating nations.
There are loads of nations in the EU who are do have a significant industry and a even better skill set, but due economic problems these nations are forced to make cuts in army departments where a "smart" person would never want to make cuts.
A clear example is the Dutch MBT Battalions, ones there where the pride of the Dutch Army...today they are a memory of better times, the Navy is another clear example ones it was a very capable force within the EU and NATO and today its stuck with 4 frigates and 2 or 3 subs.
Bringing the EU nations into on army would seriously enhance the Army capabilities, Military Industrial capabilities and would give the EU a more credible footprint (Army wise)
As some have mentioned today the EU is a desk show where every nation has its own say and its own reasons to dispute virtually everything in the EU.
So bureaucracy is a nightmare in the EU, and imo it makes the EU look like a bunch of rich spoiled kids with to much time and candy.

The Netherlands did set a example by signing a extended treaty with Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to integrate the army capabilities under on HQ where each nation has its own representatives joining the Staff.
So far it has given the mentioned nations a credible boost to their overall capabilities and it has reduced the costs significantly.
I am not sure if you guys remember this but it has been discussed some months ago here of Def talk.
Most back then did agree on the fact that this whole idea could be taken as a example how to form a EU based Army under one unified control and staff.
So it can be done and the red tape where sort of eliminated due the fact that at the beginning each of the nations made it clear that the joined HQ-Staff must NOT find itself strangled by redtape, and they have made significant efforts to make sure that political elements could not directly minimize the effectiveness of this joined operation. (I do not have specifics of this but i am sure that most older Def talkers could explain it better)

Anyway to get back at the topic, the EU redtape machine is a really serious problem where to much people have a say and where to many key figures have a dispute with actions taken by the EU.
This has been a problem since the fall of the great wall and it seems that it will haunt the EU for another decade.
But on paper the EU itself has everything it would need to play with the big boys, It has the Economics, It has the Industry, resources and it has the research capabilities/knowledge pool to be on a pretty much equal foot with the US.

Most do see the EU as a joke and as a incapable "idea" but in the past the EU has proven it can and will, The major problem with the EU is neither de options available as they are plenty, its more the red tape and the constant power struggle of the smaller nations who like to keep some sort of power, while bigger nations like France, Germany and the UK seem to forget that without the smaller nations they would be done for sooner or later.
The delicate balance between EU member states is fragile and often member nations where allowed to cut way to much under the idea that bigger nations would jump in, while some of these nations actually do not need to cut down.
Now today you see loads of member states who MUST cut to meet the insane standards of the EU.
Again conflicting red tape and interests are a serious danger to a EU army idea.
Personally i believe that if you become part of the EU then you must start thinking and acting as being a part of the EU, which will point all the faces in the right direction and will cut down on the red tape.
But to many nations within the EU should be given a choice:
Either play the EU ball, or ring out because the EU as a "system" can only work if nations are willing to give and take and to make decisions that sometimes will hurt their own nation in order to help the EU, and this will apply vice versa.
The problem with the bigger nations is that France, UK, and Germany seem to forget that they are the 3 major forces within the EU that give the EU its balls, but at the same time its the Achilles heel of the EU because their constant political bickering is exactly the reason why the EU is a sort of fail.
As for the smaller nations they should be part of the EU in every way, not just because of their money contribution.
Imo its either EU all the way, or nothing at all.
And i believe that this would be the solution to make a EU army, and even a EU head government possible as has been explained many times in the past.

There is so much good in the EU and its has serious options and capabilities (Way way more then most others give us credit for) Some might even think that the EU is a collective of weak nations and that it cannot play with the big boys, well personally i would say that if the Redtape problems are being solved and the EU finds a new " goal" where all the faces are pointing in the same direction then the EU can play with the top tier of the big boys.

But if i am wrong with my one sided commend please correct me.
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Old September 23rd, 2012   #30
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The trouble is you would have to combine all the armed forces of each country and theres a problem with that. How would fisheries protection be handled and what about control of the UK and Frances nuclear detterents.I,m sure this would horrify most.
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