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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; And in what way would that be useful? We've got UNIFIL and Atalanta, live missions, for both sides to do ...


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Old September 24th, 2012   #46
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And in what way would that be useful?

We've got UNIFIL and Atalanta, live missions, for both sides to do something together. Better than any exercise.
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Old September 24th, 2012   #47
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And in what way would that be useful?

We've got UNIFIL and Atalanta, live missions, for both sides to do something together. Better than any exercise.
So if those are so much better than exercises, why do we do exercises at all?

By that chain of thought, d'you believe exercises like Cougar 12, Corsican Lion or things like Joint Warrior are not useful then and are thus a waste of time and manpower in comparison to what you mentioned?
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Old September 25th, 2012   #48
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I still think a centralised procurment office is the first step.We could mention many senarios where this could work but whether it would be acceptable to all is another matter.Like the upcoming replacements for things like next generation mbt/ifv,next assault rifle the list could go on.It seems to most that this is a good idea but can the politicians make it happen.The proposed merger between Bae/Eads is a start.
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Old September 25th, 2012   #49
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So if those are so much better than exercises, why do we do exercises at all?
Because we need to train the stuff we don't do at those deployments too?

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I still think a centralised procurment office is the first step.
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Old September 25th, 2012   #50
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I still think a centralised procurment office is the first step.We could mention many senarios where this could work but whether it would be acceptable to all is another matter.Like the upcoming replacements for things like next generation mbt/ifv,next assault rifle the list could go on.It seems to most that this is a good idea but can the politicians make it happen.The proposed merger between Bae/Eads is a start.
The OSD for the Challenger 2 is 2035 IIRC + what with Germany releasing the Leopard 2A7+ so that's 2/3 of Europes biggest players in terms of tank design/production (Or more accurately 1/2, but Germany's MBT output is far higher than that of France) so any sort of collaboration on an MBT is most likely so far in the future that it's not even worth predicting.

Personally, i'd prefer more focus on logistical aspects rather than frontline equipment first. The A400M is a good start + perhaps more European procurement of the A330 MRTT, that type of thing, those projects seem to have gone quite well.
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Old September 25th, 2012   #51
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Because we need to train the stuff we don't do at those deployments too?
That's preciesly my point, are there many CBGs on station off Somalia or Lebanon?

If the plan on greater EU integration was to go ahead, is the idea of getting countries like the the UK/France/Italy/Spain/Germany in fact any EU country who could afford to deploy a RFTG to get together and get their respective ships and airgroups able to cooperate on large scale combat operations at a basic level a particularly bad idea?

The UK/France at least have a lot of work to do, getting the UK back in the carrier strike game and operating with the MN so wouldn't throwing in a Spanish or Italian or German task force (or all the above) into the mix on a biannual basis be useful?

I know there's exercises in the Med and up near Scandanavia where this happens, but there's a divide between the countries that have easy access to those respective areas. If greater EU interoperability is what is wanted, then getting the core nations to at least have some basic training with eachother on a regular basis is - IMO - useful.
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Old September 25th, 2012   #52
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This is further down the road and maybe its own post, maybe a new thread but,

OK, this is going to sound odd to most, but I see that eventually US, Canada and Mexico, followed then by the EU to join in a single currency/economy. I believe that we need further cooperation in certain areas of R&D of platforms, but as everything is becoming compartmentalized on board of weapon platforms, the weapons themselves, defense/radar detection monitors, are individual and would still retain the individual nation’s fire tech. Help save a lot of costs, especially with the constant new upgrades.
When I started by saying about the eventual overall economy then everything should be brought under one umbrella, it will ultimately,(if the earth does not destroy life first), lead to TWO world powers, similar to NATO and the USSR, but on a much more intricate and I’m talking, one president scale. Of course we are talking 50-150 years away at a point when either war over resources or economic catastrophe that we have to ensure our survival and use the assets we have to pay the debt we owe. Money and Power; man’s worst own enemy.
I thought this might be its own thread, but after reading this one, I just thought everyone was thinking how it currently is and that it remains that way… but please let me know if it should be, and please be polite about it. I am new here and people need to start treating people as they would want to be treated online as they should do in person. Just because you are behind a screen doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want…. Well it does, but Karmas gets you in this life or the next. Tip of the day, say one thing nice or do one thing nice to someone today, something small and if the smile on their face doesn’t make your day feel a little better, I would be surprised!
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Old September 25th, 2012   #53
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Might be my being a colonial and whatnot, but I have a great deal of difficulty in seeing a European army happen within the next 30 years. I just can't see any of the nations being willing to fund it, basically.

I could see something more like EUFOR with several nations being on the hook for a rotating brigade-size element that has to be ready to respond, something I thought some of the CSTO countries did (or at least said they did). I could also see lots of joint pooling of specific elements (as mentioned, MPRA would be one. So could AEW/tanker assets). I can't see several of the countries being willing to pool everything together (which would kill a lot of the industrial bases for countries). So, just can't see this happening.
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Old September 25th, 2012   #54
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That's preciesly my point, are there many CBGs on station off Somalia or Lebanon?
France has its annual Agapanthe CBG exercise in the Northern Indian Ocean for that. Usually with some joint maneuvers with the Atalanta fleet and other European ships in the area.
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Old September 25th, 2012   #55
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(Or more accurately 1/2, but Germany's MBT output is far higher than that of France)
Hum? Germany doesn't actually build those Leopards it sells, it takes them from existing reserve stocks.

Leclerc - 862 built within last 20 years (406 for EU forces)
Leopard 2 - 509 built within last 20 years (all for EU forces)
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Old September 25th, 2012   #56
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Hum? Germany doesn't actually build those Leopards it sells, it takes them from existing reserve stocks.

Leclerc - 862 built within last 20 years
Leopard 2 - 509 built within last 20 years
I'd like to see your source on that please.

The following roughly puts the numbers from 1992 onwards (L2A5 and newer i think) to be in the low 700s.

Main Battle Tank - Leopard 2

Add in the deal for 200-300 L2A7 for the Saudis with apparently German officials saying Saudi Arabia has been asking for numbers in the 600-800 region.

Saudis 'boost German tank buy to 600-800' - UPI.com)

Then not Qatar wanting to buy another 200 of the same model as the Saudis.

Qatar plans to buy 200 German tanks

Although I doubt they'll all be German builds (IIRC Spain does some under license?), but at the very least it shows Germany is a bigger player in the MBT market than France.
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Old September 25th, 2012   #57
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France has its annual Agapanthe CBG exercise in the Northern Indian Ocean for that. Usually with some joint maneuvers with the Atalanta fleet and other European ships in the area.
Looking at the involvement in Agapanthe 2010 it's hardly anything which can be considered manouvers involving a majority of the EU.

French, Indian, UAE, Saudia Arabia, Greece + Italy.

You're not getting my point, i'm not saying that European units never train together, i'm not saying that the potential for it to happen whilst on deployment isn't there.

What i'm saying is that I believe that an exercise involving most of the core European nations on a biannual basis on a large scale would be useful towards trying to strive for greater European intergration (if that move was desired).

Can't really see how that sort of setup wouldn't be beneficial to international naval collaberation.
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Old September 25th, 2012   #58
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I'd like to see your source on that please.

The following roughly puts the numbers from 1992 onwards (L2A5 and newer i think) to be in the low 700s.

Main Battle Tank - Leopard 2.
I think you're counting conversions as new builds. AFAIK the only new build Leopards since the A4 have been -
Sweden 120
Spain 219
Greece 170
Total 509

All other A5 & A6 have been from German or Dutch stocks, converted from A4.

KMW could still build new Leopard 2s, & if the Saudis or Qataris want new L2A7s, they can be built.
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Old September 25th, 2012   #59
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Lets call this what it is. What it isnt is a EU attempt to integrate Euro Nations for strategic defense. You already have that. What it is is an attempt to integrate a coop strike force to send to foreign shores should Euro interests be threatened. And to be able to do so without USA involvement.

Because the Yank public sentiment for another Libya is less then 0%. Most of all now that Euro nations are pulling out of Afghanistan, and since only a few made meaningful contributions anyways.

Africa comes to mind for this new Euro strike force. The oil is there, the minerals are there, the colonial roots are there. And of course theres always a chance of another mess like Serbia on Europe's periphery. And any military man knows 5 armys are like 5 fingers and 1 army is like a fist. Such an integrated force could be launched in hours and days. Under one commander. With no hordes of Politicos waving fingers in the air for weeks.

So what would you need for such a force? Thats the real question. Not "how much GDP should each country contribute", Or "men", tho that to would have to be adressed. You would need 2 CVs with accompanying naval groups for both strike and defense. You need transport and amphib capability for at least a Corp, 2 divisions, with its mechanized brigades. You would need 2 parachute regiments. You'd need an air component of attack helicopters, bombers would be nice but strike that, at least a land based air wing "assuming the target is in range or an airfield is secured". Intel securing assets, special forces...ect...ect

And everything that goes with the above. Which means a robust airlift capability.

Luckily the military capability is in place in Europe. Most of all if you can secure GB in all this. But is the Political will there? Is the public support there? I see most Europeans ready to curse American adventurism but will stay silent when a country, that supply's 1/2 their oil is attacked mostly with Yank weapons. Same went with Serbia. Now I see them being "as" practical, or more, should Euro economies be threatened in former colonies.

So you want the military fist to enforce your own foreign policies without Yank interference. The assets are there. But it will cost you. I still see the thing as unworkable but the military capability IS there if the will equals it. And it would be a strike capability very nearly equal to America's in quality. But its no "defense force", tho thats a catchy name for it.

Last edited by USAF77; September 25th, 2012 at 08:39 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old September 26th, 2012   #60
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I think you're counting conversions as new builds. AFAIK the only new build Leopards since the A4 have been -
Sweden 120
Spain 219
Greece 170
Total 509

All other A5 & A6 have been from German or Dutch stocks, converted from A4.

KMW could still build new Leopard 2s, & if the Saudis or Qataris want new L2A7s, they can be built.
They can do that? That's pretty god damn awesome.

Well, from what i've been reading the Saudis and Qatar want new builds and not second hand examples. But like I said the idea of 600-800 for the Saudis is supposedly what a German official reported as being true so i wouldn't but on it just yet
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