S resistance to additional extra-NATO military efforts by the EU relates to "2" and "3" above. That is, where is the money going to come from to do these extra-NATO efforts? Will they be redundant to what already exists? If so, why not spend the money on making what you ALREADY have more effective (or at least pertinent) to what's actually required?

What the Europeans need, but have refused to fund since at least the end of the Cold War, are:

1. Modernized military forces (including, not least of all, the command, control, communications, intel and recon infrastructures) that would allow them to fight modern, Afghan/Kosovo-style wars. This isn't optional---it's fundamentally about the ability of NATO to interoperate with each other. The reports were already out at the time of Kosovo that most of NATO's air forces couldn't operate w/ ours because their equipment can't talk to ours (in terms of targeting, weapons placement, etc.). It's gotten worse since then.

2. Operations and Maintenance. Keeping the military forces you DO have working is also essential. European O&M funding has been slashed (and don't even bother w/ R&D funding, which went south long ago).

3. Strategic lift. Getting the European military forces to anywhere that matters (i.e., outside of Central and Western Europe) is virtually impossible right now. Even going to Kosovo required US (and British) lift assets. Forget about them going to the Middle East or Africa on their own. MAYBE if the A-400 (their version of the C-5) gets built, in significant numbers, but that's still years away.

Sorry for taking up so much bandwidth, but the problems confronting the Europeans and the creation of a realistic military capability rest far, far more in their own choices (including creating what one colleague has termed a "welfare state for the officer-class") than anything we do to discourage or encourage them. Just one guy's opinion.....

Posted by: Dean at July 30, 2002 12:40 PM

Dean -- On your last point: Verily. In fact, I think it likely that should we stop discouraging "strategic competition," the EU would continue to sputter, squabble, and produce little. I just want to transfer responsibility onto *them*, and have their politicians & citizens live with the consequences, and the hoped-for responsibility it might begin to encourage.

Posted by: Matt Welch at July 30, 2002 12:53 PM
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