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Brexit the chance for a united EU military?

Discussion in 'Europe & Russia' started by Sancho, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. Locke

    Locke FULL MEMBER

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    The F-22 in general has superior VLO features. The F-35 might be better in certain aspects, but not all.
    The technology difference are a mixed bag. The APG-77 is thought to be superior to the APG-81, but there is no hard evidence since next to nothing is published about them. The big advantage to the F-35 is AAQ-37 DAS and datalinking with more types of aircraft. The F-22 is mostly limited to other F-22 but there are proposals to upgrade the datalink.


    Not so far. What happens if China tells Russia, us or India? Who do you think they'll choose? Russia has security concerns which make a friendly China important. India is a nice customer for Russia, but not much more than that.

    France DID stay in NATO, they just removed themselves from the integrated military command . Notice that France did keep troops in Germany and did develop (mostly secret) plans to operate with other NATO countries in the case of Soviet invasion. It returned to the the integrated military command in 2009 for two reasons:

    "France’s decision to fully participate in NATO had two aims: firstly, to increase our presence and influence in the Alliance, and secondly, to facilitate renewal of momentum for Defence Europe, lifting any ambiguity as to a possible competition between the two organizations."

    http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/defence-security/france-and-nato/


    You're right, it won't happen because the US isn't proposing something like NATO with India and has never even intimated a unified command.
     
  2. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Everybody makes this mistake. No, the F-35 is far more stealthy than the F-22. Most likely a whole magnitude more. The reason is because the F-35 uses a lot of radar absorbing structures.

    Such threats work on weak countries, not Russia.

    The Russian objective is simpler. They don't want India to become an ally with anybody else. They want India to do whatever India wants, this is no different from the Soviet policy. And no, this has nothing to do with weapons sales.

    This is what I'm talking about. They rejoined NATO to weaken NATO. They want the US out and they want Europe to have their own independent defence policy. A new EU Army.

    The Americans want to convert the QSD into a formal alliance. US, India, Japan, Australia.
     
  3. somedude

    somedude Captain FULL MEMBER

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    No, definitely and categorically no.

    France would like a better balance between America and Europe. Right now the USA are united while the EU is divided, that makes each individual EU country weak compared to the USA and makes it easy for the US to impose their will. If Europe was more united on defense and foreign policy, they could have with the USA a relationship of equal partners rather than vassals and liege.

    But that's not a question of weakening NATO. To the contrary, a more powerful Europe would result in a more powerful NATO; instead of the current situation where NATO means that EU countries can skimp on defense as they expect the US to protect them. If I may use a metaphor, NATO right now is a giant that hops around on its one strong leg, because the other leg is atrophied, and it doesn't matter what movements the vestigial leg does. A more balanced situation would have the NATO giant walking on two legs normally.
     
  4. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    You analogy works to the point where it is dependent on the weak leg getting strong.

    But France wants American influence to reduce regardless of whether the leg gets strong or stays weak because the Americans have been dragging Europe to wars the Europeans have no interest in fighting.

    It's the "suffer now and get strong later" policy. The fact is Common Defence makes NATO moot.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...dent-nato-britain-brexit-russia-a7968346.html
    Mr Macron called for the creation of an EU defence force by 2020 that would give the bloc “autonomous capacity for action” and proposed creating an European security training academy.

    This "autonomous capacity for action" implies "F off, US".

    NATO still exists because the EU is weak.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/785043/EU-Army-Nato-undermine-report-Brexit
     
  5. somedude

    somedude Captain FULL MEMBER

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    The USA are very good at undermining themselves, as we can see with Donald Trump. There are several strategic trends that make the US less reliable as defense partner for Europe; deliberately crippling European defense by preventing a EU army from appearing is not what will make NATO strong in French eyes, but that's how the British tend to see things.

    The strategic trends that make the USA unreliable are:
    - end of the Cold War has replaced the Soviet Union with Russia. The East is no longer the ideological enemy of Washington; however Russia has a lot of irredentist and revanchist views on former Soviet territory, which threatens several EU countries. The crisis in Georgia and Ukraine have sparked the fear that the Baltic states or Poland could be next, and that the USA would not find it worth it to risk a nuclear war.
    - the rise of China and the Pivot to Asia. As the top threat to the American-imposed world order seems to be Beijing instead of Moscow now, the USA are trying to move their focus from Europe to the Asia-Pacific region. India is well-placed to have seen this first-hand. Pivot to Asia means pivoting away from Europe.
    - American energy independence. Through new (and controversial) methods such as fracking, the USA are no longer dependent on middle-eastern oil. That means they are less interested in stability in the middle east, and therefore more likely to do stupid shit over there, as their main remaining interest in the area is to support their client state of Israel. Which lobbied hard for the destruction of Iraq and Syria, and now requests that of Iran. But Europe is right next door to these countries, and the more the US do some stupid shit there, the more problems this create for Europe, while the US don't care.
    - American isolationism. Since they are surrounded by oceans and weak neighbors, Americans feel very remote from the problems of the "Old World" and they are always tempted to just ignore the rest of the world when they are suffering from domestic issues. Trump is a perfect illustration of this phenomenon. That Europe isn't able to defend itself and needs to rely on Uncle Sam's protection was actually one of the campaign points that propelled Trump's campaign, as he promised to "make America great again" by putting "America first".

    You put all these things together and you get a clear picture: the USA will no longer be a reliable ally for Europe, therefore if NATO remains merely an American framework it will become useless. A strong European defense is a requirement first to defend Europe (obviously) but also to keep NATO relevant because the European side will be able to work when the American side doesn't.


    I'll add that if, like the British, you see NATO as a way to keep the European military forces shackled to the will of Washington and with no ability to bring European interests in the balance, then you're the one who is weakening NATO. The Brits should be well-aware that when you're in an alliance or union that doesn't seem to bring you any advantage anymore, you want to leave it. The NATO they want is one that will eventually be exited by its European members; whereas a NATO where Europe has a strong and unified voice is a NATO that will stick around.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
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  6. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    In any one-sided alliance, when the other side becomes stronger, it leads to a weakening of the alliance because as you get strength, you also get more assertive.

    The US/EU grouping may get militarily stronger if the EU gets stronger, naturally, but the alliance itself will get weaker. Military alliance and military strength are not synonymous.

    For example, France had the capability to attack Libya without NATO assistance and this advantage was used. So after an EU army is setup, the reliance on the US will decrease and will eventually disappear.

    So NATO isn't one giant, it's two giants. One all powerful, the other all sickly, weak and dependent.
     
  7. Locke

    Locke FULL MEMBER

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    For France, it's not so much that it wants to weaken American influence as it is increase French influence. There's a difference.

    The problem with proposed EU defense organizations it that they add more command structures without bringing any new capabilities to the table. Will a EU army add additional soldiers or tanks or artillery? No. How about aircraft? Nope. Ships? No. Just a new command that will siphon more money away when the countries involved still aren't spending the amounts they're treaty bound to spend. Estonia, Greece, Poland, Romania and the UK are the only ones spending 2% of GDP or greater. France is at 1.8,% particularly since they have a domestic defense industry they need to sustain. Germany only spends 1.2% and this year is increasing it by a whole 0.02%. And in August the SPD rejected meeting the 2% target at all. Furthermore, there are questions of whether some countries can even meet the target given EU budget rules.

    The last time EU countries (under the NATO aegis) attempted autonomous action was in Libya. It didn't take long to discover that there were numerous shortages including laser guide bombs (NATO and US stocks were tapped), intelligence (the US ran surveillance drones throughout the operation), EW (the US covered it) and refueling (once again the US provided it).

    Per Hastings Ismay, the first general secretary of NATO, the purpose was "To keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down." The last one is obsolete, but the other two are still operative. Want to not depend on the US. Fine. Meet the treaty spending obligations and then at least double that amount to make up for the resources no longer being received.
     
  8. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    The new EU army can bring standardization across the table. People make fun of the IAF for having too many fighter types without realizing that the EU has far more. India has just two types of tanks while the EU has as many as a dozen. India has only one type of ICV while the EU has 28.

    With a combined army, the bases can be properly distributed, the manpower can be properly distributed. Take the Spanish Armed Forces for example, they are far away from any adversary.

    A single fighting force with a central command is way better than an alliance.
     
  9. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/19/eu-army-inevitable-says-senior-german-official/

    One of Germany’s most senior defence officials has become the latest to add his voice to calls for a European army.

    Hans-Peter Bartels, Germany’s national defence commissioner, on Monday called for Nato’s EU members to organise their militaries into a single force.

    “In the end, there will be a European army,” he said.

    His comments, on the same day Brexit talks formally began, are a sign the rest of the EU is preparing to press ahead with further defence integration.

    Britain has repeatedly blocked plans for an integrated European defence policy, but other member states have warned it cannot expect to have a say in the issue post-Brexit.

    There have been growing calls for a single European defence policy in the wake of Donald Trump’s comments that Nato is “obsolete”.

    At a Nato summit last month President Trump publicly lectured European leaders on the need to pay more towards the cost of their defence.

    “We are currently disorganised, technically fragmented and duplicate structures unnecesarily," Mr Bartels said.

    “We do not want to go down the solitary national path any more. Not in Germany, not in the Netherlands, not in the Czech Republic and not in Italy.”

    France and Germany have led calls for a European army. The Netherlands and Germany have already merged some units, while the Czech Republic and Romania have expressed interest.


    “Every step in the right direction is important,” Mr Bartels, an official appointed by the German parliament to oversee the military said.
     
  10. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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  11. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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  12. Locke

    Locke FULL MEMBER

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    True, but then you run into a problem of whose stuff are you going to use. I'd say the Leopard II is a better tank than the Le Clerc. Do you think France is going to buy it? Would Germany buy Rafale and have no role in aircraft development? Since Sweden is a small country, what would happen to Saab? You could parcel out work so each country gets their "share", but that tends to make the process less efficient and more expensive. And each country would demand its "share".

    Unless all acquisition is done at the EU level, you'll never get agreement. And that leaves out the main problem that most countries aren't spending enough on defense, period.

    Do the Spanish want to have their forces deployed away from home, even if it's another EU country? Would the Italians like to have one of their bases closed if it made more sense to station force somewhere else? Bases pump money into local economies.

    The main thing is that the EU isn't the US and isn't India. It is a collection of sovereign states who value that sovereignty. Herding cats is the analogy that springs to mind.
     
  13. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    They are already working at the EU level. They are collaborating on new aircraft, like the newly proposed Franco-German FCAS. Or the new Franco-German MGCS tank.

    The major roadblock to this was the UK. Now with them gone, it will be easier to make a major shift.

    After the Common Defence plan is initiated, the planning will be centralized. Many of those bases will be shut down and relocated to areas where it matters. In exchange, countries that lose out may get defence production in their territories.

    What's more. Consolidating multiple defence budgets into a single one will actually reduce expenditure, so they will actually save a lot of money there.

    India was no different before independence. It took decades of conditioning for the "Indian" identity to emerge. Europe will have to go through that process.
     
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  14. somedude

    somedude Captain FULL MEMBER

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    Nexter and KMW have merged into KNDS, so the next German tank and the next French tank are going to be made by the same company.

    There's enough room in Europe for Airbus, Dassault, Saab and even Leonardo -- having some competition is good, and the size of a EU military would make it that a high-low mix in fighter jets would be logical. Add transports, tankers, patrol aircraft, AWACS, ELINT, etc. and other non-combatant roles and there's room for several companies to live.

    The USA have sustained Boeing, LockMart, and Northrop after all; likewise Russia has maintained Mikoyan, Sukhoi, Ilyuchin, Tupolev, and Yakovlev; and even China has several competing research bureaus.

    If you look at the situation in the USA, you'll notice that each state demands its share, too. The F-35 production is spread across 46 states (Alaska, Hawaii, Nebraska, and Wyoming are the only states that don't get a share) and over ten foreign countries. The production of Boeing airliners is spread across several sites with a final assembly in Seattle, just like the production of Airbus airliners is spread across several sites with a final assembly in Toulouse. Boeing has the Dreamlifter (and the Guppies before) for the same reason Airbus has the Beluga. So no, there's no inherent competitive disadvantage here. And I believe it's likewise for Russia and China.
     
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  15. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    Yep.

    http://indiandefence.com/threads/in...rdware-in-the-10-15-years-baba-kalyani.65851/
    Q. There is criticism that the SP policy is exclusionary, with nominated firms gaining everything, and the other left without orders. For example if you are chosen as SP for land systems, you get excluded from aerospace manufacture…

    This is not correct. We can be a strategic partner for one segment, and a development partner, or Tier 1 or Tier 2 vendor for another. For building a fighter in India, at least 150 companies will be needed. There is space for all, not just the strategic partner.
     

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