Upgrading Europe’s Militaries
“Consider the evidence of shortfalls and limitations cited by EU military officials in the past year alone:
- NATO members based in the EU felt compelled to withdraw warships from vital naval missions off the coasts of Somalia and Libya. The cited reason: Lack of money.
- The European-led Libyan operation to protect civilians could not have occurred without aerial surveillance and air refueling technology supplied by its North Atlantic partners in the United States.
- EU militaries maintain about 1.7 million personnel in uniform, but are immediately prepared to deploy no more than 100,000 of those Soldiers and Sailors.
- Out of 2,500 combat aircraft available in the EU, only 5 to 10 percent are available to fulfill overseas missions.
- For a recent training mission in Somalia, the EU couldn’t find an available military doctor and needed nonmember Serbia to supply one.
For Gen. Håkan Syrén, the Swedish chairman of the EU Military Committee, these examples represent “hollowing out” of European defense that could become dangerous in a world beset by security challenges old and new. Military missions abroad, combined with transnational challenges like ballistic missile defense and cybersecurity, will continue to call on the resources of Europe...”
Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “Upgrading Europe’s Militaries,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 3, No. 1, 2012: 48-51.
This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.