As the article points out, look for a European army on the horizon. Spending cuts, the economic crisis and a need for security are the drivers behind the politics that will make the United States of Europe and its European army happen. As much as its European neighbors might not like Germany much at the moment, they look towards its leadership as an economic powerhouse that runs Europe, as well as its umbrella protectorate. In the next chapter of world history, all roads are leading to Berlin. Some might agree, some might not, and some might even scoff at the idea. However, in the end, today’s jokes are tomorrow’s reality. Global Geopolitics has been following this for some time now and its trend is well documented here for you, the reader, to see and come to your own conclusions.
Germany and the Netherlands form a joint task force.
A brigade of Dutch paratroopers will be integrated into a new German division of rapid reaction forces, German newspaper Rheinische Post reported on May 22. The 11th Airmobile Brigade—a mobile force of 4,500 troops that is equipped with light vehicles, mortars and anti-aircraft systems—will join 8,600 German soldiers to form the new division under German command.
With paratroopers and special forces, as well as combat and transport helicopters, the group is designed to respond quickly to new threats and help evacuate endangered German and Dutch citizens. Until now, only Britain and America had a similar type of military structure.
The new merger shows how Europe’s economic troubles could revolutionize its military. All across Europe, nations are under heavy pressure to cut budgets. Politically, it is easier to cut military budgets than many other areas of state spending. Cut the defense budget, and people grumble. Cut social spending, and they riot.
At the same time, European nations are keenly aware of the need for military spending. They see the spread of radical Islam in northern Africa, and the retreat of America. French President François Hollande committed to keeping France’s defense budget at €30 billion (US$39 billion) a year, despite calls to cut it. That’s not too surprising, since the nation just spent an estimated €205 million (US$265 million) in Mali.
The pressure on leaders like Hollande will get stronger. In a way, military pooling is a win-win scenario. All the nations involved get to cut their costs, while the resulting army is stronger than the sum of its parts. Ten battalions, 1,000 strong, from 10 different countries cannot be as effective as one division, 10,000 strong, provided the division is well-integrated. Not only can the larger division work better together, but all the support staff can be organized much more efficiently.
As the economic crisis bites, we will probably see more EU countries “go Dutch,” heading toward forming a common European army.
The big downside is the loss in sovereignty. But the Netherlands’ decision to place its rapid reaction forces under German command proves that EU nations will, under some circumstances, accept this. The new brigade could even be a proof-of-concept—a baby step toward much closer cooperation.
Watch for the EU, or a group of EU nations, to work toward a common European army.
Full article: Dutch Paratroopers Integrated Into German Army (The Trumpet)