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The current time is: 10/22/2017 3:20:51 PM
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kaii
Edinburgh, UK
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1884

NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 2/17/2017 6:09:33 AM
In a sign that European nations are starting slowly to revamp their defence spending, five NATO countries today announced that they will jointly purchase and operate a fleet of 8 Airbus A330 MRTT tanker- and transport planes.

The planes will be stationed in the Netherlands and Germany and will primarily serve the air forces of Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium and Luxembourg.

It is expected this sort of cooperation will get much more common as European NATO countries slowly start picking up the slack in NATO.


---------------
A fool and his money are soon elected.

wazza
Sydney , Australia
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 343

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 2/17/2017 3:37:31 PM
Nice, and sensible!

kaii
Edinburgh, UK
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1884

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 2/17/2017 5:37:15 PM

Quote:
Nice, and sensible!
--wazza


Yes, it makes a lot of sense yes for the different NATO countries to share joint capabilities like these.
---------------
A fool and his money are soon elected.

Lightning
Glasgow, UK
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 442

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 3/1/2017 12:19:00 PM
As much as many people in the UK (and elsewhere) oppose the formation of integrated European armed forces, it really does make financial and strategic sense.

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

kaii
Edinburgh, UK
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1884

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 3/1/2017 12:38:50 PM
One interesting aspect of this that I did not pick up on initially, is of curse, that Luxembourg does not have an air force as such (although I believe the NATO AWACS assets are formally registered as part of the Luxembourg Air Force). I suppose they will use some of the air lift capacity, but otherwise it looks like a way for Luxembourg to contribute to NATO without building their own capacity (one can argue that Luxembourg probably does not need their own dedicated air lift capacity, and certainly not air tanking capability).

I agree Colin, that this is sensible and we will probably see a lot more of it going forward. In principle there is no reason why European NATO countries should operate different MBT, APC, IFV's etc and it would be far cheaper to standardise across the armies, but there is of course a massive defence industry/employment aspect involved.

The Nordic countries (NOR/SWE/FIN/DEN) have announced that they will jointly develop the next generation uniform (or rather that Finland willdevelop it and the others willuse the same one, albeit with different camo patterns).

---------------
A fool and his money are soon elected.

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1924

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 3/1/2017 2:36:11 PM

Quote:
As much as many people in the UK (and elsewhere) oppose the formation of integrated European armed forces, it really does make financial and strategic sense.

Cheers,

Colin
--Lightning


Why do they oppose it ?

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

Lightning
Glasgow, UK
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 442

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 3/1/2017 3:08:13 PM
Trevor,

It's a sovereignty thing, whereby having units of your armed forces dedicated on a permanent or semi-permanent basis to the common European defence structure as it evolves would diminish national independence and international influence. There's also a feeling that integrated European defence would undermine NATO, although frankly the new US President has done enough damage there already.

The 2% of GDP thing seems largely arbitrary to me and doesn't reflect real defence need. Europe's hardware is superior to that of their immediate rival and there's enough in the tank to see off any sustained Russian aggression against any EU state. As Kai says, the sharing and duplication of kit and deplorable resources will ensure that European strength isn't diminished, no matter how many rusty carriers Russia tows out to sea.

Cheers,

Colin

---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3322

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 3/1/2017 3:27:30 PM
There's also a feeling that integrated European defence would undermine NATO, although frankly the new US President has done enough damage there already.

 From my viewpoint, much more damage to NATO has been done in decades of tepid support for NATO by continental European powers. Once the Wall came down, "it was time for the peace dividend" ... except it was a hollow peace that saw some gains but a renewal of dangerous confrontation by Russia. Trump's outbursts are -very- new and, truth be told, relatively limited. And even then, some of what he said was simple public statement of facts that anyone involved in European defense issues knew quite well.

 I agree NATO has been undermined, but question the notion that Trump is so very much to blame on that point. That IMO is a too-easy explanation that doesn't stand up well to examination.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

kaii
Edinburgh, UK
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1884

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 3/1/2017 7:54:20 PM

Quote:
Trevor,

It's a sovereignty thing, whereby having units of your armed forces dedicated on a permanent or semi-permanent basis to the common European defence structure as it evolves would diminish national independence and international influence. There's also a feeling that integrated European defence would undermine NATO, although frankly the new US President has done enough damage there already.

The 2% of GDP thing seems largely arbitrary to me and doesn't reflect real defence need. Europe's hardware is superior to that of their immediate rival and there's enough in the tank to see off any sustained Russian aggression against any EU state. As Kai says, the sharing and duplication of kit and deplorable resources will ensure that European strength isn't diminished, no matter how many rusty carriers Russia tows out to sea.

Cheers,

Colin


--Lightning


We saw this coming up in the Brexit debate, with the Brexiters showing pictures of EU troops training in the Brecons, claiming this was against the will of the UK - when the Uk in fact was (one of) the driving force(s) behind the establishment of the EU Battle Groups...

The 2% figure is largelly pointless, and is a pure political construct, but nevertheless one that all countries have agreed to meet.

There is some debate in NATO whether NATO would work best as it is, where the US essentially calls the shots (and NATO gets involved in wars outside the NATO area), or whether a NATO consisting of one North American bloc and one similarly sized European bloc with about equal powers and financial responsibilities would work better. Both models have merits and support, obviously todays situation is preferable for the US (except for the finances...) and the other model would be better for Europe (although much more expensive than most European politicians would stomach).

James Mattis has actually touched onto the second model a couple of times, arguing that what joins Europe and US together (i.e. basic values, systems of government etc) would always outweigh different viewpoints on strategy and tactics, especially in times of crises.

I am not sure where I stand, except I would like to see a considerably upgunned Europe for now.
---------------
A fool and his money are soon elected.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3322

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 3/2/2017 1:51:19 AM
Kai / Colin,

 Another thought that occurs is there is a common thread to these issues, and it is a paucity of open communication on everyone's part in NATO. Every member state realizes the geopolitical situation is not that of 1949. Many states don't like the "2% target". The USA has openly complained about member investment in their armed forces, but doubtlessly has other issues that probably should be aired. The Greeks spend a lot, but mostly to confront another NATO "ally", Turkey. In an EU role, Germany put its thumb on Greece regarding the debt and financial issues -- something tells me the Greeks have hardly forgotten that, and it would be foolish to assume that those bitter sentiments don't poison relations between the two where NATO is concerned. Likewise, the EU gets after NATO member states because Brussels is unhappy with their national politics ... but all said and done, the more western-located EU powers are quite pleased that it is Hungarian and Polish troops on the EU's far frontiers. In summary, it seems there is a lot of risky international gaming within Europe going on, but the topic as to if this undermines NATO's effectiveness is apparently completely out of the thoughts of Europe's leaders.

 The biggest question of all is if NATO should continue to exist. IMO, discussions about a "two-bloc" system are the first step in disbanding NATO. The EU is chafing because they have belatedly realized the EU has little serious diplomatic influence without dedicated military force to back up the diplomacy if needed. And because NATO includes non-EU members, NATO will never write the EU a blank check in that regard. It may be that NATO has been granted a "reprieve" by the current Russian stance. However, should Russia's approach change ... I believe there are other forces at work that will be quite happy to bring about the end of NATO.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1924

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 3/2/2017 3:59:03 AM
Excellent post Bill. There are a whole host of themes that just don´t get talked about.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

Lightning
Glasgow, UK
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class


Posts: 442

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 3/2/2017 7:34:13 AM

Quote:
There's also a feeling that integrated European defence would undermine NATO, although frankly the new US President has done enough damage there already.

 From my viewpoint, much more damage to NATO has been done in decades of tepid support for NATO by continental European powers. Once the Wall came down, "it was time for the peace dividend" ... except it was a hollow peace that saw some gains but a renewal of dangerous confrontation by Russia. Trump's outbursts are -very- new and, truth be told, relatively limited. And even then, some of what he said was simple public statement of facts that anyone involved in European defense issues knew quite well.

 I agree NATO has been undermined, but question the notion that Trump is so very much to blame on that point. That IMO is a too-easy explanation that doesn't stand up well to examination.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


Bill,

I should have been clearer that I don't blame the decline in the belief of NATO solely at the feet of President Trump; that would be unfair and I apologise if that came across as the case. Certainly, his demands for the arbitrary 2% spending target to be reached haven't helped (Europe does need to spend more, but it also needs to spend more wisely), but Europe has largely been complacent about its collective defence since the end of the Cold War. Moves to integrate European defence capabilities will allow a stronger European voice to be heard and will build confidence across the Atlantic that the US has reliable and capable partners on continental Europe.

Cheers,

Colin
---------------
"There is no course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight to the end."

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3322

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 3/2/2017 10:18:41 AM
Colin,

 Thanks for the amplifying comments. No apologies necessary ... please ... you know how it is with internet and its relatively sterile quality as a communications environment. My regrets if my reply seemed terse or worse, I did not intend for it to be such.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

kaii
Edinburgh, UK
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1884

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 3/2/2017 11:42:54 AM

Quote:
Kai / Colin,

 Another thought that occurs is there is a common thread to these issues, and it is a paucity of open communication on everyone's part in NATO. Every member state realizes the geopolitical situation is not that of 1949. Many states don't like the "2% target". The USA has openly complained about member investment in their armed forces, but doubtlessly has other issues that probably should be aired. The Greeks spend a lot, but mostly to confront another NATO "ally", Turkey. In an EU role, Germany put its thumb on Greece regarding the debt and financial issues -- something tells me the Greeks have hardly forgotten that, and it would be foolish to assume that those bitter sentiments don't poison relations between the two where NATO is concerned. Likewise, the EU gets after NATO member states because Brussels is unhappy with their national politics ... but all said and done, the more western-located EU powers are quite pleased that it is Hungarian and Polish troops on the EU's far frontiers. In summary, it seems there is a lot of risky international gaming within Europe going on, but the topic as to if this undermines NATO's effectiveness is apparently completely out of the thoughts of Europe's leaders.

 The biggest question of all is if NATO should continue to exist. IMO, discussions about a "two-bloc" system are the first step in disbanding NATO. The EU is chafing because they have belatedly realized the EU has little serious diplomatic influence without dedicated military force to back up the diplomacy if needed. And because NATO includes non-EU members, NATO will never write the EU a blank check in that regard. It may be that NATO has been granted a "reprieve" by the current Russian stance. However, should Russia's approach change ... I believe there are other forces at work that will be quite happy to bring about the end of NATO.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


Very good post that pretty much sums it all up I think.
---------------
A fool and his money are soon elected.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3322

Re: NATO joint procurement
Posted on: 3/2/2017 1:57:38 PM
 Forbes gets into the US and European views in this article. [Read More]

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

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