Response To “The EU Is Creating Its Own Army”

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Response To "The EU Is Creating Its Own Army"

Leopard 2 M BT

This is a response to the text entitled “The EU Is Creating Its Own Army“, which was released by SouthFront on November 15, 2017.

Written by Fenrir170; The author served for about ten years in one of the EU armies and did multiple deployments to Afghanistan.

The reasons for the EU politicians trying to achieve the utopian dream of a unified EU army are solely driven by the deep problems the militaries in the EU are facing. They merely try to pretend to the outside world that nothing is wrong, while in reality most of EU militaries lost the capacity to defend their own countries in crisis, let alone deliver an effective expeditionary force outside Europe.

An example of the EU armies’ status today is the monumental failure of the Bison Drawsko NATO exercise in January 2017. It was an attempt to “show Russia NATO’s teeth”. NATO’s all available road transport capacity was insufficient as most vehicles were transported by highly vulnerable civilian rail transport. There were multiple accidents with munition transports in Poland that rendered already scarce munition unsuitable for use. A large part of the NATO vehicles was not suitable for combat, some could not move on their own. Some had potentially unsafe and questionable weapon systems, like gun barrels that exceeded their factory specifications for number of shots fired before needing to be replaced, but had not been replaced still. Gun technicians suspected hairline fractures were present. One such incident resulted in a Dutch CV90 IFV blowing off its rear end of the gun breech, launching it through the rear crew compartment with infantry still inside, and landing outside in the snow. By some wonder, nobody was seriously injured.  Vehicles like this with dangerous problems were just brought up for “show of force” as they could move on their own and had “functional” weapons. It ended up being a carefully conducted orchestra, trying to talk tough to the outside world. Most of the hardware did not work, while the ones working posed danger to its operating personnel. Logistics failed so hard and on such a massive scale that western troops could not stay out in the field and had to be relocated to local Polish barracks.

How did the EU forces become like this? After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the EU militaries were in an overall good condition. There were plenty of men enlisted to fight, enough vehicles, ships, aircraft, tanks to fight and enough logistical resources to sustain combat, like spare parts, ammunition/fuel, etc. These were the armies, which could put up a decent fight in a war.

But ever since EU armies got involved in foreign interventions, the strain put on the resources proved to be massive, especially in Afghanistan where almost everything has to be flown in by air. The harsh environmental conditions, with fine dust grinding vehicles down and significantly shortening their lifespans and the intensity of full-scale combat wore the EU armies out to the point where drastic efforts had to be taken to keep operations going.

For example, at some point in time the EU militaries started dismantling perfectly good vehicles in their own countries and shipping the parts to Afghanistan in order to replace broken parts there.  The same happened to the ammunition, as the EU militaries vastly underestimated ammunition use as the Americans lied about the level of resistance they had encountered in order to draw EU armies into Afghanistan. During combat-intensive seasons, which in Afghanistan usually are the summer months, the Taliban re-activates. An ambush/encounter with Taliban forces could result in an entire convoy returning to base with its weapons almost depleted.

The NATO logistical lines could never manage the demand of the NATO forces in Afghanistan. NATO relies heavily on charter flights and aircrafts to maintain supply lines. Air transport in Afghanistan is almost the only safe way to move hardware and troops from point A to point B without getting ambushed. You can see more private Antonovs, Ilyushins, MI-26s and MI-8s than NATO cargo aircraft at some airfields in Afghanistan.

This trend has been going on for more than 10 years now, with catastrophic results. Most military capacities have been reduced to as much as 75% from what they were in the 90s.

Here is what the EU troops encounter:

Troops have to buy their own military gear and clothes, as what is supplied by the military cannot be replaced quickly enough, or is of such sub-standard quality they have to buy proper gear themselves. In addition, requisition times for replacement clothes and gear can be as long as 9 months. Most often troops buy Leatherman multi-tools, winter clothing, tactical headlights, weapon optics and tactical vests themselves out of necessity.

Spare parts are pretty much non-existent in most EU militaries. Current policy is, if a vehicle broke down, you cannibalize an identical vehicle. If an identical vehicle is not available, a requisition order is placed for the next fiscal year. Until then it just sits there, collecting dust in the meantime. When money becomes available, it is mostly spent in the first month for spares/repairs, but a large part remains defective. Germany’s submarine fleet is currently disabled. It awaits repairs. Most of Netherlands frigates remain docked in their port of Den Helder because of broken onboard fire suppression systems. The UK barely can crew their own ships and most sail with skeleton crews. The UK has just one handful of operational Eurofighters, almost all of German Tiger helicopters are grounded, and the list goes on and on.

Ammunition is also fully dried up in the EU, as all stockpiles have been expended in foreign interventions. Most EU militaries have enough munitions for basic training and for firing ranges only. During the Libya air campaign, the French resorted to using concrete practice bombs, as they had no ordnance left. When they sent a request to the rest of EU air forces for any bombs, none had any to spare. It is not just the air force. Ordnance, small arms, large caliber weapons, naval ordnance — all are used up. Ground troops just have enough for a year of training. There are no war-reserves. NATO bomb manufacturers like McDonnell Douglas, Raytheon and Lockheed have trouble keeping up with the production to supply the ongoing NATO army operations.

Actual troop numbers have been dramatically low as well. The constant foreign interventions coupled with the poor state of hardware, dishonest representation of the state of the armed forces by politicians to the outside world made many people leave the military, and at the same time, made new recruits reluctant to join a hollow, broken down military. Nowadays more troops resign than people enlist, causing a shortage of manpower across all branches of the EU militaries and a general lack of morale.

This in general is why politicians push this unified EU army program. The EU militaries are looking to compensate for serious deficiencies by exchanging “problems” among each other. For example, the Dutch “leased” 18 Leopard tanks from the Germans. The Dutch sold all their Leopard 2 tanks a while ago, but still have experienced capable crews, although it must be noted that over half left the service after being disbanded without any prior notice. On the other hand, Germany cannot man their Leopard 2 tanks because of troop shortage. So now this is presented as a “mutual cooperation and advancement of the EU army” while basically both armies have serious internal problems that make them unable to address their own defense issues and try to look for politically correct excuses while avoiding the real matters at hand.

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  • Marjan Terčelj

    We have to be friends with Russians and everything will be ok. We don’t need NATO neither US to drive us into some crazy war.

    • Tommy Jensen

      If you want globalisation and Washington New World Order we need to go to war to force russia and china under our heels and our values.

      • Kolarov

        That’s exactly what we don’t want.

  • Richard Noel Hedditch

    A EU army would be Zionist for Greater Israel and would be a cross between Al Qaeda and Ukrops.

    • FlorianGeyer

      Exactly. An army of sadistic killers with no moral compass.

      • Nigel Maund

        FG the prime objective of the Zionists has always been to get the goyim to do all their dirty work for them; especially fight their wars. . This has been the case since time immemorial; and the US Citizens have been Sucker No 1. They also have organized wars to destroy as many of us as they can. It’s way past time we stopped playing their games and let them come out of the shadows and face the consequences of their neferious politics, business intrigues and shady dealings; and, moreover, fight the wars they have initiated to gain power and make huge profits.

        • FlorianGeyer

          The tide of disgust toward Israel and the worlds Zionists is certainly increasing but how long will it take and indeed , what will it take, to become a global Tsunami of rage that will consume the parasites that feed freely of the world?

        • Tommy Jensen

          The problem is the Jews are right. You can get goyim to do everything for you.

        • Whitehotanger!

          just ask mel gibson. and i’m saying that in a respectful way! he was right!

      • Solomon Krupacek

        tremble, commie!

        • Nigel Maund

          Ah! “The Marvel Comics kid” is back with his 6 year old commentary!

    • Solomon Krupacek

      eu forbad israeli good from occupied parts.

  • Nigel Maund

    If all true, then this article presents a frightening picture of the so called EU armies. All I know is the UK is significantly short of manpower. Moreover, the local men are such poor physical specimens due to lack of exercise and poor diet that its takes six months of intensive training to build them up to the level of fitness required of a military organisation; army or navy. Furthermore, in Afghanistan the UK did not possess any attack helicopters and relied upon US Black Hawk helicopters to evacuate battle casualties to Camp Bastion. The UK Army is significantly under equipped and now undermanned. Government policies over the last 20 years have effectively crippled the British Army. If the same holds true for France and Germany, then NATO is in very big trouble and the article may well be correct!

    • Brother Ma

      There is a scandal in greece at present i saw on the net.saudi arabia is so out of ammunition it is scrounging to buy some from greece.

      So usa ,uk,germany ,spain,france etc can not spare a bullet but greece can?

      Maybe because it never intervened as much as other guys in syria,iraq, afghan?

    • Tommy Jensen

      We still have our nuclear weapons. USA has the largest stockpile of nukes in the world, UK and France are also capable with nukes.
      This is also to our advantage against Russia and the fat lamb China that we could use nuclear carpet bombing.

      • Nigel Maund

        Tommy, no one but a bloodthirsty lunatic wants any war to start let alone get to the stage where an exchange of nukes occurs, even as modest battlefield nukes. It matters not who has the biggest arsenal of nukes as both sides can wipe out all life on this planet. Your comments about nuclear carpet bombing are quite simply highly emotionally charged, and if you look at it sensibly …. crazy! If you make comments on this site please try to keep them sensible otherwise they degenerate into silliness.

      • Tudor Miron

        Are you serious?

  • paul ( original )

    I can not speak as to exact numbers, but I think there are many in the west
    who look with disgust at western society and see Russia as a possible
    source of salvation.

    • Nigel Maund

      Key issues here being the utter moral bankrupcy of our societies crippled with collosal debts, high taxation, poor wages and utterly corrupt Government in societies rotten to the core with no moral compass. The so called West is rotting from the inside out and is no so eaten up with corruption that it can be readily squashed like “a wormy apple”.

      • FlorianGeyer

        I agree Nigel. NATO has long subscribed to the US ethos of ‘ Bullshit baffles brains ‘ but within the US vassal countries of Europe there are fewer and fewer establishment brains with knowledge and wisdom to baffle.

        There is so much bullshit these days in every part of our day today lives that little that Governments do results in any benefit to the populations.

        Perhaps this is in fact what our ‘leaders ‘ want, as privatisation of taxpayer owned property is promoted as the ultimate panacea.

        A privatised NATO /EU military of course would have little loyalty or empathy with the people they are paid to protect.

      • paul ( original )

        it can be readily squashed like “a wormy apple” – well I hope so.

      • Tommy Jensen

        Something is missing in the article.
        NATO are transforming EU countries into small Pentagons thus making a network of Pentagons in Europe with their master in USA.
        The EU army and the article looks like a smoke screen for what is really going on.

        • Nigel Maund

          Very interesting commentary indeed! …..Thanks!

  • Rüdiger Preiss

    If I was to take a rough guess, Frenrir170 has been serving with the Polish Army – I doubt he’d write like this if he was from a European country further West. I have seen similar issues with the Poles serving in UNDOF. I’d take his opinion with a good pinch of salt. A joint EU army makes a lot more sense than each little country maintain it’s own force. Since NATO might become obsolete to countries like Poland, it might even be better for European – Russian relations.

    • Ace

      You’ve seen similar issues with the Poles so this undermines what the author says about other European countries? He’s found his automobile has a flat tire, therefore every car west of the Oder has a flat tire too?

    • AlexanderAmproz

      As well as Russia is a major part of
      the European Culture, the British too.

      Switzerland, is a miniature successful
      real Europe since 1291.
      Today it’s 26 Democratic very different
      small Federal States with their own traditions,
      and integration Cultures…
      A strong confident local and collective ID
      make the an opening attitude easier…
      Foreigner Residents 21% never been
      a real problems, few extremists excepted,
      often new Swiss from the recent immigration,
      with an Nationalist origins Culture…

      I do believe the failed EC reasons it’s
      because of the Swiss success ingredients
      are missing !
      Switzerland don’t need to be copy
      but has to be study for inspiration,
      how to mach together differences
      for a common interest.

      Every European is at first from his
      own Region, Country, and Europe,
      Americans like it or not, it’s fact !

  • rudy

    The best and less costly defense would be to made the Russian alliance part of the new European alliance ( Putin proposed this already towards Nato but the Americans refused Europe is not married with the US ), from one day on the other the fake treath would be annihilated and huge budgets could be used for better social programms in every country from both former alliances , the US bloc would have to do it calmer on while no more political support to invade other country’s ! I served allmost 10 years in Special Forces LRRP !

    • Solomon Krupacek

      The best and less costly defense would be to made the Russian alliance part of the new European alliance (

      impossible
      reason: russia

      • rudy

        You don’t know what your talking about, Russia even asked to become a member frpom NATO in order to show the goodwill to colaborate all together !
        The US lies and suppositions will be nillified !

        • Nigel Maund

          His knowledge comes from Marvel Comics, so don’t expect too much from a muling infant!

          • rudy

            Stay to the point if you have sufficiently matter in your upperchamber ?

          • Tudor Miron

            Rudy, Nigel knows what he’s talking about. It seems that you’re new to this comments section and don’t yet know what Solomonchik is. But if you stay here than you’ll see it for yourself.

    • Ace

      The budget savings could be spent on immigrant invaders. This would be an example of Europussylogic.

  • Brother Ma

    What a disgrace! You better hope the boogey men russia,iran and china dont try and blow the house down!

    Oh thats right, they dont have to …….all eu foundations have been undermined by all the headchoppers merkelistan let in…..oh ,,, i am sorry…….migrants.

  • Brother Ma

    If it was up to me i would never authorise an eu army. However, i would have multilateral defense agreements and standing plans with fellow eu countries to account for wars with outsiders and between fellow eu countries.

    Oh and Turkey would be out! It can stay with fellow sneaks: uncle sam or new found pal, russia!

    • Solomon Krupacek

      If it was up to me i would never authorise an eu army.

      but it is not on you, asshole!

      vivat eu! vivat own army!

      • Brother Ma

        Tell me rude solomon,why is eu army a good idea?

        • Solomon Krupacek

          to be independent on america. the eu must be able to defend itself. there is enough money, technology, knowledge for this. like ivan went hom from central europe, joe should go home from west europe.

          • Brother Ma

            I agree with all you have said but i do not see howbwhat i proposed does not achieve this.

            Also ,solomon ,what you have just said does not fit in with your generally anti russian,pro zionist, pro nato and pro american views?

            Why the change?

  • Yui2

    Nice article, but it fails to address perhaps the most important part, which is “why is there so little funding?”

    The reason has several aspects. First of all, european arms industry has nowhere near the stranglehold on the government like the american one does, and so the budget goes to those who do, which are mostly civilian companies (corrupt deals on stuff like building infrastructure, large scale government projects like new powerplants, etc. are commonplace). That is not to say that there aren’t any corrupt military deals, only they are rarer due to there being less deals overall due to the budget being slimmer. Now, why is it slimmer? Because the average european doesn’t care. Everything west of Ukraine is either in EU or in NATO or both, meaning the possibility of being invaded by its neigbour is zero – the notion that, say, Italy might get invaded by France is laughable. And the population knows it – they do not see a war as something that could, even theoretically, happen. The only exception is a world war, but they reason that they have USA to defend them, and if USA with its massive military is not able to win, then their small national armies won’t be either. As such, even having a military is widely regarded as useless. Many figure that if the army is already useless, then why have it at all? Why not use the money funneled into something useless for something else, such as lowering the taxes? It’s no wonder, as such, that few countries in NATO fulfill even the minimal obligations of the alliance, as an increase of military spendiing at the expense of something else is likely to be quite unpopular.

    Not to mention that the further east you go, the more people you meet that aren’t all too thrilled about either NATO or EU, and often consider them as the lesser of two evils (USSR still being in fresh memory, and to most, Russia = USSR). You can’t really expect such people to enlist en masse to defend something they dislike – after all, if it comes to it and Russia steamrolls into Europe, it will just mean getting served Russian brand of shit instead of American/EU one. Conversely, the further west you go, the less threatened the people feel by Russia, or anyone else for that matter. The role of the military, for all intents and purposes, is to go to some far away, backwater country, fight for interests that are neither your own nor your country’s (what does any EU country stand to gain, even should they win in Afghanistan? Absolutely nothing, this is a war for US interest only), have a terrible time, and maybe even get killed by a dude with an AK jumping up from behind a rock. And nobody at home will even give a shit. There is no glory in this, there is no pride in this, there is nothing but suffering. You’d be an equivalent of a mercenary, only with worse gear, worse pay, and not even being able to pick your jobs.

  • Tommy Jensen

    Thinking on Paul Craig Roberts article about US incompetence. The EU lapdogs are just following in the butt of USA.
    Incompetence, red tape, soft values schools, jewish imorality and deception, public debts they never can repay, bank derivatives beyond any reality, MSM Orwell reality, refugee business case, Soros admiration, finance democracy, m.m.

  • JPH

    The EU has no constitution and actually further integration on a democratic basis has been blocked in 2005 by the French and Dutch electorate rejecting the EU constitution. So the EU is at least formally limited to remain an intergovernmental organization with a very limited mandate excluding foreign policy.

    However that doesn’t satisfy the neoliberal EU elite supported by ALDE and the EPP. Of course it makes no sense to have an European army without an European foreign policy. Keep in mind that the military can be used for implementing foreign policy the hard way.

    So do suspect this European army to be a Trojan horse facilitating an extension of the EU mandate to foreign policy too furthering integration.

    Keep in mind that the EU already tried to exploit her limited trade mandate to sign up all member states to TTIP by intentionally misrepresenting TTIP as ‘only a trade deal’. Then Dutch foreign minister Timmermans till then posing as a social democrat frantically demonstrating his fealty to EU neoliberalism by stating on May 1st in Washington:

    “Let me finish on this. We have taken each other for granted for too long, the Americans and the
    Europeans. We will be able to set a course for the future of this world if we stick together.

    “It is very simple, if we are able to see the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
    for what it is: not a free trade agreement. TTIP is a geostrategic agreement. It is a political agreement. It should not be left up to people who know everything about the way you slaughter chickens. It
    should be something our political leaders should take up and decide on soon. When you have TTIP in place, it will change the nature of the game globally. Because then the United States and Europe will set the rules of the game, and the others will follow suit, including China, Japan and others.

    https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/toespraken/2014/05/08/speech-by-minister-of-foreign-affairs-frans-timmermans-on-the-future-of-transatlantic-relations

    Not surprising that this fealty landed Timmermans the job of vice chair of the EU Commission.

  • ZP

    Wouldn’t EU need to become independent first? Any talks of its OWN army is just a joke if they keep on following the same policies, it will just be a new American Sheriff for Europe (similar to what Australia is in Asia). And why are they organising a unified army ahead of necessary political changes and in spite of non-existent legal framework for this army? Being a bureaucratic dinosaur as it is it will take eons to get the political & legal framework done so it looks like this idea has been pushed by some other interest group side-lining the legal framework of EU?

  • Kongsak Vongshusri

    Depletion of weapon because of sending all weapon to terrorist group in middleeast include ISIS.