EU FAILS ON DEFENCE – AGAIN
NEW NATO ANNUAL REPORT SHOWS HOW EU CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO DEFEND ITSELF
Yesterday, 15 March 2018, Norwegian Euro-fanatic Jens Stoltenberg released his fourth annual report as NATO Secretary General.
NATO is a political-military alliance of 29 countries, of which 22 are members of the European Union, including the United Kingdom. Six member states of the EU are not members of NATO: Austria, the Republic of Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Malta and Cyprus.
EU STILL CAN’T PAY ITS OWN WAY
The alliance is propped up by the United States, which was responsible for 71.7% of its defence expenditure last year. The next most important contributor was the UK, as it has been every year.
Given that the EU is constantly boasting that it’s the largest single market in the world, with 510 million people, some of our American readers might ask themselves how come they’re paying nearly three-quarters of its total defence spend? They might wonder, if the EU has over half as many people again as the US, how come it’s not paying over half as much again as it does on combined defence?
THE NATO ‘PLEDGE’ TO BEAR THE BURDEN
For decades the US has carried the burden of western defence spending, followed by the UK. The other EU member states have spent far less than they were supposed to.
Matters reached a head at the NATO summit in Wales in 2014, when agreement was finally achieved that NATO members would begin the process of bearing their fair share of the costs of European defence.
The pledge called for all allies that do not already meet the NATO-agreed guideline of spending 2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on defence to stop cuts to defence budgets, to increase spending, and to aim to move towards spending 2% of GDP on defence within a decade.
They also agreed to move towards spending at least 20% of annual defence expenditure on major new equipment, including related research and development, in the same time-frame.
Whilst this was hailed as a triumph, the reality is that major countries such as Germany – the biggest economy in the EU – would only agree to aim for compliance by 2024, 10 years from when the agreement was reached.
Only three EU countries met the 2% defence spending target last year: the UK, Greece and Estonia. Greece has major issues with its neighbour Turkey, and Estonia lives in constant fear of invasion by its neighbour Russia.
The defence expenditure of the UK is, of course, many times that of Greece and Estonia combined, so it remains the case that last year the UK invested far more than any other EU member state in the security and defence of the continent.
THE NATO REPORT 2017
Yesterday the ardently pro-EU Secretary-General of NATO, Norwegian former communist Jens Stoltenberg, put his best spin on this as usual, so as not to appear to criticize EU members:
“All NATO members have pledged to continue to increase defence spending in real terms. The majority have already put in place plans on how to meet the 2% guideline by 2024. And we expect others to follow,” the Secretary General said.
The report released yesterday shows that in 2017 the EU member states have increased spending on defence by only 3.7% overall. Whilst this is growth, it comes nowhere near what is required to redress the deficit of decades and it doesn’t address the current serious underfunding in any meaningful way – despite what the pro-EU Secretary-General of NATO said yesterday.
It is also worth bearing in mind that France had its troops on its own streets for almost all of last year, due to the threat from islamic terrorism, so a lot of its expenditure was on immediate domestic concerns rather than overall European defence.
UK FAR OUTSPENDS EU27 ON DEFENCE OF EUROPE, AS USUAL
As usual, the headlines you will read will be what is in the NATO and EU press releases. For example, there are no separate EU figures published in the NATO documents and spreadsheets. We had to wade through and do separate calculations.
Regrettably NATO’s Jens Stoltenberg included Canada and non-EU members in some of his figures, which allowed him to paint a rosier picture than is actually the case.
The EU is marching towards its own fully-fledged EU army, navy, and air force. There can be absolutely no doubt about this from all the evidence available from numerous sources including departments inside the EU. We have published this evidence many times and will continue to do so.
What is also clear is that the EU member states have failed completely to fund either their own defence or that of Europe for decades. Again, this is clear from all the figures available over many years.
Yesterday’s NATO annual report merely confirms what we already knew. We continue to report the latest figures because Remoaner MPs continue to peddle absolute lies about it.
Regrettably, the EU Commission itself has continually published propaganda about its defence capabilities and aims ever since the UK’s EU Referendum, presenting itself as a credible actor on the military stage.
It is not.
Conducting a few minor operations in some former French colonies does not constitute the kind of military force which would deter an expansionist Russia.[Source: NATO] 06.15am, 16 Mar 2018