Recall the year-old EU effort with PESCO (the EU’s carefully euphemistically named Permanent Structured Cooperation), the bloc’s effort to form an EU army that would represent and act in the (sovereign) name of the European Union in defending Europe from outside incursions. Oh, and be less dependent on us and our nuclear umbrella, our treasure, and our blood for their defense.
We’re seeing yet another example of the too-broad effort to unite all of Europe under one political flag, as this PESCO effort continues to lag. More importantly, we’re seeing the cost to the EU of Brexit. As Handelsblatt Today observed, the current situation is one of military failure:
The German Council on Foreign Relations (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik, DGAP) and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) recently reported that the EU at best has only a third of the resources needed for its ambitions to intervene in armed conflicts in Europe or neighboring regions, provide humanitarian aid in catastrophes, help in rebuilding programs, and to free hostages and evacuate civilians.
The EU does not have enough ships, planes, aircraft carriers, or even reconnaissance equipment to accomplish these goals, especially after the UK leaves the EU.
Notice that last. Aside from the minor detail that the Brits will take with them half the EU’s carrier complement (France has the other one), they’re taking with them manpower, equipment, a serious (by European standards) defense budget, and a strong innovative capacity.
Prime Minister Theresa May is badly missing another strong bet in her series of missed bets as she “negotiates” Great Britain’s departure from the EU.