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EU - becoming a superpower? EU Aircraft Carrier Group

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posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 03:05 AM
Currently, the European Union is the strongest economic superpower, featuring the world's largest GDP and consumer market. Unlike the US, the European Union does not have a united military to defend our borders, which has bothered me for years. The increased tensions with Russia, the critical situation in the Middle East and particularly the thousands of asylum seekers from Africa require strong counter measures (in the form of a united coast guard).

France will push for a common European defense policy during its six-month presidency of the European Union, something strongly opposed by the US., claiming it would undermine NATO unity.

The United States has been wary of a French-led push for a security and defense role for the EU because of concerns it could threaten NATO unity:


Europeans have so far resisted the temptation to hit out publicly at the US – but many diplomats are privately angry at what they view as US short-sightedness. Washington has been pressing Europeans for years to get their military act together and to stop relying on the US. The Bush Administration showed its own lack of respect for NATO by deliberately ignoring it during both the Afghanistan and Iraq military campaigns, seeing the alliance more as a post-war "cleaning lady" than an effective military body. "The US now clearly sees NATO as a tool to keep tabs on Europe – both in the political and defense sectors," says an EU diplomat.

Blair had always opposed an EU defense force, even Brown did seem to cautious in order to prevent damaging ties with the US.

However, Sarkozy's visit to the UK in March this year, seem to have worked out well for Sarkozy's plan to create a European Union military:


PARIS, June 15 (Reuters) - France will propose launching a European Union aircraft carrier group and a joint fleet of military transporters as part of efforts later this year to boost the EU military, French defence officials said.


Aides close to Defence Minister Herve Morin said negotiations with Britain were well-advanced on creating a European naval group based around either a French or British aircraft carrier permanently on the sea.

Other nations could then contribute frigates, submarines or refuelling vessels as required, the aides said.

Separately, Paris wants to fill longstanding gaps in air transport that have dogged European military operations by creating a fleet of the A400M heavy airlifter which defence group EADS will roll out later this month.

In addition to the carrier group, Sarkozy wants to launch a European Satellite observation system (which is well underway) and will subsequently be extended to space observation.

Moreover, they are stressing for harmonized military training programs and exchanges, in order to create a common European military culture.

In my opinion the foundation is being laid for a European military, which will gradually evolve into one European military.

The US has always blamed the European Union to stop relying on US military support. Even people here on ATS mention over and over again that the US had to intervene in the Balkan conflict as Europe was incapable.

Having successfully challenged the Dollar, the European Union appear to be ready to challenge America's dominance in defense, at least the US seems to have this opinion. After all, I cannot think of any other motives for the US to not want to have the European Union a military.
Like an EU official says: "The issue is simple, when it acts with NATO, the EU will use NATO's military assets. When it acts alone, the EU must be able to plan and conduct its operations independently."

Even though, the Union states have capable armies, one military would minimize the possibility of another war in Europe and enable us to use the military budgets more efficiently. The European Union has a large military industry that could provide all needs and lessen the dependence on the US military industry.

Do you think the European Union should have an united military? I think we do need a military as we should be capable of defending our territory against threats and stop relying on US military support.

In addition, the economic situation in the US will force them to cut greatly into the military budget - the US is a fading superpower in my opinion, both economically and in the longer term also militarily while rising powers such as China and India greatly invest in their militaries.

Roles are shifting, we need to adopt.

EU budget:

-Roughly 2 million personnel
-A budget of approximately 200 billion Euro
-A healthy and strong economy to bolster such expenses

[edit on 16-6-2008 by Mdv2]

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 03:32 AM
Commanded by the French and surrender at the first sign of a fight ?

An EU force ? I swear to God those EU sodders are desperate to get their hands on the UKs forces.

We all know why that is too. The only people with the bulls to go toe to toe with any enemy, any where any time.

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 03:53 AM

Originally posted by Dan Tanna
Commanded by the French and surrender at the first sign of a fight ?

An EU force ? I swear to God those EU sodders are desperate to get their hands on the UKs forces.

We all know why that is too. The only people with the bulls to go toe to toe with any enemy, any where any time.

you get a star fpr that comment
100% in agreement
im sick of the french trying to push for stuff that seams to benefet them the most
i just wish the UK would give the finger to the whole europe deal and be done with it

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 04:03 AM
Maybe the British need to follow suit and jump onto the euro.

As for one military for all of europe this looks like the start of NWO but whose will prevail the US, Asia, Middle East or the European type. There is only one outcome WW3 as each will push to be in control.

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 05:07 AM
Yes!! Europe needs it's own military... I want to be rich, very hard to do when my country spends so much money on military spending... High taxes, dumb people no money for education...

Europe is North/West of Middle East, West of Russia, North Of Africa Europe needs many aircraft carrier and many satelllites and lots and lots of soldiers and would surely remain allied with America...

and we... can Join up with Mexico and with Canada into an NAU and then we would need to protect and defend against... rouge ice bergs in the North mostly and oh yeah... we would need a few guys to keep an eye ion Greenland... and uh? there is that small border Mexico has with ur... Guatemalla and Belize...

and oh yeah we might need a boat or two in the Gulf...

so If Europe builds an Army and Japan Builds and Army (Pleeeease) America could stop spending 1 Trillion a year and breakdown the budget as follows...

Defense against Ice in the North 3 Icce breakers 25 Million per Yr

Defense Against Greenland, 3 Mounties and a shotgun 150,000 per yr

Defense against Guatemala and Belize, (14 Bannana inspectors, 20 cops and some dope sniffing dogs) 2 Million Per Year

Defense In Gulf Against venezuela 47.50 for a Bouy with a web cam to spot thier row boats coming...

Total Expense... 27,150.047.50

That saves Us... 999,972,849,952.50

I think... Not sure, we had to use bullets on the chalk board in my college because we couldn't afford chalk... go figure

wow that kind of money back could make us a real superpower again

Hell yeah the EU should defend itself and that whole damn region around it... Africa, the Middle East and Russia aren't up our arses...

We already paid for our Nukes and lets be serious what's anyone going to do? Mount a Land Invasion of North America? Get a grip lol...

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 06:35 AM
Not this old chestnut again.

It has been tried on numerous occasions going back 30+ years or so. It didnt work then, it wont work now.

There is far too much bickering between the nations to make a EU force effective. Plus, there are only two EU nations that have aircraft carriers, Britain and France and both of their nations carriers are nothing like the size of US carriers.

If any nation has anything close to resembling a decent Carrier/Amphibious Group, its the British. Since our last defence review (sic), the UK's Naval and military assets has moved along these lines, so the UK is well advanced in this respect.

Mind you, if the EU was to stump up the funding of the maintenace and running costs of a British Aircraft carrier, then it might not be a bad idea. It would then keep the costs low to the British tax payer.

As for the Euro, you can bloody well keep it. Britain has done very well by staying away from it thankyou.

And while they are it, the EU could stump up the cash to maintain and run our Vanguard Class Nuclear submarines as well.

I think I ought to be our Defence Secretary, I think i may have saved ourselves a few million quid

[edit on 16/6/08 by Wotan]

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 09:36 AM

Originally posted by Dan Tanna
Commanded by the French and surrender at the first sign of a fight ?

An EU force ? I swear to God those EU sodders are desperate to get their hands on the UKs forces.

We all know why that is too. The only people with the bulls to go toe to toe with any enemy, any where any time.

The British army is nothing special. They are not better trained and equipped than the Dutch or Germans. Saying that Brits are the only people with the bulls to go shows your lack of knowledge as the Dutch are with 1600 boots in Southern Afghistan fighting alongside the Canadians and Americans against the Taliban and an additional 100 special troops to support American forces in the same area.

However, I would like to give you the opportunity what would be so bad about having one defence forces? The benefits are clear: cost reductions, good for everyone and sharing of knowledge.

No you mention the drawbacks of one military defense. I think it's national pride involved here, not logical thinking.

And with regards to the Euro:
Buiter is professor of European political economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science:


There is no excuse for Britain not to join the euro

By Willem Buiter

The case for the UK shedding sterling and adopting the euro has never been clearer.

From a conventional macro-economic perspective, there is no reasonable argument for a small, highly open economy such as Britain's to retain monetary independence. For economies with a high degree of international financial integration, the exchange rate does not act as a buffer against asymmetric shocks, permitting an easier adjustment of international relative prices than under an irrevocably fixed exchange rate. Instead it becomes a source of unnecessary noise and volatility.

[edit on 16-6-2008 by Mdv2]

posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 01:12 PM
I believe that the Dutch Marines and Royal Marines are very much intertwined and joint-train and have done for many many years. In fact many Dutch Marines do the RM Arctic and Mountain Warfare Cardre Course.

I do agree that National Pride would be a huge stumbling block to any Euro Army apart from the fact that Brussels can never agree on anything and when they do it takes too long to decide. I could envisage a huge battle between the UK and France over power/control of any taskforce.

As for cost reductions, I dont think so. You only have to look at all the joint aircraft projects that have gone way way overbudget in the past 30 years.

As for the Euro, I have to disagree. The UK has done significantly better being out of the Euro. If PM Gordon Brown had had his way, we would have adopted it years ago when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer. He couldnt, because the Pound was too strong and the Euro was too weak and the UK's economy was booming, so he could not justify adopting the Euro.

[edit on 16/6/08 by Wotan]

posted on Jun, 17 2008 @ 04:31 AM
The latest news is that France are cutting back on their military personnel so as to become a smaller, more modern and mobile force that will be used to combat terrorism and the 'war on drugs'

Anyway, I would have hoped by now that the majority of people realise that many of the world leaders (past and present) have called for a New World Order of some sort despite apparently being at opposite sides of the political spectrum or indeed on the other side of the world.
Yes that includes Gordon Brown, Sarkozy, Blair, Bush(s), Putin, Clinton(s), Pope John Paul II, Kissinger, Rockerfeller(s), Gorbachev, Nixon, Hilter etc, etc
Not to mention what is on the US $1 Bill.
Anyway, IMO a NWO is where we are headed and there is little that anyone can do about it anymore. The majority of us are too ignorant or apathetic to make any difference whatsoever. At least we can still can hope and pray that it won't happen I suppose.

posted on Jun, 17 2008 @ 05:27 AM
If Europe is to transition to a unified 'state', the transition must be at the will of the people.

Forced merger cannot work.

Also, don't say the Americas need a NAU.

You can eat crow! Over 150 years ago, Americans fought those Mexican bastards and beat them back, and drove them from OUR land, we fought and killed those bastards because we are better then them, and it is because we are better then them that we drew the line, that south of it is Mexico, and north is the United States of America.

We are better then the enemy. Do not let his clever words fool you.

To be soverign, it to be alive.

If all of north America and south America is to be united, it shal be under the Untied States of America, a fufilment of the Manifest Destiny. A true, and complete United States of America. No corperate global BS of a North American Union.

A centeral, and unified America, with a federal capital, and very high states rights.

But for Europe... good luck... try to get thousands of years of history and rivierals to work together... good luck...

With no common enemy, there is no common disturbance to unite us. Mabye if Russia/China work togther, and try to reighn hell, mabye then Europe will get its act together.. but likly they will call on thier colevtive Child, the Untied States of America, and she will come to save her mothers and fathers... as she did before, and will do again...

posted on Jun, 17 2008 @ 05:28 AM
Unless native Europeans start reproducing and assimilating immigrants into European culture their super power status is going to come and go faster than it did for the United States. I'm not sure how I feel about this. European power has made many long term problems for the world. The alternative, say a Chinese dominated globe is perhaps much worse though. The Europeans, despite their conquering ways, historically, at least place some value on human life.

posted on Jun, 17 2008 @ 06:13 PM
No wonder why the Russians are freaked about NATO expansion.

European power has historically been a pain for the Russians with the constant invasions, I wonder if they are wondering about a repeat in history.

posted on Jun, 18 2008 @ 09:05 AM
I'm pro-Europe and definitely pro-EU defence force, but I'm a little reserved about handing over a carrier (the Ark Royal) unless we can mollify the admiralty. If other members are willing to subsidise the fleet while the major navies supply the backbone, it could work out nicely, as well as save money. Of course, you would have to create a military command that wasn't reliant on Brussels, as they seem to have a disconnect between reality and what they want to be reality lately.

However, a unified military, or even just France and Britain working together (they're already designing a carrier, coming into service in 2015/6, Queen Elizabeth Class) would be a wonderful step forwards. While I can see the EU politics degrading before me, as a result of people wanting one thing, but not being able to get it to run efficiently, and then ending up in a catch 22, a unified military would provide a positive structure to build off - if it is done properly.

Still, it'd be nice for the EU to actually be able to field somewhere close to its potential, rather than each individual country fielding separately.

posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 03:41 PM
even though i'm a euro sceptic i can see the benifits of a eu naval task force so long as it is independent from the political frame work of the eu and as for having it under french command....err would never happen.

just think about how cheap operating the eu navy would become for each individual country, for it's comparative size it would be an unmissable bargin.

posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 03:58 PM
The way the EU is going it will not matter what the people want. Look at the recent referendum in Ireland....they voted no to the EU treaty and the next course of action is to get it ratified. Apparently Gordon Brown is all for it.

Yes, the Prime Minister of the UK that NOBODY actually voted for....and the Prime Minister who keeps putting off the General Election....

cause for concern. yep. Anyway, i digress...

With regards to the EU defense force, i do not think that it is feasible. Will all members contribute equally? no. Will the cost be split fairly?? no. Will the nations that will not contribute personnel, hardware or money push it through...yes. To the detriment of the UK and the more militarily active EU members. (winks towards The Netherlands)

Plus, Germany is not able to contribute any of its armed personnel to offensive will that affect the balance of forces?

posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 06:29 AM
I don't think you can actually expect everyone to contribute equally to be quite honest - how do you balance the UK providing a carrier and possibly several hundred Sea Harriers, as well as experienced personnel against funding? Yes, various nations have ships that would aid greatly, but only France, Britain and Italy have aircraft carrier, and I can't see the Italians letting Europe have their newly commissioned carrier, and their old one is a little small.

Basically, it is a good idea, actually, it's a brilliant idea, but it means you have to make people understand why it is a good idea and then find out a way to give it some semblence of independence from Brussels, else it'll get nothing done. This requires that there be a cabinet which has an effective leader. Otherwise, you're stuck with the CoM (Council of Ministers) with 27 people with different opinions and the two largest contributors of personnel and equipment rarely seeing eye to eye. Basically, it can't be done unless Britain and France (and Germany and Italy too, preferably) can agree on a command structure. Obviously, to even build that would either require working through NATO, which they don't want to do, or they need to build a new organisation (or expand an old one), which requires more bureaucracy.

The simplest method of doing this requires the Lisbon treaty, quite frankly. If you have a President, then you have an effective command structure. If you have 27 people with equal weight, then nothing will be done. If you use QMV, then it's possible that the main contributors will be outvoted. If you use a simple majority, the same can happen.

Which either requires Britain and France to field a joint fleet, creating a chain of command that way, meaning the two governments need to set up a formal post, which ends up in bickering over who is the CINC, as the admiralty on either side probably won't like the idea of someone else controlling their ships, or you end up with two CINC and too many cooks spoiling the broth.

The problem with the EU doing anything is national interest. It's patently obvious that pooling resources is a great idea, but sadly, unless you have a system where there is one person at the top giving orders or direction, then you end up with no one knowing quite where to go.

EU - great economic union, bad political one.

posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 08:37 AM

Originally posted by Mdv2
Currently, the European Union is the strongest economic superpower, featuring the world's largest GDP and consumer market.


U.S. Population: 296,398,484
GDP (Billions): 13,149
GDP Per Capita: $44,362.60

E.U. Population: 487,293,413
GDP (Billions): 13,349.1
GDP Per Capita: 27,394.34

As a whole, the econmies are comparable, but on an indivdual basis Europeans eran 45% less than their American counter parts.

California alone has the 7th largest economy in the world.

The highest ranking EU nation is Luxembourg, which ranks third overall in the measure of GDP-PPP per Capita. The next highest EU nation, Ireland, comes in at 19th place, just behind Louisiana and the US as a whole (if limited to just individual states, Ireland places a bit ahead of Nebraska).

Denmark, the next highest EU nation in the ranking by GDP-PPP per capita, comes in 45th place (omitting the US as a whole), just after Oklahoma and ahead of Maine. The next highest EU nation, Austria, would occupy the 49th highest position, sandwiched between Kentucky and South Carolina.

By the time we reach down to the 53rd position of the list, the EU nations begin turning up more regularly, with Finland and Belgium occupying the 53rd and 54th slots respectively, positioned between the US states of Idaho and Arkansas. Below Arkansas, we find a neat group of EU nations Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom and France before the US state of West Virginia turns up in the rankings in the 61st position.

EU member Italy turns up in the 62nd slot, driving ahead of the lowest ranked individual U.S. state of Mississippi.

As for a unified military, not gonna happen. Afghanistan is already controlled by NATO and certain countries just wont pull the wieght. **cough** Germany **cough**

[edit on 20-6-2008 by crisko]

posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 10:02 AM
I do wonder whether those studies are adjusted for current exhange rates. Although, they're often pinned to the value of the Dollar in 1990.

$44,362 is around £22k, which, from my point of view anyway, isn't that much. If the average European is earning $27k, then they're earning little over £13.5k. I'll be honest with you, I don't know anyone who works full time and earns that little. (assuming 'full time' means at least 30 hours a week, 50 weeks a years. If we work off the rate for 18-22 year olds, that's £4.60 an hour, or around $9.20. 4.60x30= 138 x 50 = £6,900 ($13,800). For 22+ it's £5.52, so 5.52 x 30= 165.60 x 50 = £8,280 ($16,560). Of course, that's if they're earning minimum wage, and most people, in general, don't.)

Obviously, the average income doesn't account for the fact that there are quite a few billionaires in America, nor does it account for the fact that it has more people in poverty than anywhere in Europe, and a much higher income inequality.

Also, your figure is old, the last IMF shows the EU at $14,712,369 and the US at $13,843,825, with the EU population at 497,198,740 and the US population at 304,385,000.

The man is right, however, that the EU is the largest economy and largest consumer market. This is helped greatly by the fact that most of the EU isn't having economy problems (the housing market issue isn't a problem for the continental model, but food and oil are universal problems), and the low dollar to Euro/pound. Of course, that's good for the US in a sense, but limits holiday options and makes imports from the EU very expensive.

Anyway, since the issue wasn't about the economy, I think I'm just being a pedant.

posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 12:10 PM
If you read the book by Larry Bond titled "Cauldron" (great book to read in my opinion) you understand why there can be no EU unified military force. It just can't happen, when many people in Europe just don't like to have their culture and language assimilated with another, especially France.

Are the French going to give up their Leclerc tanks and accept the German Leopard tanks to make logistics easier and German hardware is more pronounced in Europe than the French? What about language barriers? Command structure, etc?

In the book "Cauldron" the French attempts to unify a military force with Germany and attempts to rule all of Europe.

posted on Jun, 20 2008 @ 12:19 PM
reply to post by Mdv2

The United States has been wary of a French-led push for a security and defense role for the EU because of concerns it could threaten NATO unity:

Yanks don't like being second best do they, never have! Time to grow up i reckon.

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