Posted by lex, on February 8, 2011
NATO’s secretary-general has gone on the record to state that beating all the swords into ploughshares may be just a little bit precipitate: *
As US and Nato officials become increasingly concerned by the decline in European military spending, Mr Fogh Rasmussen warned that too many people in Europe were coming up with “naive” and “dangerous” suggestions that the continent should engage in humanitarian projects, leaving the US to do the hard fighting in conflict situations.
Instead, he said that European nations needed to boost their presence in the Nato family, pooling capabilities and co-ordinating policies to develop what he called “smart defence”.
At a press conference in Brussels on Monday, Mr Fogh Rasmussen listed a striking set of figures on European defence spending, echoing remarks he made in a speech at the Munich Security Conference at the weekend. Nato’s top diplomat said that over the past two years, defence spending by the alliance’s European member nations has shrunk by some $45bn, a figure equivalent to Germany’s entire annual defence budget.
Realistically, one wonders what benefit accrues to NATO of retaining military forces for self-defense duties when social policies encourage not merely the mass immigration of an alien culture, but also make it impermissible to talk about such immigration.
In probably related news, the Royal Navy is set to abandon the Caribbean for the first time since World War II:
Britain is to abandon its warship patrols of the Caribbean for the first time since the second world war because of the navy’s funding crisis, the Guardian has learned.
The withdrawal means the navy will no longer provide a warship for anti-narcotic operations in the region, and will have to reduce its role in disaster relief work…
All three services are under severe pressure because of the cuts announced in last year’s strategic defence and security review. Under the review, the services will lose personnel and equipment, with the navy surface fleet of destroyers and frigates being reduced from 23 to 19. This, however, is the first time defence chiefs have had to abandon an existing overseas mission because of the budget squeeze.
It took four hundred years to build the Royal Navy up to be the bulwark of the realm. Just sixty to tear it down again.
But health care’s free, and you don’t have to work if you don’t want to.
05-08-18 – Link updated – Ed.