Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Former NATO Chiefs Warn Of Europe Military Weakness

Specifically their report calls on European powers to re-allocate defense spending so that 25 percent of budgets is spent on research and acquiring new weapons, while no more than 40 percent is spent on personnel.
Brussels (AFP) Oct 12, 2005
Europe risks being unable to meet mounting security risks like international terrorism unless it reverses a failure to pool its defenses, two retired NATO commanders warned Wednesday.

US General Joseph Ralston and General Klaus Naumann of Germany said bluntly that European leaders have "lacked the political will" to improve military capabilities.

Their warnings were contained in a 97-page study presented to European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders in Brussels, a copy of which was obtained by AFP.

"Failure to meaningfully improve Europe's collective defense capabilities in the coming years would have profoundly negative impacts on the ability of European countries to protect their interests," they said.

In addition such failure would harm "the viability of NATO as an alliance, and the ability of European countries to partner in any meaningful way with the US," they said.

Ralston was NATO's top military commander until 2003, while Naumann is Germany's former chief of defense and head of the 26-member alliance's military committee.

Specifically their report calls on European powers to re-allocate defense spending so that 25 percent of budgets is spent on research and acquiring new weapons, while no more than 40 percent is spent on personnel.

The generals will brief European defense officials during the next two weeks and present their findings in Washington next month, in an effort to provoke action by Europe's politicians who have not delivered on past promises to NATO.

The call for greater integration in European military research and procurement is likely to be controversial since France and Britain, in particular, have been at odds over the extent to which a pan-European defense agency should have a say over national budget priorities, the paper said.

Britain has resisted French calls for a more centralized procurement process.

But the report argues that without a more co-ordinated approach, flat or declining defense spending by most European countries will make it impossible for militaries to execute stated security strategies, which include combating terrorism and the proliferation of unconventional weapons, and dealing with failing states.

"Some question whether further defense integration can occur among European nations which value their sovereignty and see the world from diverse perspectives," the report found.

Its authors said there was "no doubt (that) such integration will require the sustained personal leadership of heads of state and government, military leaders, and the leaders of NATO and the European Union.

"Although this will be no small challenge, there really is no viable alternative."

The report also said that "if the nations of Europe do not pursue a more integrated approach to defense, in 20 years' time... many European leaders will be judged harshly for having failed to make the tough choices necessary to safeguard their countries' and the continent's security."

All rights reserved. 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.

Related Links
SpaceWar
Search SpaceWar
Subscribe To SpaceWar Express

NATO Transforming To Meet 21st Century Threats
Berlin (SPX) Sep 16, 2005
The NATO Response Force is the touchstone of the alliance's transformation to meet its 21st century threats, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said in a news conference here today. NATO is "the most successful and enduring political and military alliance in the history of the world," Rumsfeld said.



Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only






Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.