Sunday, November 22, 2015

France Wants Who to Help?

On the heels of France spurning America in favor of Russia as their choice for help in a fight against ISIL, France next turns to the European Union?

This is just insulting:

France invoked the European Union's mutual assistance clause for the first time on Tuesday, asking its partners for military help and other aid in missions in the Middle East and Africa after the Paris attacks. ...

"France cannot do everything, in the Sahel, in the Central African Republic, in the Levant and then secure its national territory," Le Drian told a news conference during a meeting of EU defense ministers in Brussels where he invoked the EU's Article 42.7 mutual assistance clause.

French troops have been deployed in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad in the Sahel area of west Africa.

France doesn't seem to have formally asked for help from us directly or from NATO where we would be the major force. Is it that we aren't considered reliable enough to help?

Or did we tell France not to ask for help because we'd just turn them down? Is that why France has turned to Russia and the European Union?

No, France can't do everything, as they rightly say. But rather than try to continue doing everything with Europe's help--which is insignificant overseas--France should stop their Syria adventure after having made the point of blasting ISIL's capital, Raqqa, and focus on Libya where ISIL has set up shop with their own territory close to France.

UPDATE: Europe's defense spending is low (tip to Instapundit):

The 28 nations that comprise the North Atlantic Treaty Organization agreed last year that every member’s defense spending should total at least 2% of that nation’s GDP. But only five NATO members are likely to hit that threshold this year: The United States, United Kingdom, Greece, Estonia and Poland. A few of Europe’s biggest nations are far below that target. Germany spends just 1.2% of GDP on defense; Italy, 1%; Spain, a paltry 0.9%.

And Greece spends with an eye to a potential war with fellow NATO member Turkey. Nice, huh?

Worse, Europe gets little for their defense dollars. There are very few combat-ready ground forces,  and the ability to sustain air combat is limited by small stocks of ammunition. Much of their militaries are civil servants in uniform, with only small pockets of capable forces.