Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Anchor That Drags Everyone Down

Germany is building a multi-national army on the framework of their army. Are the countries joining the Germans that stupid?

Germany spends perhaps a bit more than 1.2% of their GDP (when 2% is the official NATO goal) on defense. Their army is small with few tanks. The Germans have trouble scraping together vital equipment from their army just to send a single unit to train, let alone fight.

Yet giving combat brigades to the German army is considered a good idea in Europe?

Romania’s entire military won’t join the Bundeswehr, nor will the Czech armed forces become a mere German subdivision. But in the next several months each country will integrate one brigade into the German armed forces: Romania’s 81st Mechanized Brigade will join the Bundeswehr’s Rapid Response Forces Division, while the Czech 4th Rapid Deployment Brigade, which has served in Afghanistan and Kosovo and is considered the Czech Army’s spearhead force, will become part of the Germans’ 10th Armored Division. In doing so, they’ll follow in the footsteps of two Dutch brigades, one of which has already joined the Bundeswehr’s Rapid Response Forces Division and another that has been integrated into the Bundeswehr’s 1st Armored Division.

Hasn't Europe just made 2 Dutch, 1 Czech, and 1 Romanian brigades ineffective?

The idea that Germany is creating a separate (from NATO) military capability is ludicrous.

Germany's military is pathetically weak and Germany's politicians have been remarkably unwilling to deploy their military power for use in defense of the West (perhaps wisely given the poor quality of the post-Cold War German military).

The whole concept of Germany's Framework Nations plan upon which this is based requires somebody to have the leading framework upon which lesser nations can attach their smaller capabilities. If Germany had an effective army and leadership willing to use it in defense of the West, this would be a fine development.

But in the world we have, how did Germany get the framework leader role for ground combat rather than for clerk-typists? Germany isn't a solid framework to support allies but an anchor to drag down everything they touch.

And I say that with great sadness remembering the high quality (and quantity) of West Germany's heavy forces during the Cold War. 

If the Czechs and Romanians send their brigades to be based in Germany, I hope these nations don't believe they can drag the German army to defend them. Hell, I hope they don't need their own brigades for self defense. The Germans might not let them go home to fight!

If the Dutch, Czechs, and Romanians want to add to European defense capabilities, they'd be better off creating units capable of being integrated into America's Army.

Lord, the Russians aren't deeply embarrassed to loudly and repeatedly claim that NATO is a military threat to Russia?

Three years after Russia invaded Ukraine, the European notions of defense are bizarrely divorced from reality.

UPDATE: Yeah, good luck with that ambition, considering Germany spends 1.2% of GDP on defense:

In Berlin, [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel reiterated her position that "we in Europe have to take our fate into our own hands."

Europe's most powerful leader said it was up to the continent to become more "involved internationally," citing conflicts in Ukraine and Libya and the pressing issue of mass migration.

People seem thrilled that Merkel is "standing up to" Trump, but it is really pretty sad given the lack of German power to back those ambitions.

And turning against America when nobody else--including Germany--can replace America is suicidal.

UPDATE: Seriously, if Trump had Tweeted the way German leaders are talking lately, the American media would be up in arms about the foolishness revealed:

[German Foreign Minister] Gabriel said Monday that "anyone who accelerates climate change by weakening environmental protection, who sells more weapons in conflict zones and who does not want to politically resolve religious conflicts is putting peace in Europe at risk".

"The short-sighted policies of the American government stand against the interests of the European Union," he said, adding that "the West has become smaller, at least it has become weaker".

The man is a fool. A virtually disarmed Germany that appeases Russia and invites in mass immigration of people Germany has no intention of assimilating is far-sighted? Really?

American fracking is doing more to "save the planet" than any Germany-approved treaty or wind policy.

Selling weapons to friends to resist enemies who have them helps avoid defeat and chaos that armed enemies try to achieve.

And just how is Germany trying to solve religious conflicts? And how is America not trying solve them (and didn't 8 years of hopey changey outreach do that already?)?

But most fundamentally, Gabriel confuses the proto-imperial European Union project with Europe, the birthplace of the free and prosperous West.

The latter is worthy of defending. The former is worthy of the ash heap of history.

Anything that strengthens the European Union weakens the West worth defending by wrecking Europe's freedom.

I dare say, if Trump really does oppose the European Union's drive to become a multi-ethnic anti-democratic empire, that Europe and the West will benefit and become stronger.

If the Germans want to see who is weakening the West, they should look in a mirror.

UPDATE: The Germans are walking back their comments:

As the war of words threatened to spin out of control, Merkel and other senior German politicians stressed the importance of Germany's Atlantic ties, with Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel suggesting the spat was just a rough patch.

Wow, it's just like home politics! Make a statement, get outraged reactions, and walk it back!

Despite differences, as Western democracies we have more in common than anything that causes friction. Lord knows our allies annoy me sometimes, but I never forget they are allies.

UPDATE: If Merkel was just playing to her base (which hates Trump) while essentially agreeing with Trump's criticisms, Germany might yet recover from its military capability nadir and stand in defense of the West.

I hope so. We need Germany on our side.