Euromangling British defenses

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EUreferendum has an excellent (but appalling) list of taxpayer money wasted by the British Ministry of Defense on joint European weapons projects. It is a reprise of the many Airbus stumbles, which is itself a repeat of the great Concorde money loser.

Like some overblown African dictatorship, the EU keeps confusing grandiose ego projects with sensible expenditures on defense; as a result of which Europe and Britain look increasingly vulnerable and defenseless. On the day after Milton Friedman's passing it is a reminder of the bizarre and self—destructive nature of politicized decision—making ——— because that's the trouble, of course: Everything in the EU is political, and all large military projects are pork—barreled to ensure that enough bacon fat goes to France, Italy, Germany and Britain itself. It works about as well as nationalized health care.

Britain's MOD spent almost twice as much money for a German anti—artillery radar than a US version would have cost. More than five hundred million dollars were wasted on a failed effort to produce European anti—tank missiles, which then had to be purchased from the US anyway. An armored vehicle had to be dumped after spending about 75 million dollars because it was too big to go into Hercules transport planes.

The Defense Ministry has ordered 232 Eurofighters at more than 90 million dollars each for "an acknowledged Cold War relic." The Eurofighter can't perform ground support or other bombing missions, but the terrorists don't have fighter jets to knock out.

To top it all off, Europe has embarked an a completely unnecessary doubling of the US GPS system for navigation; since the GPS system is free to users all over the world, it's like building a second world—wide web. The EU has invited China's and Russia's participation, but now China has learned enough about the system to withdraw in order to make its own.

All this would be funny if it weren't tragic. British troops in Afghanistan do not have proper IED—car bomb protection. In Basra, the Brits have now taken a shrinking defensive role. One reason why the Europeans loudly proclaim their "pacifist values" is because the same story is repeated over and over again; pacifism in the face if Iranian nukes and Al Qaida bombs is the only option if you don't have a functioning military. France has 359,000 military personnel, but it can't keep Islamist "youth" from rioting and burning cars every day of the year.

A cynic might suspect that Europe keeps floundering on military matters because they want to postpone the day when they might have to handle their own defenses. Uncle Sam is so useful — he pays for Europe's protection, gives it a nuclear umbrella, keeps Europe's oil free of interference, and is willing to let his soldiers spill their blood ——— all for the sake of 450 million welfare clients who are living it up, thousands of miles from American shores. And then he can be despised as a warmonger.

What a marvelous deal! Why would Europeans defend themselves when the United States is willing to carry the load? 

James Lewis   11 18 06

EUreferendum has an excellent (but appalling) list of taxpayer money wasted by the British Ministry of Defense on joint European weapons projects. It is a reprise of the many Airbus stumbles, which is itself a repeat of the great Concorde money loser.

Like some overblown African dictatorship, the EU keeps confusing grandiose ego projects with sensible expenditures on defense; as a result of which Europe and Britain look increasingly vulnerable and defenseless. On the day after Milton Friedman's passing it is a reminder of the bizarre and self—destructive nature of politicized decision—making ——— because that's the trouble, of course: Everything in the EU is political, and all large military projects are pork—barreled to ensure that enough bacon fat goes to France, Italy, Germany and Britain itself. It works about as well as nationalized health care.

Britain's MOD spent almost twice as much money for a German anti—artillery radar than a US version would have cost. More than five hundred million dollars were wasted on a failed effort to produce European anti—tank missiles, which then had to be purchased from the US anyway. An armored vehicle had to be dumped after spending about 75 million dollars because it was too big to go into Hercules transport planes.

The Defense Ministry has ordered 232 Eurofighters at more than 90 million dollars each for "an acknowledged Cold War relic." The Eurofighter can't perform ground support or other bombing missions, but the terrorists don't have fighter jets to knock out.

To top it all off, Europe has embarked an a completely unnecessary doubling of the US GPS system for navigation; since the GPS system is free to users all over the world, it's like building a second world—wide web. The EU has invited China's and Russia's participation, but now China has learned enough about the system to withdraw in order to make its own.

All this would be funny if it weren't tragic. British troops in Afghanistan do not have proper IED—car bomb protection. In Basra, the Brits have now taken a shrinking defensive role. One reason why the Europeans loudly proclaim their "pacifist values" is because the same story is repeated over and over again; pacifism in the face if Iranian nukes and Al Qaida bombs is the only option if you don't have a functioning military. France has 359,000 military personnel, but it can't keep Islamist "youth" from rioting and burning cars every day of the year.

A cynic might suspect that Europe keeps floundering on military matters because they want to postpone the day when they might have to handle their own defenses. Uncle Sam is so useful — he pays for Europe's protection, gives it a nuclear umbrella, keeps Europe's oil free of interference, and is willing to let his soldiers spill their blood ——— all for the sake of 450 million welfare clients who are living it up, thousands of miles from American shores. And then he can be despised as a warmonger.

What a marvelous deal! Why would Europeans defend themselves when the United States is willing to carry the load? 

James Lewis   11 18 06