Friday, April 08, 2011

Europe becomes even more defenseless

We saw perfectly in AFG who was and was not a serious ally with the military to back it up.

GBR, of course did not hesitate and gave all she could. CAN stepped up to the plate as well - and in the process made her long-term military stronger through saving their tracked armor and rebuilding their lost medium-lift RW.

Of the Continental Europeans, the Dutch were a stand-out. Sure, the Danes and Estonians fought relatively caveat free in the South - but they are small nations. The Dutch, even though like CAN have left the field, fought and contributed well as long as they could.

That is the micro - now let's look at the macro.

As we have seen in Libya and read about often this year, the Royal Navy and the British military in general has mostly lost its ability to do anything of significance as the death-throws of the Western Welfare State sucks everything in to its unquenchable maw. Well, we can probably scratch the Dutch from here on out as well.

Via WSJ;
The Netherlands will cut thousands of defense jobs and scrap a significant chunk of military equipment under a restructuring that should help restore public finances, the Dutch government said Friday.

Under the revamp, the Netherlands will cut 12,000 military jobs, about 17% of its total staff, and retire 19 F-16 fighter jets, four minesweepers and two tank battalions. It will also cut spending on new Joint Strike Fighter jets that are currently developed by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT). The budget for these aircraft will be cut by EUR1.7 billion to EUR4.5 billion.

The measures should result in EUR1 billion in savings by 2014, the Dutch government said in a statement Friday.

"The cuts are at odds with the unrest in the world. The culprit is the global economic crisis," Defense Minister Hans Hillen said on a video posted on the ministry's website.

The overhaul comes as many European governments are slashing defense spending to balance their budgets. The U.K. government in October announced an 8% cut in its military budget.

The Dutch government is seeking EUR18 billion in budget cuts up to 2015 to rein in its budget deficit, which was 5.3% of gross domestic product at the end of 2010.
The Dutch government said the military will keep its capacity to engage in heavy conflicts but said that in the coming years the focus should be on "short, powerful and high-quality contributions" to international military operations.
I wonder if that line ever works on women to describe your talents as a lover? Who knows, I do know it doesn't work in military operations.

Then again, when the Germans last invaded The Netherlands, the Dutch military did fight a "short, powerful and high-quality" war. They collapsed and lost - but hey - they sure gave a lot to their welfare state during the 1930s.

We really have no one to blame but ourselves. The Europeans are too used to having their Uncle Sam doll behind glass with a wee "In Case of Emergency Break Glass" sign on it. I am tired of that - and we can no longer afford it.

Intentionally or not - BZ to President Obama's actions/inactions in Libya, as the European inability to effectively do anything, even in their back yard, without the USA is clear.

If even the Dutch don't want to fund their own defense - then fine. Let me beat the same drum I have been beating for over a decade; Bring. Everyone. Home.

Leave some Combined/Joint logistics and training bases - that is it. WWII & the Cold War is over. We are just as broke as the Europeans. Be their friend, not their enabler.

I know - I can hear you now - we are cutting defense too. True, but from a totally different baseline. The Dutch last year spent ~1.4% GDP on Defense - well less than half we do, and now they are cutting even more.

Pathetic. Here, pictures might help. I put this together - it tells a story.

These are serious cuts. In personnel - roughly 1 in 6 will go home.
The defence ministry has been tasked with cutting up to one billion euros ($1.4 billion) from its budget by the end of 2014 under the centre-right Dutch government's cost-cutting scheme.

Hillen said the ministry would also cut the use of equipment including 60 Leopard tanks, two patrol boats, 17 Cougar helicopters, a DC-10 transport plane and 19 F-16 fighter jets.
Not just tail - tooth.
Defence minister Hans Hillen also plans to scrap tanks and Cougar helicopters, to cut the 87 F-16 fighter jets by around a third and to sell off a number of naval vessels.

The controversial purchase of a second JSF fighter jet for €100m will go ahead to protect the participation of Dutch firms in its development and production, the Volkskrant said.
Ignoring the lessons of AFG on the critical contribution of tracked armor. Surprising they would do that. They once had a huge armored force - no longer - maybe they will keep a few, but I doubt it.

1 in 6. Let me flesh that out for you. The US military according to wikipedia, including reserves, is 2,278,616. If we were to follow the Dutch example, which in the end we probably would (though still at a much higher % of GDP than they are even at pre-cuts), we would be cutting 379,763 active duty, reserve, and civilian personnel.

Ponder. Such are the wages of decades of a rabid, unsustainable growth of the welfare state. Politicians making promises they knew could never be kept. One of my Econ professors in the late 80s outlined to me how this would all explode - this was a known problem - but politicians and selfish, short-sighted wards of the State don't think beyond the next batch of other people's money to fill their vices and egos.
Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide.
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

------ John Adams
  • Country retreat with substantial acreage over two hours from a major city: check.
  • Wife and children trained to be able to take out a man-sized target at 300 meters: check.
  • Loads of guns and ammo: check.
  • Food, medication, off-grid/non-petrol derived power source: not yet.
D@mn ... I thought I had more time. Well - I have a few more years, I'm sure. I'll wait for Europe to go zombie apocalypse - then I know I have 24 months to finish preps. For now - it's just a hunting retreat .... as far as you know .....

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