Saturday, January 28, 2012

France Afghanistan Withdrawal

The French decision to accelerate the removal of troops from Afghanistan is a slap in the face of the US/Britain and NATO. Truly, this shows the arrogance of the EU in terms of its foreign security posture. While the Europeans ran to take credit in Libya, they lacked the basic foundations of military power. As Andrew Exum at CNAS notes,

 the nations of Europe, in the words of one defense intellectual, showed up to a gunfight in Libya with knives. The United States brought the guns. And the ammunition. And all the taregting. And all the in-flight refueling. And the ISR. 

The EU (sadly now including the UK) free rides off the back of US taxpayers when it comes to military spending and capability provision. It is decisions like France's that make me think the US should relocate bases out of Europe and gradually diminish the military organisation supporting NATO. NATO should still exist, but it should exist as a diplomatic organisation where allies meet to discuss threats etc. An absence of shared burdens is in effect an absence of a true alliance.

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