Steps to Military Superiority

From the May 2005 Trumpet Print Edition

Is the European Union’s military worth watching? Many wouldn’t think so. After all, its rapid reaction force is only a few thousand strong; its international peacekeeping missions usually don’t consist of more than about 400 soldiers each.

Many also wrote off German military developments before World War ii. Not Winston Churchill. As he kept tallies of how Germany’s army was growing under the radar, so does the Trumpet document how the EU—a seemingly benign union—has its sights set on becoming a military superpower.

In March, the EU took its “first step in military research and development” (Times Online, March 2): The European Defense Agency has plans in the works to develop unmanned drones, new armored vehicles and advanced communications systems. Says the Times Online analysis, these initiatives “are aimed at transforming the EU from being solely a political power … to a military one, capable of sending troops around the world to enforce a foreign policy agreed by its member states” (ibid.).

As innocuous as the EU military may seem at present, it’s the motives we should be wary of—“a strategy to become a military superpower and close the defense technology gap with the United States” (ibid.; emphasis ours). The EU is eliminating outdated equipment, upgrading its military technology, and centralizing its resources to avoid duplication among its member states’ militaries.

To become a military superpower has been an EU goal all along. Its constitution—agreed on by European leaders last October—mentions the Union’s aim to have a military force capable of enforcing a single foreign policy. Lately, Germany’s chancellor has spoken out about how the EU needs to develop its own military program separate from nato.

It wasn’t until Germany was swallowing up swaths of European territory that people started to pay attention to what Churchill said about its burgeoning forces.

Can we learn from history and wake up to the military colossus rising in Europe before it is too late?