July 11, 2010
Frequently European Defence opponents like casting a stone to European bureaucracy and inefficiency, taking NATO as a model. Sure, it is a little bit late, nevertheless, I enjoyed reading in EUobserver.com, the article written by Valentina Pop and titled “Nato to make cutbacks amid budget crisis“.
Finally, everybody admits that the duplications are in the NATO and that drastic cuts in its operating costs will give to NATO some ability for competition and challenges. I am really longing to see how our Nations will succeed in reaching an agreement.
Firstly, nobody wants to loose key posts in the command structure.
Secondly, nobody is really willing to let a headquarters be disbanded, unless it is in another country.
Thirdly, the real waste of money lays in the duplications between the countries which want, each of them, keep in their hands most of the tools while they will operate, anyway, with the same allies, whatever the situation is. Sooner or later this will have to be addressed, as it could effectively facilitate significant savings.
And what about France? Will France accept to disband SACT, in Norfolk, while this country got a short time ago the commander’s post in the wedding basket for its come back to the structure?
The conclusion sentence of this article is not so amusing: quoting the ministers of Defence the journalist reports them to have declared: “We will continue to demonstrate the alliance’s capability to provide a visible assurance of Nato’s commitment to collective defence. We are determined that our national decisions on defence programmes and budgets will take into account what we need as an alliance”. It does not seem to me that they will really act to reform rapidly their own defence systems towards a more integrated and therefore cheaper defence organisation. It rather sounds in the style “business as usual”.
I hope I make a mistake, but I do not expect a really significant change, unless our governments have a strong will to sacrifice the HQ they host on their soil, or the key posts that they own. Let us be confident.Author : f.