A Sight on European Defence

Last weekend, a friend sent me an e-mail informing me about the latest Iranian weapon, namely the Karrar combat UAV. Having watched the video, I could easily guess that this so-called UAV looks like much more a poor quality copy of WW2 German V1, than a XXI century product. The bomb placed under the belly of a rocket without landing gear lets think that this is a one-way UAV, which does not correspond to the classics of UAVs, which are supposed to come back.

In fact, this new weapon belongs much more to the field of propaganda, than to the military capabilities. However it made some fuss, at least enough to encourage a Member of the Parliament to ask me for some advice on the topic. As Defence matters are not in his field of expertise, I could all the more understand his doubts, that some serious newspapers like the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of 22nd August, the AFP spread largely the Iranian arguments, without adding any added value, I mean having a critic look at the press release of a totalitarian regime.

However, main topic of this post is not to criticize the mass media, but I would like to balance the Iranian threat with this great ambition of NATO missile defence that is presented as a key issue for the security of Europe.

First of all, any defence organization must refer to a main and a secondary threat (at least) to decide on its own structure or capabilities. Depending on the level of damages the potential enemy can inflict to our cities or interests, under a certain delay, the government, with the support of the parliament, will authorize a budget to adapt its defence forces. Usually, in democracies, and even in dictatorships, money is not unlimited. Therefore, the civilian authorities have to fix a ceiling for defence budget and the military draws the priorities, which include a multitude a various constraints imposed by the politics and the frictions of its own organization.

Now, first thing I will do is looking at Iran, which is steadily presented as a major threat, because of its absolute will to get the nuclear bomb and to make use of it against any enemy and Israel in priority. The Iranian regime and its weapons of mass destruction are presented such a way that ignoring them would lead our countries to ruin and destruction. However, there are some points of concern in this presentation of Iran. First of all, is: how the public opinion can subscribe to the arguments on the vital need, when all Iranian media policy is directly inspired from the traditional propaganda? During the two last years of WW2, the nazi regime and Goebbels day by day were threatening the UK of the retaliation weapons, which of course made damages, but terribly minor when compared to the fate of the German cities. To have a good insight of propaganda language, I would advise you to read Victor’s Klemperer LTI. Once you will have read it, you will immediately link with Iranian propaganda. Then, from the usual Iranian public statements, question is: what is real, what is fake? Having seen the Karrar UAV, I really wonder.

But there is something sure: Iran is a very compliant and convenient enemy. In this long and often endless debate on NATO missile defence, Iran is regularly making use of the old tools of the besieged country, ready to field the definitive weapon, which will annihilate the enemy. In fact I really have the impression that all that noise is more intended towards the Iranian rather than Western World.

Well, in what extend is Iran really a threat, and not a threat that we are creating with our fears; a threat happy to be described as such, so that they can remain at the power?

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