Friday, May 4, 2012
The world wars were a long time ago I know. But I suppose it’s testament to how culturally embedded they are in the UK that when a committee of the British Parliament calls on Germany to be more militarily active it makes one double take.
But that is just what the House of Lords Committee on the European Union is doing in its report on defence capabilities in the EU today.
It points out that with the US expecting Europe to take on more defence responsibilities, Britain and France need Germany to help shoulder some of the burden.
The document reads: “Germany is Europe’s economic powerhouse. But in the military area, it does not fulfil its potential despite a large defence budget in absolute terms. It is a precondition that Germany becomes a more active participant in European defence matters, able to engage on similar terms to the UK and France, if the EU is to have an effective security and defence policy. NATO would benefit equally.”
Apparently the Germans do have “fully fledged” armed forces militarily speaking, but it never uses them because people there have “historical and cultural objections”.