US Defense Secretary Robert Gates:Low EU & NATO Military Spending
On February 23, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates criticized European anti-war sentiments in his speech to the National Defense University in Washington.
The demilitarization of Europe where large swaths of the general public and political class are averse to military force and the risks that go with it has gone from a blessing in the 20th century to an impediment to achieving real security and lasting peace in the 21st century...It [EU] should begin by establishing a standing body of civilian experts who would be stationed and train together on a permanent basis.
Gates stated that NATO's 2010 funding short-fall of "hundreds of millions of euros...[is] a natural consequence of having under-invested in collective defense for more than a decade." He went on to criticize NATO for not contributing more equipment and troops to the conflict in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, European forces have been present for non-military efforts that contributed to security in war-torn areas.
Civilian work is now widely recognized as an essential ingredient in addressing security challenges around the world...There is little point in pacifying a country militarily if its infrastructure, courts, fiscal controls, and health systems are so feeble that chaos returns the moment the troops leave.
EU GDP & Military Budget vs China & US
The US wants Europe to buy more military hardware from them for the war. The EU’s 27 member states, representing over 500 million citizens, contribute approximately 30% of the gross world product. The European Union is the world’s largest economy, but not the largest military spender. According to Visual Economics Military Spending Worldwide:
- US Military Budget 2009: $711 billion
- European Union Military Budget 2009: $289 billion
- China Military Budget 2009: $122 billion
- US GDP 2009: $14.4 trillion
- European Union GDP 2009: $16.5 trillion (PPP)
- China GDP 2009: $8.8 trillion (PPP)
- US economic growth 2009: 0.2%
- European Union economic growth 2009: -4%
- China economic growth 2009: 8.7 %
The Lisbon Treaty: EU's Constitutional Agreement
Understanding the The Lisbon Treaty, the new EU constitutional agreement, is key to understanding the issues around militarization that concern EU States. Since the Lisbon Treaty has come into force, a new era for the EU has been ushered in.
Some feel the Lisbon Treaty: imposes more military spending by all EU member states; allows former colonial powers to dominate EU defense policy; reinforces EU-NATO links hence the U.S. influence over EU foreign policy; creates a new EU common defence policy that further undermines neutrality of member states; and obliges member states to aid and assist other EU countries in military conflicts.
- The Lisbon Treaty: Changes for Europe.
- Irish Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
- Second Irish Referendum on Lisbon Treaty.
- Lisbon Treaty Referendum Mk II.
United States' Unofficial Wars
December 8, 1941 was the date US Congress officially declared war. Since World War 2, all of the US wars have been undeclared wars, better understood as police actions: Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf Wars, Granada, The Balkans, Bosnia, the list goes on. Military advisers and personnel are installed in 700 US military bases across the globe.
US Army 5-star general and Republican President, President Dwight Eisenhower's 1961 address warned that the military-industrial complex would become too powerful.
Europe's Pacifist Nation Builders
Europe is the world's largest economy and got there without any recent substantial wars except those the US dragged it into...In contrast, the US has been at war for 19 of the last 47 years but has not grown faster than the other two economically.
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