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An Anemic Defense Spending

Europe faces massive instability along its borders. The situation in Ukraine is a striking example of a crisis that could quickly get out of hand. But we could also mention Libya, Syria etc...Today, EU's Member states should pursue an objective of closer integration at least in one area: Defense. And yet, despite an increasing number of threats to international stability, European countries continue to cut into military spending. Europe only spends 1.4% of GDP on defense, the lowest of any region in the world. As a result European countries are rarely able to project forces without US assistance. Yet, they should be deployable to crisis areas without delay. The only military powers of any significance in Europe are Britain and France. However, even those 2 countries during operations in Libya and Mali have revealed Europe's weakness. The US had to supply intelligence, fighter and refueling aircrafts, drones etc...NATO's officials are very concerned about the Member's deep cuts to military spending. A quick glance to assess such expenditure in 3 major European countries. The UK has kept at 2.4% of GDP its defense spending (60 billion USD in2013). France defense spending has dropped from about 2.5% of GDP to 1.9% in2013. In Germany it represents 1.3% of GDP. But these 3 countries are currently reducing the size of their armed forces. By comparison the US spend about 5% of GDP on its military, and it should be noted that in 2012 military spending among Asian nations exceeded, for the first time, that of the Europeans. In view of the escalating geopolitical threats, experts warn that unless European countries spend substantially more on defense, they could face a real lack of credibility. This probem needs to be tackled urgently.

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