European defense: 5 measures within the reach of the European Commission to anticipate Trump

While European intelligence services are warning, one by one, of the risk of an unfavorable balance of power in European defense against Russia, Donald Trump's repeated provocations in the campaign, on the subject of NATO, are beginning to cause real concern in most chancelleries of the old continent.

The situation is all the more difficult as many European states have already significantly increased their defense investments, without having any additional room for maneuver to possibly increase them. In this area, the European Union can play a decisive role, in order to respond to the security equation, today in Ukraine, tomorrow in Europe.

Much more effectively than through voiceless speeches, or cooperation programs, but with a timetable that is too long, this can, in fact, release, through its action, significant investments, both for the benefit of collective security, only in support of Ukraine, while providing a most structuring framework for the emergence of real European strategic autonomy, now clearly essential.

Concern grows in Europe after Donald Trump's latest statements on NATO

In recent weeks, European leaders seem, as a whole, to suffer from great excitement regarding the future of security on the old continent. Firstly, Donald Trump multiplies the sensational announcements concerning the way in which he intends to reshape the United States' involvement in NATO, and in the defense of Europe. On the other hand, reports are multiplying regarding the evolution of Russian military power, with discouraging prospects in Ukraine, but also against certain countries of the Atlantic Alliance.

donald trump in campaign
More aggressive than ever, Donald Trump is increasing the number of speeches in which he announces that he wants to distance himself from NATO, causing real concern among Europeans.

Basically, nothing here is particularly new. The way in which Trump intends to distance himself from NATO was already at the heart of his international discourse during his first mandate. The lack of immediate perceived threat in Europe, and the moderating role played by some members of the Trump administration, however, limited European awareness.

Likewise, the rapid rearmament of Russia, the evolution of Russian society to support the armies, and the risks that this transformation creates for Ukraine and Europe, have been described for many months by specialists on the subject. If this has taken on a whole new dimension since the fall of 2022, it has already been at the center of Vladimir Putin's national and international policy since 2012.

However, convinced that they were under the protection of the United States, the Europeans, once again, failed to appreciate the developing threat, not even after Russia attacked Ukraine.

Today, however, these two trajectories seem to have reached a threshold, exacerbated by the thunderous declarations of a Donald Trump in the campaign, and a Vladimir Putin in full confidence. From an impregnable economic bastion, Europe suddenly takes the full measure of its vulnerability linked to its hyper-dependence on American protection, on the one hand, and to its lack of anticipation in the face of the Russian threat, on the other. other.

The European Union is still seeking legitimacy for intervention in European defense matters

Thus, for several days, declarations, to say the least worried, from European leaders, have multiplied. If some are lacking a solution, like the German Olaf Scholz who pleads, without the slightest emphasis, for a return to reason in the United States, others, like Danish Defense Minister Troels Lund Poulsen, repeat the warnings concerning the rapid evolution of the Russian threat on the borders of the old continent.

Josep Borrell
Without a real state, and without an army, European diplomacy is, most often, voiceless, despite the efforts of Josep Borrelle to give it substance.

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7 Comments

  1. What good ideas Fabrice! Still, I have more than doubts about putting it into practice: is the EU capable of evolving to propose these measures? And “worse” perhaps, you are aware, it would give France a decisive weight in European defense. This last point risks being even more complicated than the first. In short, good ideas but unrealistic, I fear, because they are too Franco-French... and our European friends suspect us of primary anti-Americanism on the one hand and of hegemonic desire for the benefit of our BITD on the other hand...

    • This is, in fact, the whole difficulty, and the biggest obstacle (hence the conclusion which actually refers to this point): It is up to France to find the arguments to put forward, but also to put on the table what others, including Germany, will not be able to refuse….

  2. I admit that I do not understand the use of the adjective “aggressive” to qualify Mr. Trump’s remarks.
    He only wants to put an end to an abnormal or even aberrant situation, in this case the financing of the defense of numerous European states by the American taxpayer who would much prefer that these large sums be devoted to improving infrastructure or the school system. .

    It is high time for some, if they want to survive as truly independent nations, to redirect much spending towards national defense rather than towards the purchase of BMWs or Mercedes, as well as holidays on the Mediterranean coast.
    The rapid improvement in the standard of living of certain European populations has come at the expense of national defense.
    It is a state of mind that must be changed, by renouncing a certain comfort and voluntary servitude in order to assume freedom and dignity.

    I do not believe, given the state of the German army, that the current president of the European Commission has the slightest competence or the slightest desire other than verbal to do anything to create a European military power
    The Germans, an aging population in the middle of a demographic winter, will negotiate – in German – with Mr. Putin a status of neutrality which will make them a big German Switzerland. This is also called – quite unfairly given the courage of the Finns against the Soviets – “Finlandization”
    This will suit modern Germany perfectly.

    Only those who remember the lessons of History will remain facing the Russians; the United Kingdom and France with their nuclear weapons and the hints of their independence strategy, Poland if it can complete its rearmament, the Hungarians if Orban remembers 1956 and the Czechs of R Fico

    Believing that the European Commission which, in the name of competition and the single market, has always prevented European companies from uniting against the Chinese and the Americans, to the point of being condemned by the ECJ - Legrand affair - could initiate or support a structured effort to develop European defense industries while it has always fought any initiative in favor of a European industrial policy based on the faith of the coal miner or a lack of knowledge of the Brussels bureaucracy and not a rational analysis

    The paths traced are very interesting but must be imposed and not negotiated with people who you yourself admit are in denial... and who will never admit that they were wrong... and are wrong...

  3. We may be shocked by Trump's provocations, but the European Union has been making savings at the expense of the USA for 30 years in terms of military budget, if we compare the GDP, €25M (USA), €17M (China) .16M€ (EU), if we compare the military budgets 252M for China versus 233M for the EU, we say that it is close, but the Chinese amount must be divided by 70% to have an equivalent cost of living i.e. 370M€, and again as everyone reduces the coverage to their own, the arms factories are built in the paying countries, therefore France, Germany to the detriment of Romania or Latvia which would be much cheaper. (the same for Russia which in equivalent cost of living reaches €221M in 2024)

    • It's worse than that, because it's not enough to compare purchasing power parity with China and Russia. These also have an offset technological slider, lower than that of Westerners. Thus, an Abrams M1A2 or a Leopard 2 A7 costs the price of 6 to 7 T-90M, one Rafale that of 3 Su-35s, and a Virginia class submarine, that of 3 Pr 885M Iassen. A Russian soldier under contract costs on average $20 per year, a Chinese $000, compared to more than 30 for a European, and almost 000 for an American. It is appropriate, if we want to get an idea, to compare Russian investment compensated by a factor of 60, and more than 000, for China.

      • sorry but it is the cost of living that we are comparing and not the purchasing power, concerning the salary of a Russian soldier for the special operation it rose to €28000 + €88/day bonus, €2691 net/ month for a French soldier. Concerning the SU35 and the Rafale, they were the subject of a comparison in a call for tenders a few years ago by South Korea, and the SU35 came last because of its avionics, its consumption, its maintenance cost and the absence of fusion of data, so normal that it is cheaper

        • 1/ it is not a question here of pay, but of the average cost of a soldier, which includes pay, but many other things, and excluding combat bonuses.
          2/ yes, the technological slider is lower. However, does a rafale worth 3 Su-35s? Personally, I don't know, and I doubt that anyone knows, but what is certain is that a Rafale cannot be in three places at the same time… In addition, the export versions and the VKS versions are often quite different. For French equipment as well, but not in the same sense…

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