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An Undefended Europe: Consequence of Choice

From the Financial Times, an article titled Europe urged to cut armed forces raises the question of the seriousness with which Europe takes its own defense. Westhawk considers the potentially dire consequences if Europe addresses the situation with its customary complacency regarding security and military readiness, asking with frankness, Will Europe go undefended?

We have argued elsewhere recently that in order for the U.S. military to sustain and improve its performance in the Long War, it will have to become even smaller and more elite. So we would not argue against Europe reforming its armed forces by reducing their size.

However, Europe could find itself with the worst of both worlds. Europe’s armed forces could shrink in the years ahead as Europe’s population shrivels and defense funding dries up. Yet Europe’s armies could also remain unreformed and unusable, if Europe’s politicians resist the establishment of an elite, professional, and, dare we say, aggressively lethal military class. In this scenario, Europe would be left with a small, unreformed, and useless military force. In other words, Europe would be undefended.