The United States spends about €500 billion a year on defence. It surprises a lot of people, but the EU collectively spends around €200 billion, nearly four times what China spends. Yet look at our dicking around over a No-Fly Zone over Libya.
Do we think it is wrong that a despot is using airstrikes against his own people? Oh Yes, as the insurance selling dog said. No one does moral indignation like Europe does. But not enough to put our pilots or our soldiers at risk.
Do we think we should do something about it? Possibly, but let’s try and talk it out long enough that it’ll be too late to actually help anyone, and Gadaffi will be secure once again.
Do we think we can actually do something about it militarily, having spent €200 billion on defence, without asking the Americans? Or are the Eurofighter and the Mirage just for show? Do we actually spend billions on defence just to provide a handsome looking backdrop for Sarko is preen against on Bastille Day? Tricky one this.
Of course, the Irish attitude sums up the EU attitude perfectly. Terrible and all as it is, what’s it to do with us? Someone else (the Americans) should deal with it. But we reserve the right to be sanctimonious about how they deal with it. Are there other options? Well there’s always this. Sorry, by the way, for becoming one of those bloggers who quotes himself, but I’m too lazy to rewrite.
Sometimes, though, I wonder would it just make more sense to just pay the Americans protection money.