2010/10/09

A new model Entente?

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Issue
France and the United Kingdom must exploit the present window of opportunity and substantially enhance defence co-operation.

Context
Operational demands and the consequences of the financial crisis mean that Britain and France can no longer preserve independent military capabilities that fully support their aspirations as global powers. If nothing is done, they will shrink beyond repair in volume and critical capabilities. Given extant capability gaps, traditional trade-offs will no longer suffice, and have actually already become counter-productive.

Key findings
Co-operation is now both rational, politically feasible and extremely urgent
* French ‘European counter-weight’ arguments and the UK’s ‘special relationship’ with the US, which have stood in the way of co-operation, are no longer relevant
* Co-operation should be introduced pragmatically and progressively from low-key opportunities to those of greater political significance
* There must political will in both countries for fruitful cooperation to work. However, a grand political bargain between the two countries, or one at the transatlantic level, is not necessary
* The primary objective is to ensure that French and British defence systems survive the coming decade relatively unscathed
* This ‘New Model Entente’ has the potential in due course to improve relationships with the US as well as to develop a possible future European defence capability.

Hat tip to Ultima Ratio.

This sounds like a rational approach to me IF both nations want to keep their expeditionary military capability. Cooperation can lead to savings thanks to a reduction of capability duplicity.

Sven Ortmann
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5 comments:

  1. but the entente was quite the opposite of a unified expeditionary force.
    The rn covered frances northern sealine freeing the french to dominate the med.
    France would maintain a land army to beat the german empire.
    We didnt share a battleship flotilla.

    Bad idea, badly backed up.
    Little different than we dont need x because the americans have them

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  2. Just read that myself, here is another more detailed document on the same subject from Chatham House:

    http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/files/17207_0910pp_lindleyfrench_sh.pdf

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  3. RagingTory, I think you gotta learn to live with the fact that the UK is a medium-sized country with a mediocre Western economy. It cannot be autarkic in security policy unless it reduces its ambition very much.

    You won't get all the cakes at once. That may be a hard lesson, but it's overdue. There's no empire paying for a global reach military any more.

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  4. Except we can have global reach, because unlike virtualy everyone else, we dont face a land invasion.

    We dont get all the cakes, but the uk lacks both the will and need to fight a prolonged war, theres no point us paying for that cake, instead of a nice slice of prolonged war, we should buy an extra helping of smacking far far away in the face.
    But thats just my opinion

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  5. Cooperation between United Kingdom and France to be able to maintain key military capabilities is a realy good idea. UK is entering a period of weakness as the north sea oil and gas dwindels and the financial service sector shrinks while everybody has to retool and reinvest their societies for better energy and resource efficincy. France has a great streanght in its electricity production but everybody is straining to support economical promises and contracts like pensions that need strong long term growth that no longer can be guaranteed.

    Locally in Sweden I hope for a closy knit scandinavian cooperation for self defence and a medium sized ability to aid our neighbours on land and in the air and a small size ability to protect long range commercial shipping and participate in far away military ventures supporting trade partners and threthened democracies. I hope we can retain enough capability to be on the top ten to call list when UK and France must solve far away problems.

    I hope for top five when Germany needs to support continental neighbouring democracies.

    What I would like is arming for self defence and an ability to aid neighbours and friends but not arm so much that we can invade unfriendly countries. Getting this right is an economical and moral sweet spot for an epoch of strained economies when pysical resources gets less avilable due to exhaustion and environmental damage. You do not want to pour resources into over arming and get a kind of north korea or warfare abot resources and get a kind of world war one making everybody poor.

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