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