Leadership: February 21, 2002


The US continues to complain that Europe isn't spending enough on defense. In point of fact, it never has, preferring to let the US take up the slack. After the Kosovo War, Europe realized that without long-range aircraft and precision-guided weapons, it was not needed as a US ally in a "post-modern" war, and that it needed to spend billions on such weapons if it wanted the US to include it in future plans (i.e., give it a say in US military operations). Great pledges were made of quickly increasing budgets, but these never materialized. The British spent the most ($34 billion this year) but that is less than the $48 billion INCREASE which President Bush sought to fight the War on Terror. France spends $25 billion, Germany $21 billion, Italy $15.5 billion, and Canada $7.7 billion. All of them have shrinking military forces that are less and less able to meet their mission statements.--Stephen V Cole


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