14 November, 2006

The French get annoyed, again.

The European Defence Agency is embarking on a research programme into methods for protecting soldiers in urban environments. The French are annoyed because the British government is refusing to throw money down the drain of this project, arguing it would merely duplicate existing UK research programmes.

The UK actually uses its defence budget for defence,that is, to participate in military operations with its NATO allies in places like like Iraq and Afghanistan. France and most of the rest do not; their politicians ensure that their armies avoid combat. The main exception amongst the rest is Netherlands. It was with some justification, therefore, that at the last EDU meeting, the Dutch defence minister complained that, whereas NATO should be the main focus of European Union security, the French defence minister,

...had given an introduction during the meeting about citizens expecting security provision from the EU but without hardly mentioning NATO.

"She completely puts the accent on the EU. The Netherlands and other countries have tried to look at this also on the other side."

He went on to say that he himself had reacted with a plea that NATO is the main security provider.

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