Europe Cannot Cope With Any Further Armed Conflict On The Continent


European leaders are not only unable to counteract the demographic crisis on the Old Continent, but are also losing ground in terms of defense. President Trump’s skepticism and reservation about the military ideas of European bureaucrats Ankara’s increasingly aggressive actions towards Cyprus and Greece, and the rapprochement between Turkey and Russia highlight NATO’s weakness on the eve of its summit in Brussels.

Europe stands no chance if forced to face conflict on three fronts. Two of them are of conventional character: on the eastern flank, where there are continuous tensions with Russia, and in the Balkans near the border with Turkey. The third concerns the Mediterranean area, where young and strong men from Africa and Central Asia cross European borders with the support of a thousand people from the continent’s heartland. Europeans are also militarily involved in Afghanistan, Syria and take part in the growing conflict in Mali.

While Europe is losing its allies, Russia and Turkey are looking for alternative directions of cooperation. Turkey has ceased to be a credible member of NATO, and there are growing fears of the US’s non-engagement in European conflicts. The Gefira team compares the capabilities of the North Atlantic Alliance, without taking into account the American and Turkish armed forces, with those of Moscow and Ankara. The conclusion is clear: the European potential is too weak to deal with any dispute on NATO’s eastern and south-eastern borders.

The comparison shows that European NATO countries spend more than four times on armaments than the Kremlin and Ankara. Despite the fact that the size of the Alliance’s European troops is greater by more than 350,000 people, the advantage of Russian and Turkish ground and air forces is noticeable. NATO’s Navy seems to be stronger, as evidenced by the ratio of nine aircraft carriers to one Russian, but Russia has three times more nuclear submarines. An important element is nuclear equipment: in total, European NATO countries only have 515 nuclear warheads, while Russia has 7,000.

An additional obstacle to the European part of the Alliance is that their troops do not have uniform command. Actions taken by Italy, Poland and Hungary, as well as the euro crisis and migration issues show that Berlin is not able to lead Europe in the face of external threats. France is also trying to take control of European troops, but this has led to the destruction of Libya, while military adventures in Mali are doomed to disaster.

The lack of command procedures without Washington participation is one problem. Logistics is another. Although there are plans to transfer the Alliance forces to the eastern flank, the distance is too large to respond to an unexpected attack. However, given the increasing risk of conflict between Greece and Turkey, NATO countries should reconsider organizational issues that will allow their armies to move more efficiently not only to the east, but also to the south of Europe. Instead of focusing on deterrents, Europe should determine the appropriate logistical procedures that are the basis for a smooth response to an attack on one of the Alliance members.

Although NATO troops are more numerous than Russian and Turkish, even if Article 5 has come into force, no country will sacrifice all of its armed forces. The North Atlantic Treaty gives freedom to members in choosing the means and methods of military defense of a NATO member. Even if each state allocates 10-20% of its soldiers and military equipment (which we consider as a limit anyway), it will not be able to oppose Russian or Turkish troops.

Drawing on the Global Firepower ranking, in the table below, we have compiled the data related to the number of military personnel and items of equipment for three types of armed forces as well as NATO’s and Russia’s budget expenditures. Numbers apart, also technological issues are important i.e. a state’s ability to modernize its military equipment. The Turkish and Russian weapons are regularly tested in operations in the Middle East, which makes it possible to improve them. Most European armies use their equipment only on the training ground and during maneuvers.

First border: USA and Europe

Diplomats admit it openly: Transatlantic relations have been deteriorating for years. Washington is less willing to finance European defense, which is not to the liking of European decision makers who have become accustomed to the United States’ sponsorship to such an extent that many countries are not increasing defense spending to reach the agreed 2% of GDP in 2024. Washington spends USD 647 billion a year on defense, while the military expenditures of other NATO states amount to USD 268 billion. The American president announces that he he is sick and tired of funding European defense. On the other hand, European leaders state that this new American doctrine “has no friends but enemies.” The rejection of the climate change conference provisions by the United States as well as Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran, resulting in the re-imposition of sanctions on Tehran, is a bone of contention that brought about a rise in oil prices by hitting importers of this raw material, including Europe.

The trade war waged between the EU and the United States negatively affects transatlantic relations as demonstrated by the recent G7 summit. In addition, Washington is skeptical about European defense plans related to the creation of the European Intervention Initiative, stating that they undermine current forms of cooperation. The growing tension between Europe and the United States may have its apogee at the July NATO summit, when the United States, in order to show the weakness of European allies, may decide to limit its military presence on the Old Continent, and possibly leave the organization altogether. It is important that a few days after the meeting of the Alliance leaders, a meeting of President Putin and President Trump will take place in Helsinki. It is also worth adding that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (Ukraine is not a NATO member) will take part in the July NATO summit in Brussels. spreading the Alliance’s influence to the East may elicit Moscow’s decisive response.

The second border: NATO and Turkey

Europe is openly pointing to Russia as an enemy that could intensify operations in eastern Ukraine or open a new front in the Baltics or Transnistria. However, while the war with Russia in our view is rather less likely, the second – more realistic – place of conflict is the Balkans and Asia Minor. Ankara raises territorial claims against Nicosia and Athens. It can be exemplified by the border violation of Greek air zone by Turkish fighters, or even the Turkish blockade of European ships exploring gas fields in the economic zones of Cyprus. The annexation of Cyprus by Turkey and the attack on Greece (which is also a NATO member) would launch Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

Turkey and the other NATO members have diverging interests. An example of this is the “Olive Branch” launched at the beginning of this year against the US-equipped People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is the largest Kurdish militia in Syria.10)This causes Ankara to be marginalized by the North Atlantic allies, which Gefira’s team had previously signaled.11)In the current situation, Turkey is not an actual member of the Alliance. Erdoğan’s victory and the strengthening of his position under the presidential system will result in Turkey’s greater activity, and the confrontation between Europe and Ankara, whether it concerns Cyprus or the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, has become very likely.

Europe distances itself from its military allies. Australia, Canada or Japan, potential partners of the Old Continent, do not see any special interest in engaging their own troops in possible disputes in this area. While European policy-makers lose their allies, Moscow and Ankara are trying to create bilateral and multilateral forms of military cooperation. The Old Continent is unable to cope with the escalation of the aforementioned conflicts, without the support of the United States and Turkey. The North Atlantic Pact depleted by two members is losing importance, and the diverging interests of NATO countries deepen existing divisions. Considering the above list of hypothetical events, it should be noted that the Alliance, contrary to the opinion of many analysts and the mainstream media citing them, cannot be perceived as a permanent military arrangement.


Brazen Heist II I am Groot Mon, 07/09/2018 - 03:48 Permalink

NATO has contributed to many wars and destabilizing acts on Europe's periphery - Libya, Ukraine, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan come to mind. These worthless misadventures have directly resulted in mass migrations of people into Europe.

Kick out all the armchair war pig leeches first and their cornucopia of paid shills, stink tanks, lobbyists and politicians, then see that without them in the equation, the mass movements of people into Europe will dwindle because there will be less orchestrated failed states on Europe's periphery for people to run away from.

In reply to by I am Groot

Lordflin Four Star Mon, 07/09/2018 - 06:47 Permalink

Europe could target itself with its 515 Nukes and very likely destroy all life on the planet... granted it is theoretical, and they would not be around to verify... so the ideal would be to target a place that could not return fire, say Africa or South America... either would burn really well... and then stand back and watch.

I once had a plan for peace on Earth. Give everyone their own nuclear missile, and at the appointed time we could fire them at the part of the world we hated most. Afterwords we would have peace... hadn't thought of it back then, but we would solve our energy problem, and world hunger too at the same time...

In reply to by Four Star

rtb61 Brazen Heist II Mon, 07/09/2018 - 05:32 Permalink

That means the EU army must take the next step, lock down the Mediterranean and create and supply refugee facilities in the countries on the Mediterranean that are the source of the refugees. These to be segregated, boring, with birth control and secured militarily, refugees can be safe and bored there, or return to fix their country of origin, education about how to do that and manage democracy, literacy et al supplied free.

The approaches to those camps to be protected militarily and relatively aggressively, and all goods and military services supplied by nations wishing to protect their borders. US to subsidise based upon the population displacement, they caused. People have a free right to decide what happens in their country democratically no matter how bad and we have a right to democratically decide who we will let in, no matter the claimed need.

I must support local workers first and their democratic choices even when I advise against those decisions, I still support and understand the benefits of democracy and I know most workers do no want unskilled refugees, they can accept some skilled immigrants but that is about it.

In reply to by Brazen Heist II

Overdrawn I am Groot Mon, 07/09/2018 - 06:10 Permalink

The politicians have failed European people. 

Until UK, France & Germany get populist Governments they far-left liberal extremist globalist will continue their covert war against their own populations.  Unfortunately, there are still millions of Europeans who are still not aware of the danger we are facing thanks to fake news MSM.

The politicians and the media are traitors, who have planned & who are carrying out the invasion of Europe, which is now in an advanced state.

In reply to by I am Groot

Brazen Heist II Mon, 07/09/2018 - 03:44 Permalink

NATO is a racket used to prop up the Western military industrial complex and American imperialism. It uses Russia and Iran as convenient and profitable bogeymen to justify its budgets and propaganda.

Disband these dinosaurs.

zvzzt JibjeResearch Mon, 07/09/2018 - 05:18 Permalink

US can be such an economic powerhouse again if shifting DoD funding towards research into synthetic oils / efficient energy. Couple of 'important' countries in ME will lose out (win-win, as far as I am concerned), standing in the way of US progress over the next 50+ years. 

The moment the US doesn't need the ME, they do not need an significant army (other than nuclear strike options). Two massive moats on either side will protect you... Angry MEX and CAN can be managed by local militias, I'm sure. 

In reply to by JibjeResearch

not dead yet Mon, 07/09/2018 - 04:35 Permalink

The only thing the Europeans fear from from Russia is all the business they lost by obeying the American sanctions on Russia. Now they are unhappy that if they obey the US sanctions on Iran they will lose another boatload of money. The Europeans want Nordstream 2 while the US is trying to sanction every country and business that participates in the construction so as to squeeze Russia and have a market for the more expensive US LNG. The Europeans know Russia is not a threat which is why their defense budgets are so low. The Europeans deep down don't want the US military on their soil but allow them in because of the millions it brings into the local economy. Poland and the Baltic's economies are basket cases so they make noises about Russian invasions to get sacks of money from the US. The Europeans consider the Russians as good business partners that keep their word unlike the US that tramples every agreement they don't like.

The IMF has violated almost every one of their rules to keep Ukraine afloat. Even then what money does make it into the country, the first hundreds of millions went to bail out the bankers that held Ukrainian loans, most of it gets stolen. With the dust up in the east, the rampant corruption, and the Ukraine economy in the tank and still going down NATO would have to be exceptionally desperate to admit Ukraine and have Ukraine bleed NATO's finances dry.

Captain Nemo d… Mon, 07/09/2018 - 04:35 Permalink

That is why the have chosen the route of peace and integration. Because if you let them loose with nationalistic fervor they go completely bananas and drag the world down with them.

Obamanism666 Mon, 07/09/2018 - 04:41 Permalink

Technically Russia and Turkey do not need Aircraft carriers, Europe does as it needs to keep the supply lines to the US. Russia will need to keep Turkey out of Syria as that is where the Russians have their only Med Port.

The main Country not in the List above is Finland (only European country to beat Russia in a Land war 1936).

Russia will need to conquer Norway and Finland and some of "Neutral" Sweden so their Subs and Nothern Fleet can have "warm" water ports into the Atlantic to close the Shipping Lanes to and from the US. Hence why the Russians are going apeshit at the Exercises in Norway

Golden Showers Mon, 07/09/2018 - 04:55 Permalink

Poor Europe. Poor poor Europe.

The USA and Europe and that shit hole called Turkey (FUCK YOU TURKEY YOU STUPID CANKER FAGGOTS), well Europe and Turkey are about the same and fuck them. Fuck Brussels. Fuck all that shit.

Who the fuck cares about Europe or Turkey and thier coping skills and their poor poor lack of government bullshit leaders who are inneffectual tyrants and ghosts and paid fools and useful idiots?

Not me. I could give a fuck if Europe dies today. The sooner the better.

Why help a bunch of sick cry-wolf pussies and old families who can't get their shit straight?

MAGA. That's it. Fuck everyone else because it's not my problem that Europe sucks at life.

The OP article is stupid and juvenile btw. It's just meant to boost US empathy for some stupid idea of European impotence which is mistaken. But fuck Europe anyway. Fuck off. Solve your own shit your own way.

zvzzt Mon, 07/09/2018 - 05:10 Permalink

When I visited NATO in the mid-1990's they were already in some sort of crisis: "we do not know what our strategy is for the future" and, "all these new countries are being introduced from the former WP, which we desperately do not need (language problems, operational problems, completely different and non-NATO standard equipment, etc.)". But hey, former east-bloc born Albright pushed for their inclusion via the Partnership-for-Peace programs.  

Since Western Europe doesn't need to fear any military offensive action from the Russians (they cannot manage logistically nor is their grand strategy focused on that, nor do they have a significant history of invading countries (Finland, Afghanistan, Chechnya/Dagastan/Caucasus are very different stories and very much strategically-defensive in nature). 

It will be significantly better for the US and WEU for NATO to disappear. Cheaper for the US (for them WEU is a massive 'aircraft carrier' and effectively a logistical depot and a bit of cannon fodder). For WEU it will offer a road to rapprochement and economic cooperation with Russia (for soft- and hard commodities). Not sure the US wants that, of course... Maybe that's why WEU is paying so little towards NATO funding; hoping the US goes for disbandment? 


baldknobber Mon, 07/09/2018 - 08:08 Permalink

People still looking at Europe as if it was still stand alone important . Face up to what Europe is( due to their own insanity) . A no man's land / market to be jostled back and forth by the US and Russia.

Youri Carma Mon, 07/09/2018 - 09:06 Permalink

If NATO purpose is to unleash WWIII with Russia like America is still waging war at the Russian-Ukraine border, it's a good thing the Americans bugger off.

lnardozi Mon, 07/09/2018 - 09:18 Permalink

Only in America are people so goofy sick and crazy that they can't remember the American Lesson. What caused the CCCP to dissolve in the first place? ICBMS - hell no they had as many as we did. Was it our glorious Army - no, theirs was already bigger. It was our supermarkets, and American TV. TV showed people going into the supermarkets, more different kinds of shit than you could dream of. People got tired of that shit, said, "hey, where's my supermarket full of nice things" and so the will to live in crushing poverty was gone.

Putin certainly didn't forget it. He wants business deals with the west, and with the east too. It's something we all could learn - we're all better off when both sides win.