Saturday, October 22, 2005

The Secret Treaty Against The US

Here's a why and how Blair is moving away from building weapons with the US, and buying them from Europe. And why Brits desperately need a Prime Minister who will fix this.

Rules of Weapons Procurement

It's a good rule never to buy arms from:

a) nations that have armed your enemies in the past

b) nations you expect to fight in the future, or

b) nations that that supply arms to nations you expect to fight in the future.

Past Brit Wars

The Germans and/or the French have armed Britain's enemies in each of its last 3 wars.

Argentina used French Exocets and Mirage Vs in the Falklands, and we lost several ships to Exocets (we whacked the Mirages).

In the Gulf War, the Belgians refused to supply us with ammunition, we were attacked by "stretched" Iraqi Scuds developed by German companies. Our Tornados hitting Iraqi airfields were attacked by French Roland missiles (Tornados have a special detector for Roland lock-on, which shouts out ROLAND! ROLAND! to the weapons control officer).

In Iraqi freedom we captured French-supplied ordnance and of course France and Germany were rooting for Saddam..

Future Brit Wars

Future conflicts may be with Iran, other terror-states, Spain (over Gibraltar), China (over Australia), Argentina (Falklands again), or indeed France and Germany when the EU falls apart.

Conversely the Brits and the US are very unlikely to go to war. A future Democratic administration might do harm, like Clinton's giving aid and comfort to the IRA, or it may withhold spares. But it would be politically impossible for the rulers of either nation to make war given the ties of blood.

How Did The Brits Switch?

The Center for Security Policy (my ellipsis, full report in PDF here) reports:

From the First World War to the current conflict in Iraq, the U.S. and U.K. have operated intimately and with unprecedented success in numerous theaters under diverse conditions.

Citizens on both sides of the "pond," therefore must view with the greatest of concern what is, arguably, the most significant development in the history of the special relationship: a largely stealthy, or at least unpublicized, yet systematic move by the United Kingdom to integrate its armed forces with those of the European Union.

According to the full report, this was a deal cut by Blair with Chirac in 1999. In return for Brit military "integration" with Europe, Chirac would let Blair into the Franco/German axis that then ran the EU. He didn't of course, but the Brits kept their side of the deal (a fatal characteristic), by signing a treaty.

(The Brit procurements) reflect...commitments made in what has come to be called "the secret treaty," a document signed by Britain and five other European countries in 2000. It calls explicitly for "harmonized force development and equipment acquisition planning" and commits the signatories to its realization.

The Big Switch

At the core of (modern warfighting) a concept generically known as "net-centric warfare." It is predicated on the melding of the power of military hardware with advanced information and communications technology to gain enhanced battlefield situational awareness and combat lethality.

The key to net-centric warfare is a satellite-based system generically known as GPS for "global positioning system." The location, navigation and timing signals sent by multiple GPS satellites makes possible sophisticated, real-time command and control of warfighting units.

Currently, effective GPS technology is provided only by the United States through its Navstar program to - among others - NATO.

Europe, however, is well advanced in its plans to launch a rival system called Galileo, which the EU intends to use for military as well as civilian purposes. Galileo is currently projected to be fully operational by 2008.

Importantly, equipment designed to work solely with Navstar will not be compatible for use with Galileo, and vice versa. Some in Europe have actually wanted Galileo's signals to be set in such a way as to jam those of the American rival. At the very least, as Europe builds its future military force to be Galileo-enabled, it will severely complicate interoperations with militaries that are Navstar-enabled.

Unsurprisingly, at the instigation of the French and Germans, China is a major shareholder in Galileo.

What Else Is Switching To Europe?

Brit procurement is:

* replacing its fleet of U.S.-built C-130 and C-17 airlifters with the A400M 'Eurolifter'

* rejecting U.S. bids to supply its support vehicles in favor of those from a German firm

* abandoning a U.S.-U.K. joint project to develop a 155mm howitzer in favor of a French gun that will fire German-designed shells

* determining that its main strike aircraft will be the Eurofighter

* sharing, in the future, three giant aircraft carriers with France, with a French firm playing a central role in their design and construction

* ensuring that development of its UAV wing will be led by France

* receiving its battlefield radar systems from Germany and Sweden

I don't have any problems with Sweden -it's a traditional supplier to the Brits and has good weapons engineers. The rest of the decisions are technically terrible - the Airbus is fatally flawed, the Europeans have no experience building weapons for desert use, and since they will make all these weapons available to China, it will be easy for them to develop counters.

Bottom Line

Being dependant on Europe will inhibit the Brits from fighting all of their likely future enemies. In addition, Europeans weapons systems will cost more and be operationally inferior to US weapons systems.

That's why getting rid of Blair and replacing him with a true Brit is really important.