One of Many Reasons for the Emasculated Nature of the European Union and People
Understanding the "Catch-22" that their leaders have placed them under, European military forces are increasingly refusing to fight. Even when given direct orders to engage the enemy, European commanders and their troops are refusing to raise their weapons against deadly threats.
Over a decade of shrinking budgets has meant less money for realistic training. There are also equipment shortages. The net result is several layers of leadership that are really not well prepared for a shooting war....several Czech helicopter pilots, when told they were going to Afghanistan, basically said no. Not unless they got more training, and helicopters that could handle that kind of tricky flying. The crew of an Italian helicopter gunship was recently sent home because they refused to fire in combat. No one will say exactly what happened there, but that sort of thing is usually the result of poor preparation, and leadership. And then there's the recent ambush of a French patrol, which resulted in ten French paratroopers killed. Most of the casualties occurred because the troops had not practiced dealing with ambushes, and the way the Taliban operate. Worse, the French troops were trapped under fire for many hours, long past the time when air cover or ground reinforcements should have arrived. Again, this has all the marks of bad leadership and poor training.It is not just the post-cold war euphoria that led to cutting of defense budgets in Europe. As stated earlier, European governments had already decided to let the US taxpayer carry the load of defending Europe. Europe decided that it had grown beyond the conflict stage of human evolution. Given such a high level of evolution, homo Euro would simply allow a despised ally to take care of the dirty work of dealing with the more unsavoury aspects of existing on this planet.
If a group of people exists for along enough time in this protected limbo state, their sense of reality regarding foreign relations does tend to suffer a bit. The EU, after all, has no divisions. NATO has divisions. But without the US, NATO is a laughing stock. Since the member nations of NATO (other than new members from Eastern Europe) scorn the US as a Neanderthal, and the greatest threat to planet Earth, you can imagine the solidity of the alliance--and part of the reason why Russia has begun a new phase of expansionist neo-imperialism.
Self-emasculated homo Euro. The new androgynous reality of an old, shrinking subcontinent. Let's all hold a group shriek over Abu Ghraib, shall we? Or how about a round of condemnations over Guantanamo. Show those war-monger colonials who the civilised people are, shall we?