Europe will 'never' close military gap with US

23rd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

23 November 2004 , BERLIN - Europe will never be able to match the US in military terms and should instead seek to build up a few key defence sectors, NATO's top soldier said in Berlin on Tuesday. "We will never be in a position to close that gap and the point is not to do so anyway," said German General Harald Kujat, chairman of the alliance's Military Committee. Kujat, who was in the German capital for a private defence congress also attended by a number of European defence ministers, said European Union

23 November 2004

BERLIN - Europe will never be able to match the US in military terms and should instead seek to build up a few key defence sectors, NATO's top soldier said in Berlin on Tuesday.

"We will never be in a position to close that gap and the point is not to do so anyway," said German General Harald Kujat, chairman of the alliance's Military Committee.

Kujat, who was in the German capital for a private defence congress also attended by a number of European defence ministers, said European Union states needed to focus on bolstering their rapid reaction force which seeks to be able to deploy 60,000 troops within two months and station them anywhere in the world for up to one year.

Europe must also beef up its intelligence services and elite special operations units for anti-terror missions or to aid weak states and prevent them sliding into anarchy, he said.
Kujat, who is to be succeeded in 2005 by Canadian General Ray Henault, rejected the US seeking to use NATO as a "toolbox" from which to extract selected forces on an ad hoc basis.

"A strong Europe is in the best interests of America as a member of NATO," Kujat said.

Karl von Wogau, a European Parliament member who chaired the conference, said Europe had to do far more in the area of homeland defence given the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction.

EU states were in comparison to the US doing far too little in this field, warned von Wogau, adding that EU defence policy was too "abstract".

DPA

Subject: German news

 

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