That the European Union has an ambition to have a European army is well known. The federasts are right that if they’re to have that single European state then they do need the ability to project force. The fun thing about this is that even if they did in fact pool all of the European armed forces they’d not in fact be able to do anything. For without the US in lift and delivery capacity – and coming soon the UK’s absence – they just don’t have that ability to project power:
A combined European defence force would be “out of its depth” if required to act on several fronts, a report laying bare the continent’s military frailties has found. Researchers attempted to pitch the EU’s military ambitions against the actual capabilities of its members by creating a range of scenarios to which they may have to respond. These included peace enforcement missions, conflict prevention, rescue and evacuation work and humanitarian assistance, in regions ranging from the Horn of Africa to the Caucasus. It was found that, given the current equipment and resource picture, juggling several missions at once would be “beyond the reach of EU member states”.
Note that they’ve not even had a look at whether they could wage war. And the thought that they might actually try to defend Europe is even further over the horizon. It’s one of those things we’ve not really got to worry about therefore.
Except, except. Imagine we did stay in, the idea went ahead. That would mean joint equipment, joint control, joint decision making. And that’s where the emasculation of military power would come from. Not that the forces would not exist, but that those which did would depend upon Brussels for deployment. And, well, you know. Belgium refused us ammo during the Falklands. Being dependent upon their say so to deploy our own troops in the future? Go boil your head’s at the polite end of response to that one, isn’t it?