Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Anglo-French armed forces plan greater military co-operation

The Guardian (amongst others) brings news that the UK and France are currently destined for greatly enhanced military co-operation—the respective governments insist that sovereignty will be retained nonetheless...
Britain and France are putting the finishing touches to plans for unprecedented co-operation on defence across all three branches of the armed forces, ranging from military operations to simulated nuclear tests.

What is described as a "whole package" of measures, including a major army exercise in Flanders, will be unveiled at a summit meeting between David Cameron and France's president Nicolas Sarkozy in London on 2 November, top officials say.

The two countries account for what one senior diplomat called a "critical mass" of Europe's military capabilities, including 45% of all EU military spending, half the total number of armed forces, and 70% of military research and development in the EU.
The extraordinary tempo and detail of work carried out by senior British and French military staff has been triggered in part by similar financial pressures facing the two countries and the realisation that their forces will be much more effective acting together.

The two governments are acutely aware of the political sensitivity of military co-operation. They will insist that national sovereignty will be preserved and there will be no question of "sharing" weapons systems, including aircraft carriers.

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