French AMX Char Leclerc MBT showcased during Bastille Day....
EDITFrench President Emmanuel Macron is calling on the European Union to boost military cooperation and stop relying on the United States for defense while reaching out to Russia to develop a "strategic partnership."
In an address to French ambassadors on August 27, Macron appeared to leave behind his efforts in the last year to develop joint policies with U.S. President Donald Trump and instead criticized Trump for being an "unreliable" partner and "turning his back" on the "multilaterism" built by Western powers since World War II with such actions as pulling out of the global climate change agreement and Iran's nuclear deal.
The 40-year-old French president said he would put forward new proposals in the coming months for the EU to boost defense cooperation, as well as talks with Russia on their security relationship.
"Europe can no longer rely on the United States for its security. It is up to us to guarantee European security, and therefore European sovereignty," Macron told an audience of some 250 diplomats, lawmakers, and international relations experts.
Although the did not call for any break with NATO, the U.S.-led military alliance that has been the foundation of Western European security since World War II, Macron called for Europe to build a "strategic partnership" with Russia, despite differences with the Kremlin over Ukraine, Syria and other issues.
He qualified his call for talks with Russia, however, by saying Moscow must first make progress on putting an end to the conflict between the Ukrainian government and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Macron said he envisions a "revision of the European architecture of defense and security" as a result of "renewed dialogue on cybersecurity, chemical weapons, conventional weaponry, territorial conflicts, space security, the protection of the polar zones -- in particular with Russia."
New Geopolitical Realities
Macron's remarks follow a similar call for increased EU defense cooperation last week by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who has said Europe should "take an equal share of the responsibility" and "form a counterweight" to Washington in the world as Europe-U.S. relations cool.
"Obviously, it irritates us when President Trump describes Europe as an enemy of the U.S.A in the same breath as Russia and China, or calls NATO into question almost as a throwaway remark," Maas told a gathering of Romanian diplomats in Bucharest on August 27.
"It seems absurd that we in the European Union have to worry about reacting to U.S. tariffs that are justified on 'national security grounds'," Maas said, but he said this "absurdity" may simply reflect new geopolitical realities.
"'America First' was a wake-up call. Our answer to that must be: 'Europe United!,'" Maas said.
France and Germany have both backed the idea of a small joint European response force over the last year, and have announced plans to develop a fighter jet together.
While Macron's call for more European defense cooperation may resonate with Germany it is not clear whether newer members of the bloc in Eastern Europe will go along.
With the exceptions of France and Britain, all other European members of NATO have lived under the nuclear umbrella provided by the United States since World War II.
That NATO alliance with the U.S. has been especially important to newer members like Poland and the Baltic states, which have called for an increased NATO presence in their countries since Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
Since taking office, Trump has vacillated between criticizing NATO and pledging his commitment to the alliance at the same time he has been putting pressure on European allies to increase their defense spending to at least 2 percent of their economic output..
Many of the eastern bloc members already meet that goal. Trump has singled Germany out for criticism for not meeting the goal, though Berlin has announced plans to increase its military spending to 1.5 percent of gross domestic product by 2025.
A spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that the EU has already taken "decisive steps" to build up European security and defense in recent years, including the development of a joint defense fund and a new planning cell for EU military missions around the world.
In November, EU countries officially launched a new era in defense cooperation with a program of joint military investment and project development. Twenty-three of the EU's 28 member nations signed up to the process, known as permanent structured cooperation, or PESCO.
France has linked its search for
France’s effort to become less dependent on U.S. components and promote exports were written into the same letter of intent signed in June with Germany for the FCAS project, Florence Parly told AJPAE, the aeronautics and space journalists association, on Sept. 6.
“The exportability of the (
The minister previously told parliamentarians the French government aims to cut its reliance on U.S. components in the wake of an American refusal to authorize the sale of parts for a French Scalp cruise missile requested by Egypt. French attempts to persuade Washington to lift restrictions under U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations have failed.
Parly declined to give examples, but she said the problems Paris has encountered in the pursuit of foreign arms sales “stemmed in appearance from strategic factors and in reality from commercial competition."
“We are not dupes,” she said.
France needs to gradually cut its reliance on certain American components, although it is impossible to be completely independent, she admitted, adding that there is a plan to reduce that dependence.
“Experience has led us to undertake this action,” she said.
Companies should take the responsibility for greater independence, as they faced the consequences of failed export efforts, she said.
“They are in the front line,” she said, noting that the government is in dialog with industry and that some companies already understand the situation and are fully committed.
It is their money. The French wanted a common aircraft for both carrier operations and air force operations. They also wanted an airplane with air-to-ground support. They wanted to replace all their previous airplanes (Jaguar, Mirage F1, Mirage 2000, F-8P Crusader, Etendard and Super Etendard) with just one. The other partners just wanted a cheap air-to-air fighter since they already had the Tornado for bombing missions. In the long run the Eurofighter was extended to add air-to-ground support to it in later tranches. As for the UK it would have been better off if the Eurofighter could be used in a carrier. They wouldn't need the F-35B that way. There were even carrier based Eurofighter proposals at one point. But the UK carrier program was delayed so much, it almost made the lack of F-35Bs irrelevant.They did the same thing during early days of the Typhoon development
If they don't get it their way they just end up leaving and doing it their own way
French are so stubborn
Cheap Typhoon I am laughing so hard I am crying... people pick on the Panther for its cost yet it costs just as much as the Eurofighter.It is their money. The French wanted a common aircraft for both carrier operations and air force operations. They also wanted an airplane with air-to-ground support. They wanted to replace all their previous airplanes (Jaguar, Mirage F1, Mirage 2000, F-8P Crusader, Etendard and Super Etendard) with just one. The other partners just wanted a cheap air-to-air fighter since they already had the Tornado for bombing missions
Another good one... XD.As for the UK it would have been better off if the Eurofighter could be used in a carrier
None anyone took seriously. At best they were viewed as a scheme to put pressure on the US to let the UK play a more active role in the program.There were even carrier based Eurofighter proposals at one point.
As opposed to the French who flat out cancelled their half of the program.But the UK carrier program was delayed so much, it almost made the lack of F-35Bs irrelevant.
Wait what? Uncle Sam cheap? The largest military by Navy, Air and ground power cheap?The ones happiest with this decision were probably the Germans because they are cheap like crap. They're worse than Uncle Scrooge when it comes to military procurement.
They like the Typhoon ended up with the best of the last generation of fighters. A bird that does fair but not really a super fighter in any category.So you may say what you may about the French, but they probably got the best plane out of that deal.
It was cheaper because most of the units sold to the ME and around the world were second hand. Farther more it doesn't help if you are using a variant from the 1980's and taking fire from ATGM that were designed specifically to destroy it.Same thing with the Leopard 2 vs the Leclerc. Sure the Leopard 2 sold more because it was cheaper. But it's cheaper precisely because it is less advanced.
Wait wait... really?After the results Turkey had with their Leopard 2s in Syria vs the UAE with their Leclercs in Yemen... I think the Leopard 2 is overrated
I assume you mean the USA.. but you have to be joking....observe;The ones happiest with this decision were probably the Germans because they are cheap like crap. They're worse than Uncle Scrooge when it comes to military procurement.