May 10, 2005

Europe Gets Guns

Very interesting. Seth Jones has a new Brookings report on "The Rise of Europe's Defense Industry." Don't laugh! European states, it seems, are biting fingernails over the dominance of America's defense tech industry, and have been slowly integrating their own defense industries for quite some time, no longer collaborating quite as much with the United States on military research and development, as was the case during the Cold War. (Part of this, too, is due to idiotic export controls in the U.S. and regulations on American foreign investment.)

Anyway, it's a slow process, but could be a trend to watch if it proceeds apace. Obviously it would be nice for Europe to have its own well-equipped, independent security force to bust out for peacekeeping and conflict-prevention operations. (Really, it was just plain embarrassing when Germany had to rent a few Ukrainian jets to get to Afghanistan in 2001.) On the downside, Europe could start selling a lot of this defense technology to China, as a way of balancing the United States. Certainly that's what I would do if I were worried about excessive U.S. dominance.
-- Brad Plumer 2:30 PM || ||