Europe can’t defend itself militarily, Israeli Foreign Ministry said to assess
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Europe can’t defend itself militarily, Israeli Foreign Ministry said to assess

Overly reliant on the US, Europeans lack the will to contend with military threats, according to ministry document

Belgian soldiers stand at the Grand Place in Brussels on November 22, 2015. (AFP Photo/John Thys)
Belgian soldiers stand at the Grand Place in Brussels on November 22, 2015. (AFP Photo/John Thys)

A classified document produced by Israel’s Foreign Ministry reportedly states that European countries are unable to defend themselves militarily and no single European country is capable of launching a military operation without outside assistance.

For the first time in years, security concerns have become front and center in Europe, as fears have grown over Islamist terror and a Russian invasion of the Baltic states.

The document, which was seen by the news website Ynet (Hebrew link), was compiled by the Center for Political Research, which serves as the intelligence wing of the Foreign Ministry.

The study’s main finding is that no European country is capable of carrying out a military campaign alone, and that all of Europe is overly dependent on the US for military support, according to Ynet. This shortcoming was on full display during the bombing campaign in Libya in 2011, in which NATO countries were highly reliant on US support for aerial refueling and providing logistics, as well as in French military operations in Mali beginning in 2012, when France had to turn to NATO countries for military transport planes.

The first American troops arrive at the airport in Swidwin, Poland, on April 23, 2014, as part of a force of 600 soldiers the US sent to the Baltic states. (AFP/Janek Skarzynski)
The first American troops arrive at the airport in Swidwin, Poland, on April 23, 2014, as part of a force of 600 soldiers the US sent to the Baltic states. (AFP/Janek Skarzynski)

Another key conclusion is that European countries suffer from an unwillingness to use force as part of their foreign policies. Much of this reluctance stems from a lack of fully independent foreign policies, a factor which is in part dictated by their membership of NATO and America’s dominance of the organization.

The document also highlighted Europe’s lack of conventional forces to fend off a Russian invasion. With this, the report noted, there are sharp differences between European countries on how much of a danger Russia poses, with countries such as Poland viewing Russia as a strategic threat, while France and Germany do not see Russia as constituting nearly as much as an adversarial menace, according to Ynet.

Other reported observations from the document are that Europe fears further terror attacks in light of the wave of migration, as well as the potential for decreased US military support following the election of Donald Trump.

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