Transatlantic Security Task Force Series
1990). Te Pentagon will have to cut its budget by (at least) $489 billion over the next ten years. But the ratio with NAO-Europe will likely remain very lop-sided or the oreseeable uture, since most European deense ministries also have to cut their budgets in the coming years.
Tird, Europeans are becoming less capable militarily, having moved rom a military reorm to austerity para-digm since 2008. While NAO-Europe spent some US$282 billion in 2011, Europeans can collectively barely deploy and sustain 100,000 soldiers or external operations (and much ewer or robust interventions). In contrast, the United States has a deployable capacity o around 400,000 troops.
Te general consensus amongst deense experts is that many European governments will soon have little more than hollowed-out “bonsai armies.” However, it would be wrong to say that Europeans are entirely inca-pable. According to the European Deence Agency, EU member states had roughly 54,000 troops deployed exter-nally during 2011 (through NAO, the EU, the UN, and nationally) — which, i taken as whole, is ar more than any other country bar the United States.
The New Quiet Americans
Like Alden Pyle in Greene’s
Te Quiet American
, the United States appears to increasingly avor an Asian love aﬀair over European staleness. In January 2012, the Pentagon announced that “while the U.S. military will continue to contribute to security globally,
we will of neces-sity rebalance
toward the Asia-Paciﬁc region
.” Tis revised posture is not as new as it seems. Afer a decade o ﬁghting a war on terror, and weary rom the Aghan and Iraqi campaigns, the Obama administration is in some respects reverting to a strategic stance similar to the one advocated by George W. Bush beore the 2001 terrorist attacks — it is going back to the uture o U.S. deense policy. Plus, the United States has been an Asian power since its interven-tion in the Philippines in 1898. Te main diﬀerence between 2001 and 2013 is that the global power structure has changed. Economic prowess is shifing rom West to East, and this is starting to trans-late into a shif in global military power. According to the
1 In real terms, the Stockholm-based think tank, SIPRI, says budgets will go down 7.5 percent in Britain by 2014/2015 and 10 percent in Germany by 2015. France will remain nominally constant from 2014-2019.2 Plus vast numbers of so-called “strategic assets” and other technologies that Europe
-ans lack, such as long-range transport planes and ships, air tankers, precision-guided-munitions, etc.
International Institute or Strategic Studies in London, Asian deense spending surpassed European military expenditure in 2012, whereas China’s deense budget alone is expected to surpass NAO-Europe spending by 2020 (and perhaps the United States by 2030). It is also clear that the Asia-Paciﬁc region increasingly matters or the U.S. economy. Although the EU and the United States have the largest bilateral trade relationship in the world, the Oﬃce o the U.S. rade Representative says that U.S. merchan-dise commerce with the EU ell by 1.2 percent in 2012. In contrast, U.S. trade in goods with members o Asia Paciﬁc Economic Cooperation (APEC) grew by 5.3 percent the same year. It is hardly surprising, thereore, that the Asia-Paciﬁc area should increasingly occupy the minds o U.S. strategists. Te Pentagon’s January 2012 announcement did cause much debate and discussion in Europe. But that debate has been almost entirely Europe-centric: would the U.S. pivot to Asia-Paciﬁc mean U.S. disengagement rom European security? Signiﬁcantly, as yet there has been little discus-sion o a substantial European role in East Asian security. Instead, would the U.S. Paciﬁc pivot mean Europeans have to take on much more responsibility or security in their neighborhood? A signiﬁcant military role or Europeans in the Asia-Paciﬁc region seems unlikely, but this does not mean Europeans have no security interests in that region — in 2010, 28 percent o EU external trade was with East Asia, an impressive 5 percent more than across the Atlantic — and they could play some useul non-military roles.
The general consensus amongst
defense experts is that many
European governments will soon have little more than hollowed-
out “bonsai armies.” However, it would be wrong to say that Europeans are entirely incapable.