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How ready is Western Europe for war?

gregga777 quite sensibly notes there are neither the numbers nor the motivation necessary for a wide war.

These are the comparative total troop strengths of NATO’s armed forces “juggernauts” between 1990 and 2021 that are now passing out “the check’s in the mail” promises to Ukraine:

Country      1990      2021      Change
Germany      545k     189k       -65%
Italy        493k     174k       -65%
France       548k     208k       -62%
Spain        263k     124k       -53%
UK           308k     156k       -49%
Turkey       769k     445k       -42%
USA        2,181k   1,352k       -38%

Similar declines occurred in their available stocks of artillery, tanks, armored personnel carriers, aircraft, ships, etc.

In fairness, the Russian numbers of men under arms are much lower than in Soviet times. Heck the Ukrainians would be listed as Soviet forces.

Still judging by the enthusiasm of the Europeans surrounding me to give up their world of hedonism-lite to march to war, it’s extremely unlikely that most of those countries outside of Turkey and the US would be able to successfully implement a draft.

Pineo argues that:

All these countries have reduced their military spending for two reasons:

  1. They can’t afford to have an effective military.
  2. They will let the US protect them fro free.

I’m very tired of the US for free argument, when in fact it’s the US dragging our European neighbours into foreign wars.

A better reason for European countries to reduce their standing military is that there is no threat.

Until Washington and its Atlantic Council lackeys executed a coup-d’état in Kiev in 2014 and then blew up Nordstream in 2022, the Russians were Europe’s best commercial partners. There was no external enemy until one was fabricated.

Large military costs money. This means less money for education, health care, social security and all the other good things modern social democracies can offer its citizens. Launching wars of choice is usually an indication that your leaders are either evil or stupid (or possibly both).1

  1. Russia is not in a war of choice. NATO and the US are encroaching on Russia’s borders, regularly threatening and sanctioning Russia even before kinetic action. 

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