EU Defence


Book Reviewer
Is this sloppy reporting, or deliberate policy on behalf of the EU to further erode national identities by the creation of a unified naval force under the EU banner?

EU Navy rescues Pakistan ship left by Somali pirates

Reading the article there is no hint of which EU nations supplied the units for this task force, other than the French who found the ship; nor is there any indication of which governmental, or quasi govenmental, body directs their tasking. I assume that the newly created posts under the Lisbon Treaty will ultimately shape policy and dictate strategy for these units - does HMG have any say in how they are employed?
Do these help?

The Times: Royal Navy admiral Phillip Jones heads EU Somali pirate task force

Incidentally, in 1988/9, my ship was involved in Operation CIMNEL/CALENDAR in the Gulf with two other RN MMs plus a Dutch and a Belgian MM under the auspices of the WEU (Western European Union) during the Iran/Iraq Tanker War. The Group was led by an RN Commander.

Naval Review Vol 78 No 3 July 1990

Naval Review said:

...Again mentioned previously, mine warfare, like PR, deserves more attention but for different reasons. The mine threat came from Iran and Iraq and was first posed seriously in 1987. The British reaction was to mount Operation Cimnel; others also reacted to the insidious threat to commerce and their merchant vessels. We will skate over the operational details (including the USN capture and sinking of the Iran Ajr; the only form of mine warfare which the USN enjoyed, I suspect) for the most significant development was political. By mid-1988, Cimnel was translated from a British operation to a tri-national one, Calendar. A Dutch and a Belgian MCMV became fully integrated with three RN Hunt class and all were supported by one command ship (Herald) and one RFA (Diligence - also a whole TG asset). This was a notable success in political and military terms because, notwithstanding the precedent of STANAVFORCHAN and the easing of support and protection problems for the smaller navies, it was the first ever WEU military deployment beyond European waters. In practical terms it worked (so it should have), in professional terms it earned widespread respect and in political terms it sold a significant message. It enabled the CTG to spread his TG influence into more small ports than before, to liaise for the common good with others in the in the same game (USA, France, Italy) and to speak for three nations, not one, when mining matters arose, which occurred often, with local authorities. The implications for the future are important and will be discussed later...


War Hero
Book Reviewer
The WEU is well explained in Wikipedia ( which includes a good chart showing at top level the drift to a European super-state which has been going on, in effect, ever since WW2.

A sovereign state MUST have a number of key attributes which include:

The power to tax, so as to have its own revenue, right across its territory. For instance Somalia fails this test.

A single foreign policy - the State is not sovereign if components of it can go off and do their own thing

Its own armed forces under sovereign control to support and implement that policy, without which the policy is null and void

A justice and legal system ultimately under control of the central government of the State (NB Scotland has its own legal system but it is ultimately, under however many removes, under control from Westminster). The US Federal model allows individual states have their own laws but there is a point where, e.g. by crossing state lines, matters become subject to Federal jurisdiction

A uniform currency and banking system (getting there)

NB there can be demarcations within a State relating to the movement of people and goods as long as the rules are set from the centre. The (thankfully defunct) USSR was an example.
It could be either of your suggestions. The journo may not understand the difference between a European Union Naval Force and a non existent EU Navy. It is unlikely that any EU State is going to contradict it because it would probably offend the EU grand plan. As Seaweed observes, It was always clear from the EU Constitution and the resultant and almost identical Lisbon Treaty that this was the way forward. Give the EU a foreign policy and it follows that it must have an economy and Armed Force to back it.

It is arguable that HM Government is moving towards a largely Capital ship RN Fleet with an almost bugger all DD/FF component to align with a balanced “EU Navyâ€. We and Johnny Frog provide the big stuff with the Cloggies, Geeks, Boxheads and the others providing the essential other stuff. We will wake up sometime not too distant and find that it has become inevitable and we’re powerless to reverse it. It’s not on prime time telly, though, so who the hell cares.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
I'd dearly like to know what the secret arrangement is that has ordained this procurement carve-up so that we finance the big ships FOR EUROPE. There must be dozens of people in the know including uniformed ones.

That being said, owning the big ships may give us clout regarding naval deployments .... until the whole caboodle IS subsumed into a European Navy. NB the first visible snowdrop of this European Spring is the motif in our Euro-pattern 'Supreme Court' which has replaced the Royal Arms.

What price our Battle Honours boards? - Armada, Camperdown, Copenhagen, Trafalgar (and dozens of others commemorating duffing up Johnny Frog), Bismarck, Matapan - there, that's six EU nations who might, under Qualified Majority voting secure a majority for getting rid of these anti-European symbols.

Maybe we shall soon be quietly told not to bother with replacing the nuclear deterrent. Run by a committee in Brussels it won't deter anyone as pusillanimity will win every time.
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