It’s an age-old cliché that dogs are unswervingly loyal to their masters, but who knew it could also depict the German-American dynamic? As Europe attempts to cultivate a wartime economy and lessen its reliance on the US military-industrial complex, a few seemingly loyal lapdogs— led by Germany, and flanked by Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, and Luxembourg—have stood in staunch opposition.
Uncle Sam’s Dream
A conundrum as irritating as an ill-timed mosquito bite presents itself at every NATO summit. Uncle Sam’s public decree to European leaders, as clear as a Hollywood starlet’s plastic surgery, is to increase defense spending. In private, the message acquires a slightly different hue: ensure that a chunk of this amplified expenditure finds its way into the coffers of US weaponry. This edict boils the French blood like a pot au feu left on the stove for too long.
“We must develop a genuinely European defense technological and industrial base in all interested countries, and deploy fully sovereign equipment at The European level,” declares French President Emmanuel Macron with a seething resolve.
The catch? The US wants to bar Europe—already allocating half of their defense purchasing to American gear—from taking their euros elsewhere. And who plays gatekeeper in this convoluted game? Our steadfast German companions, of course.
Germany, alongside its petite coterie, advocates axing several conditions from the Act to Support Production of Ammunition (ASAP), initially formulated to bolster The European industry’s capacity for producing ammunition to a staggering one million shells within a year.
An overzealous display of the EU executive’s “overreach” on member states’ competencies, they rebuke, dismissing it as “unnecessary”. A convenient stance, some might say, for countries that prefer their American leash to homegrown autonomy.
USA- The Savior
When asked about this saga, a senior U.S. Defense Department official, cocooned in the safety of anonymity, waxed eloquent about how our European comrades are novices in the art of swift defense production.
According to him, they’re grasping at American coattails in a desperate bid to up their production game. Oh, how delightful it must be to assume the role of the benevolent mentor, especially when the financial returns are hefty. But not everyone is buying this saccharine narrative.
Macron knows that European NATO members are more than capable of building their own defense products—a point France has already proven. Alas, Germany, like an overly eager pleaser, remains an obstacle in Macron’s path.
However, the French are not to be trifled with. France is not about to allow the EU to follow the well-trodden American path and will go to great lengths to ensure the American fantasy remains exactly that—a dream.
Yet, the question remains, will Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, and Luxembourg, wake from their American-induced stupor? Will they realize that by hindering Europe’s path to defense autonomy, they’re not only impeding their own growth but keeping Europe beholden to the whims of their transatlantic master?
Their continued loyalty to the US is not only hypocritical but also at odds with their European identities and aspirations. Only time will tell, but for now, the spotlight is fixed on Germany’s NATO puppet show, with America pulling the strings.