Despite the UK vetoing a permanent European military permanent headquarters recently the move tow greater sharing of resources continues unabated.
The bilateral agreements with France signalled the start of increasing resource sharing, agreements on A400 support, joint training, discussions about the FSTA programme and other aspects also show the clear direction of travel.
Expect more announcements towards the end of September after a seminar and series of ministerial meetings are held in Poland to discuss a reported 300 potential areas for resource pooling.
Reported in defensenews today was a statement from a Polish defence official;
For this moment, there are no new specific programs to be launched soon by Poland in cooperation with other nations in the framework of pooling and sharing. However, we will be seeking opportunities to tighten cooperation in some areas like training and education, logistic support, medical support, satellite reconnaissance, counter ID or strategic transport.
I wonder if one of the factors in the Nimrod cancellation was the notion of some EU pool of maritime aircraft that we would buy time slots in.
Other ideas on the table reportedly include maritime auxiliary ships, CBRN detection, simulation networks and academic institutes but whilst it is one thing to pool support facilities this caught my eye from a German defence official, something entirely different in character;
Using the European Air Transport Command as a template, a management structure for the coordination of maritime patrol resources and capabilities could be established, bringing together partial, fragmented national capabilities into a European pool
We are moving close to a single European defence identity with the supposed financial benefits of resource sharing being used to grease the tracks.
Inexorably we move from cooperation to sharing and on to dependency, the UK will be increasingly unable to engage in military operations without European support at all but the smallest scale and shortest of duration.
Watch for the headlines next month