Europe Must Prepare for Life Without America
The armed forces of France and Britain are woefully ill-prepared for the new age of self-sufficiency
It’s been a busy few days for those responsible for looking after our national security interests. On Tuesday, David Cameron hosted a lively discussion at the National Security Council about his decision to support the French military operation to Mali, and yesterday the Government was desperately trying to save the lives of British hostages in Algeria.
The two events, of course, are not unrelated. By offering to provide France with two of the RAF’s giant C-17 transporter aircraft, Mr Cameron was committing Britain to support the French military operation to prevent al-Qaeda seizing control of Mali, with all the implications that was likely to have for British interests in the region. So he should hardly be surprised when, just as French forces began deploying to Mali, another al-Qaeda cell retaliated by attacking BP’s In Amenas gas field in neighbouring Algeria, killing one British worker and taking dozens more captive, including a number of Britons.
Mr Cameron no doubt took a number of political factors into consideration when weighing the decision to back the French. At a time when Britain finds itself isolated in Brussels, he probably calculated that, by doing the French a favour, he would strengthen his friendship with François Hollande. The Mali operation also provided an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of the Anglo-French military cooperation accord.
But following yesterday’s disastrous intervention by the Algerian military …