Germany is currently the EU’s most populous and richest nation and its location makes it key to Europe’s defense against the Mullahs and Putin’s Russia. But, as previously noted, it’s a paper tiger and unlikely to change. That’s the strongest reason for Brits to distance themselves from it.
Mark Helprin of the Claremont Institute has the numbers (my ellipsis):
Whereas in 1989 (the US) kept in Europe 325,000 troops, 5,000 tanks, 25 operating air bases, and 1,000 combat aircraft, we now keep approximately a fifth of that. Whereas the Germans in 1989 could field a half-million men and 5,000 tanks, they now can deploy less than half that number.
As the Soviet Union dissolved, much of its military capacity followed it into oblivion. But as Western Europe dismantles its militaries, Russia builds, encouraged as much by European pacifism as by the Russian view of America’s struggle in Iraq as a parallel to the Soviet’s fatal involvement in Afghanistan.
Like Germany between the wars, Russia is now eager and determined to reconstitute its forces, and with its new-found oil wealth, it is doing so…
So Germany is powerless against the increasingly threateningt Russians. Then there are the Mullahs:
Germany must fascinate the Jihadists, too–not for displacing America as the prime target, but as the richest target least defended…
…in 2003 Germany found a September 11th facilitator guilty of 3,066 counts of accessory to murder and sentenced him to seven years (20 hours per person), he was recently reconvicted and sentenced to 43 hours per person, not counting parole…
But, more importantly, the variations in European attitudes and capabilities vis-à-vis responding to terrorism or nuclear blackmail are what make Germany such an attractive target. Unlike the U.S., France, and Britain, Germany is a major country with no independent expeditionary capability and no nuclear weapons, making it ideal for a terrorist nuclear strike or Iranian extortion if Iran is able to continue a very transparent nuclear policy to its logical conclusion…
Looking at Germany, then, Iran sees a country with nothing to counter the pressure of merely an implied nuclear threat. Jihadists see the lynchpin of Europe, easy of access and inadvertently hospitable to operations, that will hardly punish those who fall into its hands, and that can neither accomplish on its own a flexible expeditionary response against a hostile base or sponsor, nor reply to a nuclear strike in kind.
This is all fixable – Germany could build nukes, and increase its military spend above the current derisory 1.4% of GNP. But it’s not likely to do that until the enemy is at the gates. And that will be too late.
Meantime, the Brits can’t help – they won’t risk (say) Manchester to head off a Russian or Iranian nuke threat to Hamburg. And the Brit military will be tied up for the indefinite future in Afghanistan and Iraq (where German troops are respectively confined to safe areas and AWOL).
The worst outcome for the Brits would to be to get half involved in a German tragedy that can’t be prevented.
So as soon as the Brits get a decent government, it should remove itself promptly from this continental entanglement.