For centuries, the territories of the ‘global South’ countries were the raw material base for European colonial empires. Most of these countries have not yet succeeded in overcoming the technological backlog from developed countries. Today, the USA is an empire and the countries of Europe under Washington’s reign repeat the fate of colonies.
The USA uses NATO mechanisms to turn European allies into America’s raw material base of the 21st century. The alliance’s standards are actually American standards that are binding on all members of the bloc. Such standards cover all spheres of life in Europe: from weapon specifications and transport infrastructure to energy security and democratic principles.
Washington’s definition of the purpose of the American and European defense industries is a vivid example in this respect. Defense-related R&D activity has always been the engine for industrial progress. Therefore, the United States assumes the development and manufacturing of high-tech equipment. Europeans are assigned the role of a manufacturer of consumables such as individual spare parts and ammunition. Such a technological gap on the part of European countries is enshrined into NATO decisions.
This is facilitated by the fact that the leadership of the United States and NATO reached an agreement at the June meeting of the defense ministers of the alliance’s member states to increase investment in the production of ammunition. It is essential to recall that previously a significant portion of European defense budgets envisaged the purchase of expensive U.S. military equipment. Following these decisions, European governments will not have sufficient funds for the development and production of their own weapons.
Thus, Washington has once again played the card of the Ukrainian crisis for its own benefit. First, the Europeans devastated their weapon and ammunition arsenals for the sake of providing them to Ukraine. Later on, they agreed to replenish their potential with U.S. military equipment. Now, the European industry’s efforts will focus on the production of ammunition.
European leaders and the defense industry should resist the U.S. policy of assigning a secondary role to allies. European resources need to be pooled to retain and improve their own military high-tech developments. Otherwise, transatlantic cooperation based on the ‘U.S. military equipment-European ammunition’ principle will turn Europe into a technologically backward continent.