As someone very familiar with the workings of the EU - I can underwrite every word in the article.
We will only ever align when there is a common benefit, and that common ground is harder to find the bigger the group. Bi and tri nation developments seem to pay off eventually, but 12, 15 or soon to be 25 nations with varying agenda priorities will never get anything worthwhile done. It will simply provide another level of EU horse trading.......
I frequently admit to being a thicko, but my memory recalls that Great Britain defended Europe at enormous cost twice during the twentieth century.
In these great wars we, the British, were helped by Canadians, Jamaicans, men and women from many small Caribbean countries, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Sierra Leonians, Kenyans, Rhodesian, Ugandans, Tanganikans, South Africans, men and women from Ceylon, Burmans, Malays, hundreds of thousands from India and what is now Pakistan, Australians and New Zealanders, Gurkhas from Nepal and many other nationalities. Oh! the good old Yanks joined in too. Russia played a key part into the bargain.
Now of course the European Soviet Union does not allow us to do free dealing with these great people.
Doubtless some NeuArbeit propagandist will inform me that the two wars were all the fault of Mrs Thatcher and eigtheen years of Tory misrule.
I was taken more with the first half of this paragraph:
"Multilateral projects on an ad-hoc basis, whether operational or in procurement, will generate all the same benefits that a common defense can realistically bring without wasting money, effort and time keeping alive the flame of a common European defense."
At least two ad-hoc multilateral procurement projects spring to mind that definitely wasted vast sums of money and countless man-hours of staff time: MRAV and TRIGAT. In trying hard not to be the one that jumped first from the sinking ship, UK plc became guilty of wasting that same money, effort and time in saving face, let alone keeping a flame alive.
A lot of people just thought it was too big and unwieldy. Mainly, though, it was overtaken as an idea by FRES - it was originally meant to replace the capability provided by both 432 and SAXON (and look where that has got us). We kept slicing off the layers of capability that we wanted to replace: ATGW variant, troop carriers for gun numbers in the RA, recy variant etc, until our buying profile became ridiculous. The wrong variants were arriving in the wrong order, so we would get an ambulance before the APCs that it would support until, finally, some might say, the project was canned in a blinding flash of common sense.