“Guys, we are way over budget with our latest toy”.
“Don’t worry boss, we can get the private sector to fund it”.
“We already asked them, they weren’t interested”
“How about the Chinese, they want a slice of anything, and they don’t care what corrupt regime they do business with”.
“They are already on board, but it is not enough”.
So what happens next to the most expensive ego boost the EU has yet devised, the satellite system Galileo? Well it appears that Jacques ‘wheel’ Barrot has decided that it might have to be funded by turning it into a military GPS system.
Now apart from the fact that the Commission and the European Space Agency has, time and time again stated categorically that there are no military applications this has massive ramifications.
Barrot said yesterday in Luxembourg that, “Galileo was supposed to be a civilian system only, but I wonder whether we shouldn’t question that.
“Using it for military purposes, for defence purposes…. would be very interesting in terms of paying for the infrastructure and investment.”
Interestingly he went on to say “some EU states opposed using the system for military means because of potential US opposition, but he said he did not think Washington would object to such a move”.
That’ll be the same Washington where a senior military official suggested that if they felt that the system was a strategic threat it would be shot down, I take it.
Then we have the spectacle of the legislation that is currently meandering through the European Instutons that is to create a single “European Defence Procurement Area”. So that say, UK forces who currently use GPS like their American, Australian allies would be forced to move over to Galileo. Of course currently the two systems are supposed to be interoperable, but do you really think that the States would be willing to et the Chinese play with their toy as well? Of course not.
Also in what Barrot says is the nub of much that is wrong with European Defence planning. The idea is not to get the best kit for the job, no far from it, the military here, it is being suggested should become a milch cow for Commission power fantasies. It is not as if there are any serious reasons for a European Army, apart from Euro-nationalist dreams of Superstatehood. Thus to force the military to use Galileo, would be there not for their sake, but for the save of saving financial face.
Of course it appears; whatever happens the taxpayer gets screwed.
I was rather expecting North to comment upon this, he has, and naturally he is better informed.