“European Shield” reveals misunderstandings and differences between Paris and Berlin on defense issues

“European Shield” reveals misunderstandings and differences between Paris and Berlin on defense issues France's refusal to participate in the "European anti-aircraft shield" project launched by Germany and announced by 13 countries that they will join it, has exposed the extent of misunderstanding and differences between Berlin and Paris on defense issues.  France refused to participate in the "European anti-aircraft shield" project launched by Germany and 13 countries announced that they would join it, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom, which created a misunderstanding between Paris and Berlin.  The news is disturbing, but not necessarily for the reasons one might imagine, M. , the investigative site Mediapart , said in a report titled "Between France and Germany a Great Misunderstanding About Defense".  The report indicated that France does not need such a device for several reasons. The first is that unlike other countries participating in the “Shield” project, they are unlikely to be targeted, as they possess nuclear weapons and the protection associated with them in theory by virtue of the principle of deterrence. Also, and above all, it is geographically far from the country that is considered the main threat from NATO member states today, which is Russia.  Mediapart quoted Gaspard Schnitzler, a researcher in defense issues at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (Iris), as saying: “If a missile or aircraft succeeds in entering European airspace from the east before it reaches France, it will pass through a certain number of airspace and countries. If these countries do their job properly, they will not be able to reach us. It should in principle be intercepted and destroyed by the defenses of our neighbors and allies.”  He noted that even if a missile could reach the skies of France, it already had an interception system, the SAMP/T (Surface-to-air/ground medium-range) system known as the Mamba.  Thus, France's non-participation in the anti-missile shield project does not mean that France immediately finds itself naked in the face of potential threats from the sky. But it can be considered worrisome for other political and strategic reasons.  Mediapart considered that the German initiative reveals the extent of misunderstanding and differences between Paris and Berlin on defense issues.  The French website continued to explain that, despite France’s attempt to save face, certainly through the press, that this shield is a “very good initiative,” the announcement of the project made French officials grumble behind the scenes, to the extent that it contributed to the postponement of the Franco-German cabinet that was scheduled to be held on October 26. /October.  The most obvious reason for French dissatisfaction is that the project implemented by Germany is based on Israeli "Arrow 3" equipment, possibly backed by American equipment. Paris favored “Made in France”, as a parallel French-Italian system is currently being developed, and should be ready in 2025.  Mediapart noted that the issue of the shield comes at the top of a series of decisions: Berlin's purchase of US F-35 aircraft, the choice not to participate in the Tiger helicopter modernization project along with France and Spain, stalling in the future MGCS battle (tank project) or even The purchase of US Boeing P-8 Poseidon naval patrol aircraft in 2021, which appears to have buried the Franco-German patrol aircraft project known as Maws (Naval Airborne Warfare System).  Mediapart argued that Germany's choice to position itself more firmly on the side of NATO, precipitated by the war in Ukraine, reduces the chances of seeing a hypothetical European defense take place. But on a larger scale it raises questions about German strategy and the future of its relationship with Paris and with the European Union.

France's refusal to participate in the "European anti-aircraft shield" project launched by Germany and announced by 13 countries that they will join it, has exposed the extent of misunderstanding and differences between Berlin and Paris on defense issues.

France refused to participate in the "European anti-aircraft shield" project launched by Germany and 13 countries announced that they would join it, including Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom, which created a misunderstanding between Paris and Berlin.

The news is disturbing, but not necessarily for the reasons one might imagine, M. , the investigative site Mediapart , said in a report titled "Between France and Germany a Great Misunderstanding About Defense".

The report indicated that France does not need such a device for several reasons. The first is that unlike other countries participating in the “Shield” project, they are unlikely to be targeted, as they possess nuclear weapons and the protection associated with them in theory by virtue of the principle of deterrence. Also, and above all, it is geographically far from the country that is considered the main threat from NATO member states today, which is Russia.

Mediapart quoted Gaspard Schnitzler, a researcher in defense issues at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (Iris), as saying: “If a missile or aircraft succeeds in entering European airspace from the east before it reaches France, it will pass through a certain number of airspace and countries. If these countries do their job properly, they will not be able to reach us. It should in principle be intercepted and destroyed by the defenses of our neighbors and allies.”

He noted that even if a missile could reach the skies of France, it already had an interception system, the SAMP/T (Surface-to-air/ground medium-range) system known as the Mamba.

Thus, France's non-participation in the anti-missile shield project does not mean that France immediately finds itself naked in the face of potential threats from the sky. But it can be considered worrisome for other political and strategic reasons.

Mediapart considered that the German initiative reveals the extent of misunderstanding and differences between Paris and Berlin on defense issues.

The French website continued to explain that, despite France’s attempt to save face, certainly through the press, that this shield is a “very good initiative,” the announcement of the project made French officials grumble behind the scenes, to the extent that it contributed to the postponement of the Franco-German cabinet that was scheduled to be held on October 26. /October.

The most obvious reason for French dissatisfaction is that the project implemented by Germany is based on Israeli "Arrow 3" equipment, possibly backed by American equipment. Paris favored “Made in France”, as a parallel French-Italian system is currently being developed, and should be ready in 2025.

Mediapart noted that the issue of the shield comes at the top of a series of decisions: Berlin's purchase of US F-35 aircraft, the choice not to participate in the Tiger helicopter modernization project along with France and Spain, stalling in the future MGCS battle (tank project) or even The purchase of US Boeing P-8 Poseidon naval patrol aircraft in 2021, which appears to have buried the Franco-German patrol aircraft project known as Maws (Naval Airborne Warfare System).

Mediapart argued that Germany's choice to position itself more firmly on the side of NATO, precipitated by the war in Ukraine, reduces the chances of seeing a hypothetical European defense take place. But on a larger scale it raises questions about German strategy and the future of its relationship with Paris and with the European Union.
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