Exclusive: EU To Take Control Of British Nuclear Deterrent

Exclusive: EU To Take Control Of British Nuclear Deterrent

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EU take over UK Nuclear
A briefing by Strategic Defence Initiatives on the EU’s subversion of the British military.

Everything must now be put on the table — from higher [EU] military spending to a British-French nuclear defense shield for the continent.

– Max Hofmann of Deutsche Welle on 20 January 2017

This short briefing sheet (available as a downloadable pdf) has been produced to highlight some of the key areas and perceived risks of the integration of the UK into a single integrated EU defence structure. The content has been compiled by those with military experience, including submarine operations — this experience is considered important in relation to comments made not only in relation to the Royal Navy, but particularly the nuclear deterrent.

In focusing in greater detail on some significant Royal Navy issues regarding size of the fleet, specific units and the nuclear deterrent, the joint risks of EU integration to both the Army and Royal Air Force are by no means belittled. On the contrary, there is much more to be said on behalf of these two services than can be covered in this summary paper.

Brexit

The recent British referendum has made no difference to the speed and tenacity with which the Conservative Government under Prime Minister Theresa May and Secretary of State for Defence Sir Michael Fallon (a strong EU advocate and former EU Movement supporter) are continuing the path to EU military union. There has been no change in the advancing integration of UK military forces into the EU structure — the subject is simply not discussed in political, public and media forums, which is testimony to the usual EU policy of implementation by stealth where possible.

Perhaps most dangerous here is the rapid integration of the EU commercial military procurement and supply chain, operating under an EU treasury already being declared and implemented. Once locked together under EU procurement rules, and with ‘joint interoperability’ doctrine driving pan-EU military needs, Britain will be further stripped of its ability to design, build and supply our own weapons systems and munitions. This will further strengthen the EU political tactic of creating ‘interdependence’ between EU member states as a tool for removing sovereign identity and the ability to act as an independent nation state.

Understanding EU Military Integration Policy

The EU has consistently and publicly stated that the goal of the EU is to form a single integrated supranational state, with law, internal security, defence and foreign policy controlled from Brussels. The EU Organisation for External Action (Foreign Policy vehicle of the EU) recently quoted Frederica Mogherini’s policy as follows:

Security is a priority for the EU … We have hard and soft power. We have done more on defence in the last seven months than in decades. Building on the ideas in her Global Strategy for EU Foreign and Security Policy, Mogherini has illustrated the European Union’s three-pronged set of measures to strengthen the EU’s security and defence capability … In a reshaping world the only way for the Europeans to be global players is through the EU.

The implication is clear — EU security and defence capability is to be strengthened as a centralised Brussels-led objective. This is not simply an invitation for member states to contribute more to EU security and defence at will. Many further official EU policy quotes emphasise the integrated EU defence objective.

Forming an EU military required a number of significant hurdles to be overcome. These included:

A. integration of EU member states’ armed forces with a wide spread of operational performance, equipment types and levels, experience and historic theatres of operation.

B. imbalance between Britain as a top-tier NATO partner and many other EU nation states.

C. significant strategic imbalance between the maritime strength of the Royal Navy and that of other EU navies, whilst acknowledging the size and capability of French maritime forces.

D. the strong US-UK ‘special relationship’, at both military and military intelligence levels, which produces a tiered military structure favouring the US and UK over EU member states other than the UK.

E. negating the perceived threat to NATO strength and operations by the creation of an integrated EU military.

F. achieving a unified defence procurement and build environment across the EU member states, particularly one which could replace and equal the power and impact of US-procured weapons and equipment entering the EU supply chain, especially via the UK on the back of its special US relationship.

G. integrating the UK and French strategic nuclear deterrents to bring them under centralised EU political control.

H. common agreement on defence levels, budgetary contribution and policy amongst EU member states — this includes a single EU treasury.

I. establishment of an EU command, control and communications structure.

EU policy has always been to secure its political objects step by step, salami slicing, using the so- called ‘ratchet mechanism’ and the doctrine of never relinquishing any aspect of the acquis communautaire to ensure that member states can not easily retract from progress made towards a political goal. This can also be described as a soft power approach, where the change and political agenda is drifted in under distracting labels and language.

In considering the drive to EU military union, we must recognise that alongside the call for military union arising externally to the UK, i.e. by the EU itself, this key EU political has been driven in parallel from within the UK by our own pro-EU governments, be they Labour, Conservative or Conservative- Liberal Democrat coalition. (N.B.: An important comment is made on Brexit at the end of this briefing.)

Since the UK’s internal pro-EU military agenda has been largely driven by stealth, or at least by obfuscation of the real political agenda — a smoke-screen of half-truths, spin and outright denial of the ultimate Westminster goal of a fully integrated EU military — we must look to the broader evidence for this political goal.

A simple Internet search on the subject of an EU army reveals entry after entry for mainstream media articles reporting the plan for this key step towards an EU military. These include: Juncker calls for EU army, Juncker proposes EU military HQ, European Parliament backs plans to create a defence union, Europe forges ahead with plans for an EU army — the overall press and media coverage is too numerous to list, and has spanned many years. The plan for an EU army has thus been ‘hidden in plain sight’ whilst largely publicly denied by the UK government. See particularly the European Commission’s European Defence Action Plan of 30 November 2016, COM(2016) 950 final.

Behind the scenes, the Westminster political strategy towards the EU military has proceeded apace with a number of key defence-related policies which now, seen together, and with the advantage of hindsight, give a strong pointer to the undeclared pro-EU military line.

EU-driven policy for the formation of an Integrated EU military

At this point, we return to the potential obstacles to EU military union, and add the measures taken by the EU and its agents in Westminster to overcome the difficulties:

A. integration of EU member states’ armed forces with a wide spread of operational performance, equipment types and levels, experience and historic theatres of operation.

Action taken: Drive a programme of EU exercises and operational co-operation. This objective has accelerated in recent years with, for example, Operation ATALANTA (the joint EU maritime anti- piracy force — significantly commanded by the Commandant General Royal Marines), large-scale British and French Army exercises on Salisbury Plain together with the signing of an MOU for those operations and future Franco-British operations, and large scale joint paratroop training. French C3 forces have been integrated into a new joint French military operations centre at the former St Mawgan military airfield in Cornwall. Lately, the EU has been particularly active in driving for EU forces to operate in Eastern Europe, leading to increasing public confusion as to whether these were NATO or EU military exercises. In recent months, the EU has also achieved integration of German and Dutch army units, and several EU member states have swapped command posts, a policy which has allowed a senior French officer to command British troops.

B. imbalance between Britain as a top-tier NATO partner and many other EU nation states.

Action taken: Repeated and substantial cuts to British army capability in men and equipment has now reduced the army to some 82,000 men, and equipment levels which have been openly described as insufficient to fight a major military campaign in Europe, and a complete inability to operate on more than one front. The power and influence of the German army has thus been increased to help restore its position as the traditional European military power, and this effect is being enhanced by integration of Dutch and French units under German command and control.

C. significant strategic imbalance between the maritime strength of the Royal Navy and that of other EU navies, whilst acknowledging the size and capability French maritime forces.

Action taken: Repeated cuts to the size of the Royal Navy by scrapping frigates, destroyers, submarines and serviceable aircraft carriers and operational Maritime Patrol Aircraft so as to bring the RN to greater parity with the French, and particularly to weaken traditional RN operations of scale with the US. Cuts have been exacerbated by delays and increasing chaos in new class orders. It should be noted that such was the rush to destroy the Nimrod MPA fleet that Britain’s nuclear deterrent has been exposed to a level described by many senior military officers as dangerous.

At the same time, evidence of unprecedented Anglo-French maritime co-operation has been revealed by the collision between the French nuclear deterrent submarine Le Triomphant and HMS Vanguard — a collision never explained to the British public, but which placed the UK deterrent at grave risk and which can only have occurred due to the deliberate tasking of both units in close geographic proximity. The clear inference is a further layer of undeclared joint Franco-British military co-operation. It is highly significant that the new UK aircraft carriers have been jointly designed with the French, and such has been the damage to continuity in British aircraft carrier operations that there are now grave concerns as to the retraining and work-up time required for flight deck and aviation specialists to be reinstated with historic levels of skills and experience. Royal Navy personnel have had to be sent to the French carrier to be trained, and it should be noted that in 2008 Westminster dropped plans for the Queen Elizabeth class to be joint British-French manned. Significantly, a recent article by the Daily Mail on the new carriers ended with the statement: “As a result the US are expected to make use of the carrier with their aircraft — as may other [EU] countries such as Italy who eventually buy the jets.”

D. the strong US-UK ‘special relationship’, at both military and military intelligence levels, which produces a tiered military structure favouring the US and UK over EU member states other than the UK.

Action taken: US-UK military relations have been successfully undermined by the substantial cuts in UK military force levels (driven by pro-EU political policy in the UK) which have significantly reduced the ability of the UK to support the US in large-scale military operations, as was the case in the Gulf. British anti-submarine capability, highly valued and praised by the US, has also been greatly weakened by UK defence cuts, particularly in submarines, frigates, the decommissioning of our three anti-submarine-focused aircraft carriers and the loss of the Nimrod fleet. Increasing UK involvement with integrated EU military operations, including the installation of a London-based EU military HQ and command-and-control centre at Northwood, sends confusing messages to the US regarding Britain’s commitment to the US and NATO, and has raised questions as to the security of US-UK operations and the protection of high-level intelligence.

E. negating the perceived threat to NATO strength and operations by the creation of an integrated EU military.

Action taken: This concern has been addressed in the first instance by the EU simply and repeatedly denying the formation even of an ‘EU army’ — which term is itself a crafted understatement of the goal of full EU military integration. This EU political lie has then been reinforced by the EU’s continual failure to recognise, or more accurately to admit, that an EU military must of necessity undermine NATO. To add insult to injury, the EU has simply turned a blind eye to the fact that any EU military must inevitably be substantially weaker than a US-led NATO. Overall, the EU has failed to carry the EU-versus-NATO argument which has been re-ignited following the election of President Trump.

F. achieving a unified defence procurement and build environment across the EU member states, particularly one which could replace and equal the power and impact of US-procured weapons and equipment entering the EU supply chain, especially via the UK on the back of its special US relationship.

Action taken: The EU strategy here has been simple and visible. Pan-European projects were created to introduce both the public and military to the idea of joint European development and production. The development of Concorde was an early lead here, and was followed by both other civilian and military aviation projects such as Tornado and Airbus. We might also consider the scrapping of the UK’s Sea Eagle missile for the French Exocet — the very missile which was used to sink British ships in the Falklands. The joint UK-French design and build of the Queen Elizabeth- class carriers has now taken the building of major warships out of British national control, has shared our shipbuilding and military specifications with the French, and has helped undermine the maintenance of UK-based shipbuilding and the associated expertise.

G. integrating the UK and French strategic nuclear deterrents to bring them under centralised EU political control.

Action taken: Operating under the EU’s established political salami slicing and smokescreen strategy, the clue to the path towards centralised EU control of the strategic nuclear deterrent comes from an inspection of the 2010 Lancaster House Treaties signed by Prime Minister Cameron and President Sarkozy after no tangible Westminster debate and no full and open consultation with the higher levels of the UK military. Published objectives included:

  • Defence and Security Cooperation Treaty: The purpose of this is to develop co-operation between British and French Armed Forces, the sharing and pooling of materials and equipment including through mutual interdependence [emphasis not original], the building of joint facilities, mutual access to each other’s defence markets, and industrial and technological co-operation.
  • Nuclear Stockpile Stewardship: Collaboration on the technology associated with nuclear stockpile stewardship in support of both countries’ independent nuclear deterrent capabilities, including a new joint facility at Valduc in France that will model performance of nuclear warheads and materials to ensure long-term viability, security and safety – this will be supported by a joint Technology Development Centre at Aldermaston in the UK.
  • Operational Matters: It was also decided to sign a Letter of Intent, creating a new framework for exchanges between UK and French Armed Forces on operational matters.
  • Industry and Armaments: It was decided to direct the UK-France High Level Working Group to strengthen its work on industrial and armament cooperation.

The key statement is Nuclear Stockpile Stewardship. Why in 2010 did the UK suddenly need to collaborate with the French in order to be able to develop and operate the technology associated with (in practice, this revolves around the fissile material expertise in) ‘nuclear stockpile stewardship?’ Had the UK become incompetent or inept in this field after years of independent operation of a maritime nuclear deterrent? The answer to this statement can only be no, especially when we consider that the focus of British ability in this strategic area had largely swung to UK-US shared expertise, in view of the US origin of Trident and its predecessor Polaris.

Why, in 2010, did the UK need not only to share highly sensitive nuclear deterrent secrets with the French, but additionally need to build new joint nuclear weapon warhead facilities? Never openly discussed by Westminster, these highly questionable Franco-British plans were simply announced as happening, with no public or political debate as to the need, the security implications or the risks to the independence of the British nuclear weapon stockpile.

Hindsight now affords us the opportunity to join the pieces of the jigsaw, as seen against the other EU political moves for EU military integration. The step of ‘Nuclear Stockpile Stewardship’ was but a first step towards the integration of the UK’s nuclear deterrent into EU control, via the stepping- stone of Anglo-French co-operation — a cover for EU-driven policy. Max Hofmann of Deutsche Welle revealed something of this on 20 January 2017: ‘Everything must now be put on the table — from higher [EU] military spending to a British-French nuclear defense shield for the continent.’

As mentioned earlier, the collision between the French nuclear submarine Le Triomphant and HMS Vanguard is a critical event in analysing Westminster’s undeclared French-UK nuclear deterrent integration policy. Submarine safety demands that all submarines co-operating in real and exercise conditions are separated by both depth and or geographical area. Collision is a critical danger to all submarines but carries additional risks in the case of nuclear submarines in respect of nuclear hazards, and exceptional and obvious risks for ballistic missile submarines. Since ballistic missile submarines ‘hide’ in the expanse of the oceans, for HMS Vanguard and Le Triomphant to collide they must have been jointly tasked in immediately adjacent operating areas.

This is highly unusual for nuclear deterrent operations, and the fact that the boats collided strongly suggests that they were placed in very close or even dangerous proximity for unknown joint operations. No proper public reports were ever made of the reason for the joint Franco-British operation or the reasons for the collision. That the collision happened indicates both professional incompetence in the structuring and execution of the joint French-UK mission and the severe and proven risks to the operational nuclear deterrent which such a policy represents. It can be no coincidence that just as the UK signs up to joint nuclear weapons stewardship with the French, a botched joint nuclear deterrent operation is exposed. The key question remains — at what level was the move to integrate the UK’s nuclear and weapons, and it seems also the operational nuclear deterrent, discussed with senior military officers and indeed in Parliament?

H. common agreement on defence levels, budgetary contribution and policy amongst EU member states — this includes an EU treasury.

Action taken: These matters have been rising in visibility and intensity over recent months. Alongside calls for greater NATO spending, the EU has also called for greater defence contributions by member states. These EU monetary calls have also been reinforced by the initial, and significantly

now public, calls for the creation of an EU treasury. The establishment of an EU treasury with EU military integration and pan-EU military procurement, together with an EU-generated foreign and security policy, creates the EU superstate, one with total power and control over its individual member states. It is inconceivable that the political mind working from Brussels (and by means of the pro-EU politicians in Westminster) to create a full EU superstate could allow nuclear weapons, and a strategic nuclear deterrent, to remain in the hands of an independent sovereign state.

I. establishment of an EU command, control and communication structure.

Action taken: Little needs to be said on this subject, as the EU has already set up its military command-and-control structure in the UK with its HQ at Northwood, supported by St Mawgan and other cells. This fact is evidenced by the testimony of those officers that were originally tasked to set up this EU C3 structure. It can be activated within 24 hours. Other EU C3 structures (OHQs) exist in Paris, Potsdam and Larissa (Greece), with the C3 in Germany possibly stood up in December 2016.

The Franco-British Council

Further significant clues to the clandestine nature by which Franco-British, nay EU, military integration has been progressed, come from the activities of the Franco-British Council. Working with the Royal United Services Institute, another unaccountable ‘change agent’, the FBC has held three high-level invitation-only summits to map out the integration of British and French forces. No minutes were produced, and senior members of all three Armed Forces conspired at these meetings behind closed doors, and in civilian dress, to help frame this highly political EU military integration agenda.

The 9 March 2010 FBC meeting was clearly timed to pre-empt and direct the Strategic Defence Review, as well as other British domestic policy. As the FBC itself stated:

The purpose of this meeting was twofold, firstly, to extend the FBC British French Defence Initiative of October 2009 … particularly on the basis of [specific] industrial considerations linked to competitive military capabilities … and secondly, ahead of a decisive period in British politics ahead of the General Election in May 2010, and the Strategic Defence Review in the fourth quarter of the same year … it seemed important to resume discussions before the formation of a new government and a reassessment of British strategic priorities.

Hosted by British Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott at his Paris residence, a more recent meeting on 6 October 2010 continued the theme in the format of a RUSI-organised Franco-British Defence Cooperation Roundtable held behind closed doors, co-chaired by Rt Hon Baroness Taylor, former UK Minister for Defence Equipment; Senator Xavier Pintat of the Defence Committee of the French Senate; and Dr Jonathan Eyal, director of International Security Studies at RUSI. Speakers included Gisela Stuart MP, Contre Amiral Pascal Ausser, Edward Leigh MP, Amiral Alain Coldefy, French MP Françoise Hostalier, Kevin Taylor of BAE Systems, and Vice Admiral Paul Lambert RN.

Just what was Admiral Paul Lambert of the Royal Navy doing in a political meeting, à huis clos, in France, sitting alongside commercial interests, with no minutes taken?

Looking elsewhere, we find that other evidence of collaboration has broken surface. Navy News casually reported that the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, had “fought hard for his service, as details of the [recent] Strategic Defence Review were thrashed out.” It was therefore surprising to discover — on the same page — that following the Treaty, Mr Stanhope had been collaborating in a meeting with French naval counterparts to develop joint British-French military doctrine, shared training, equipment and technology, and a common supply chain. It was also accurately reported that Stanhope’s collaboration was conducted wearing civilian lounge suits rather than in uniform.

Article by DAVID ELLIS, STRATEGIC DEFENCE INITIATIVES

 

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