European armies have not adapted to modern warfare and need better technology, the head of the EU's arms agency warned, saying the defense market needs to be liberalized if Europe wants to keep up with the United States.
"European armies are not adapted to the modern world, to its conflicts, to its new threats. On the whole, they are still in the cold war period," Nick Witney, head of the European Defense Agency, which was created in June to strengthen the EU's military capabilities, told the French daily Le Figaro. Rather than focusing on tanks, European armies need more high-tech equipment, such as effective communication tools and analytical equipment, Witney added. Closing the gap with the US in terms of arms technology is not about spending more, but spending more efficiently, he said. Witney said defense markets opearate mainly at the national level and that EU member states do not have the means to keep their industries alive. "European companies are up against big American groups with colossal budgets. Compared to the Americans, the Europeans are underweight. They need a market on a Continental scale to be profitable," he concluded. (EUobserver.com)