FRANCE is calling for Europe to militarily defend itself and not rely so heavily on the U.S. Spain and Germany have dismissed the idea. But France could have just opened a can of worms. Donald Trump has long complained that European nations were not paying enough for their own defence and on this point he was right.
The majority of European states are quite happy to have a meagre defence budget and allow the U.S. to keep watch and guard. But times are changing and the size of the U.S. military in Europe is being gradually reduced with troops being moved elsewhere. If you look at the military strength of Europe, it is just a shadow of what the U.S. has in its arsenal. France has had to ask Britain for military help in its peacekeeping operations in the African republic of Mali because it has a major shortage of big troop carrying helicopters. Only Britain has large transport aircraft.
Most armchair generals agree that without the U.S. organistions such as NATO are finished. All NATO members are meant to spend two percent of their GDP on defence, only a handful actually do so with Spain at the bottom of the list. I am sure that the future U.S. administration would be very pleased if European states bolstered their defences like France is suggesting but the French idea is for Europe to go it alone. The idea of a European defence force has been on the table for many years but it simply doesn't make sense and could offend the U.S.