The main European armies still suffer from great weaknesses in 2024.

For many years, European armies, particularly those belonging to the founding members of NATO, suffered from starving budgets and political decline.

Whether in response to the rise in power of the Russian Armies in Ukraine and in Europe, to the inevitable disengagement of American forces from Europe to concentrate in the Pacific against China, or to the increasingly pressing threats of Donald Trump, as for American protection of the old continent, many European and NATO chancelleries have, in recent days, increased announcements concerning defense issues.

If, essentially, it was a matter of announcing an increase in resources and ambitions, on a shortened timetable, such as Oslo which will acquire 5 new frigates, an additional submarine and double the number of NASAMS batteries, some of these declarations are surprising or, in any case, highlight the level of unpreparedness of European armies, fed for 30 years, with the fantasy of the immovability of the American shield.

The Italian Navy realizes that it is missing 10 sailors

The first of these statements came from Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, chief of staff of the powerful Italian navy, pivot of Rome's ambitions in the Mediterranean and on the international scene.

European armies PPA Thaon di Revel
The PPAs of the Thaon di Revel class were designed to operate with a reduced crew of 90 members, to respond to the shortage of personnel in the Italian Navy. Experts question the effectiveness of this format if the ships were to enter a combat zone.

In its annual report submitted to the Italian Parliament, the latter, in fact, argued that it had, today, 29 officers, petty officers and sailors, within the Marina Militare, while the operational pressure to which it must respond, would require 000 men.

Even if, following the revision of the 2016 army staffing objectives, the Italian Navy can have a theoretical workforce of 30 men and women, this number remains very insufficient to cover the 500 sailors deployed on average, with a peak in April 4000, having reached 2023 men, for 7 ships, four submarines and eighteen aircraft deployed.

Furthermore, not only does the Marina Militare have insufficient personnel, but it also has a degraded age pyramid, with an aging workforce, while the reduction in crews employed until now, to maintain the the entire fleet, is now reaching limits that threaten the operational effectiveness of Italian naval units.

And if the Italian Minister of Defense, Guido Crosetto, was aligned with the declarations of his Chief of Staff of the Navy, believing that the strength of the country's armies was at an unacceptable level, no corrective measures have been announced to respond quickly.

British armies only have two months of combat autonomy

With a defense effort of 2,4% GDP, and the first European budget in terms of defense spending, the British Armies should, quite logically, present an operational profile much higher than the other armies of the old continent.

British Army
The British Armed Forces have announced the design of a new summary document, aimed at thoroughly redefining the objectives and means, in view of the evolution of threats and the difficulties encountered in recent years in terms of recruitment.

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