In case you haven't noticed, our esteemed leaders over the last decade or so have gradually reorganised, re-equipped and re-committed our armed forces towards a more EU-centric model disposing of many famous regiments in order to fit into the European Rapid Reaction Farce (no, that's not a typo). They've done this because we know that when push comes to shove all us Europeans will rally round and share the burden amongst ourselves.
Or maybe not.
Nato ministers clashed over Afghanistan on Thursday when continental European governments refused to follow the US and the UK and send troops to battle the Taliban.
Germany, France, Italy and Spain are refusing to send combat troops to the south and east, the centre of battle against the Taliban.
"I do not think it is right to talk about more and more military means," said Franz-Josef Jung, German defence minister. "When the Russians were in Afghanistan they had 100,000 and didn't win . . . We are liberators, not occupiers."
What a pile of defeatist crap. Quite how he expects Afghanistan to be "liberated" without occupying the country first is a bit of a conundrum, but the fact he somehow thinks it can happen while his troops sit on their arses as far from the front line as possible is remarkable.
This tells us all we need to know about any proposed or existing European Rapid Reaction Force. Our boys would be the ones to do the fighting, to get up close and personal with the enemy, to kill or be killed, while our colleagues provide "logistical" support - which generally consists of an army of bureaucrats and "human rights" lawyers waiting to whisk our fellas to an international law court at the slightest misdemeanour.
A competent defence secretary - even a modestly competent one - would tell our German, French, Italian and Spanish "chums" that either they start living up to their NATO obligations or they can expect certain defence contracts to be cancelled.
What a bunch of weasels.