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Fun answers posted as top level comments.

Serious answer... these are ships bought as part of the NATO posture... which is to say, to participate in operations dictated by the US strategic posture.

Throw in that part of the US establishment are always whinging about the Europeans not paying their own way over heavy weaponry in NATO. (Of course other parts run around sabotaging EU co-ordination around heavy weapons... go figure...)

Do they make sense outside of that posture?

Not really, as there seems little reason to invade anywhere. But... equally if you did suddenly need to invade a Falkland Island or an Iraq... it takes a long time to build a new attack carrier. So from a certain point of view I wouldn't say that an EU military force shouldn't have at least one amphibious assault task force. After all they can do other jobs in the meantime and they don't cost as much as a world-wide base network...

Should the EU eschew offensive weaponry (like amphibious assault groups) altogether? I think that's a hard case to make at this time.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Oct 14th, 2008 at 06:52:32 PM EST
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