Military spending of many European countries seems just useless to me. To maintain an army you do not need only technology. You need a certain spirit of willingness to fight also in the population. An army that has not been involved into a conflict for 50 years can hardly be supposed to have a successfull stand in an upcoming conflict. Last week I found an article in which US officials were complainig about the unmanly behaviour of German soldiers (They refused to take posiition, because it was too cold :-)).
In countries like Germany or Italy "making war" is something disappearing from the cultural tissue of society. That expressed the global tendency of a world that is becoming always more peacefull and especially peaceful in Europe itself. Unfortunately military threads and dangers of military conflicts are going on and it would be very naive to think of a world soon be without the necessity of defense or military intervention. The NATO action in Kosovo, of which I supported immediately the German participitation is an example.
The European Union should discuss a more efficent approach to defence and military action. (I know how provocative I am and how little "Realpolitik" this is). The burden of military organization of having army, airforce, navy and so on, should be left to the French and the Brits. (Obviously all in the context of NATO and the pact with the US!) The French and Brits have still a military tradition and have not lost exercising in the last 50 years. Italy and Germany abolish their militaries and pay half of the saved money in cash to France and UK to finance the Euopean military forces. Then, if German or Italian men or women would like to do military service, they should be allowed to enrole into the British or French forces :-). And: sure, Germany can go on producing Leopards and similar, but please: only to sell within NATO.
The saved money should be spent for science, ie. http://esciencenews.com/articles/2012/04/17/nanotube.electrodes.improve.solar.cells -