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Defence

North Korea IN FOCUS: Towards a More Effective EU Policy

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, September 7, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The EU has an important role to play in the management of the threat posed by North Korea. Indeed, Brussels already has a policy of ‘critical engagement’ towards Pyongyang which combines diplomatic and economic carrots with a number of sticks. This policy, however, is in need of an update to attend to two recent developments on the Korean Peninsula: North Korea’s status as a de facto nuclear power and the flurry of engagement and diplomacy involving North Korea—including top-level meetings with the US, South Korea and China.
In this context, the EU should support its partners, South Korea and the US, as they launch a process that could lead to sustainable engagement with North Korea, denuclearisation, and, as a result, a more stable Korean Peninsula. Working with its partners, Europe should creatively use its power of engagement and cooperation to change behaviour. This will enhance the position of the EU as a constructive actor in Asian affairs, support efforts by the US and South Korea to engage North Korea and, ultimately, offer a better opportunity for the EU to achieve its goals.
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20
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Strengthening the EU’s Cyber Defence Capabilities

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, November 26, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Cyber defence is critical to both the EU’s prosperity and security. Yet, the threat space it faces is vast in scope, highly interconnected, deeply complex, and rapidly evolving. The EU’s current cyber defence capacity remains fragmented across and siloed within various institutions, agencies. In order to secure its own use of cyberspace, the EU must be bold. The CEPS Task Force on Strengthening the EU's Cyber Defence Capabilities identified a clear EU-wide interest for greater coordination and cooperation in this space. After a comparative analysis of alternative scenarios, the Task Force concluded in favour of creating an EU Cyber Defence Agency with executive competencies and therefore, the ability to develop and utilise strategic and operational capabilities at the EU level. This would mark a critical step towards a more effective and collaborative approach to enhancing cyber security and resilience in the EU.
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88
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Artificial Intelligence – What implications for EU security and defence?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Consider a world where human decision-making and thought processes play less of a role in the day-to-day functioning of society. Think now of the implications this would have for the security and defence sector. Over the next few decades, it is likely that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will not only have major implications for most areas of society such as healthcare, communications and transport, but also for security and defence. AI can be broadly defined as systems that display intelligent behaviour and perform cognitive tasks by analysing their environment, taking actions and even sometimes learning from experience.
The complex attributes of the human mind are well known, but to replicate most of these abilities in machine or algorithmic form has given policymakers and scholars pause for thought. What is more, much of the concern generated by AI centres on whether such intelligence may eventually lead to post-human systems that can generate decisions and actions that were not originally pre-programmed. Accordingly, optimists argue that AI has the potential to revolutionise the global economy for the better, whereas some pessimists have gone as far as to forecast that AI will mark the end of modern society as we know it.
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8
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Strategic autonomy: towards ‘European sovereignty’ in defence?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, November 30, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Strategic autonomy. Two familiar words that are yet again in vogue in Europe but which cause confusion and, in some quarters, even alarm. The last time strategic autonomy stirred controversy was in 2003 during the run-up to the Iraq War, but perhaps the most well-known instance followed the Balkan crisis of the 1990s.
The objective of this Brief is to better comprehend how the EU conceives of strategic autonomy, rather than dwell on a broader focus on ‘Europe’ or ‘NATO Europe’. To this end, the Brief compares the range of defence initiatives that have been developed by the EU since 2016 against three different conceptual visions of strategic autonomy: autonomy as responsibility, autonomy as hedging and autonomy as emancipation. Each of these forms of autonomy have implications for transatlantic burden sharing and the EU’s level of ambition on security and defence.
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8
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Rebuilding Strategic Thinking

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Churchill is said to have commented after a particularly undistinguished meal: “The pudding [that’s dessert for us Americans] lacked a theme.” This is also true of the world before us today. If that world is less existentially dangerous than the height of the Cold War, it is scary in its shapelessness. Threats seem to emanate from everywhere, unpredictably, even at a luncheon in San Bernardino or a nightclub in Orlando. It is a world that cries out for old-fashioned strategic analysis as an input to strategy: What is important, what is less so? How do issues connect or relate to each other, and where are the trends taking us? Where and how should we intervene, and where should we disengage? What are the important investments to make? What should we be aiming for a decade hence?
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41
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More European, More Connected, More Capable: Building the European Armed Forces of the Future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Europe’s security environment has deteriorated in the last few years. New threats include a more aggressive Russia, instability in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and cyberthreats from hostile governments and nonstate actors.
The United States is sending mixed signals about continuing the high level of military support it has provided for Europe in the past decades.
Adding to the challenge, Europe’s defense capabilities have declined. Equipment inventories have been reduced to critical levels across most weapons categories, and many systems are outdated. Austerity and an increase in missions abroad have reduced the readiness of Europe’s forces; in many countries, up to half of military equipment, from infantry vehicles to helicopters, is not available at any one time.
Europe’s fragmented approach to defense exacerbates the situation: Europe has six times more types of major weapon systems than the US. In many European defense projects, countries put the interests of their national industries ahead of European capability building, military cooperation, and interoperability.
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48
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EU defence capability development – Plans, priorities, projects

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, June 25, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Enthusiasts of strategic studies will be familiar with the tripartite, quasi-mathematical equation of ends, ways and means. Over a period of 18 months or so – beginning in June 2016 with the publication of the EU Global Strategy (EUGS) and culminating with Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) in December 2017 – the European Union has made strides on both ends and ways for greater cooperation in the area of defence. On ends, the EUGS has made clear that while Europeans ‘live in times of existential crisis’ the EU aims to improve security, democracy and prosperity and to invest in the resilience of states and societies in its wider neighbourhood in an integrated manner, while also supporting cooperative regional orders and a rules-based global order. On ways, the EUGS indicates that the Union must develop full spectrum capabilities as part of its overall approach to foreign and security policy and it must ‘systematically encourage defence cooperation and strive to create a solid European defence industry’. On means, however, there is still some way to go before the EU has the defence capabilities required to meet its strategic objectives. Despite the publication of an Implementation Plan on Security and Defence (IPSD), the development of a Coordinated Annual Review on Defence (CARD), a European Defence Fund (EDF) and PESCO, there are challenges related to defence capability development in a Union of 28 – soon to be 27 – member states.
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8
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The Uncertain Trends in the “Wars” on Terrorism

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Seventeen years after the start of the first major U.S. war on terrorism – and tens of thousands of casualties and more than two trillion dollars later – the U.S. still lacks a credible database on international terrorism. There is no common official database at the interagency level, there are deep disagreements over the size and success of given threats, and there are major gaps in coverage. Each “war” on terrorism has its own approach (and usually approaches) to estimating the threat and to judging what parameters are important. There are a wide range of databases outside the U.S. government, ranging from commercial efforts to academic and NGO assessments. They often sharply disagree, and many are clearly political or ideological in character. The closest thing to an official database is the one used by the U.S. State Department in its Country Reports on Terrorism and its Annex of Statistical Information. The report and annex provide an overview of the global trends in terrorism.
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103
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Air power in the 21st century: enduring trends and uncertain futures

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The past few decades have seen the acceptance of a new calculus in the role that air power can - and will - play in the future security environment. This is the result of fundamental shifts in the character and conduct of war and the technology-aided ability of air power to rapidly adapt to emerging situations. Wars or conflicts that have been fought over the past half century have all been irregular in character even if the intensity, tempo and spread have been as much as, and at times more than, what could be termed high-intensity war.
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7
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Odd Couple: The Future of the Australia-UAE Partnership

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Considering its geographic distance and lack of formal allies, the Middle East has played an outsized role in the history of Australia's global engagement. While Australia's interests in the region are real and increasing, as a middle power with finite resources it must take a smart approach to pursuing them. Australia has a strong track record of effective security partnership and investing in a close relationship with a key partner there offers a range of benefits. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an ideal candidate as the two countries have rapidly built a strong and collaborative relationship, and they share a surprising number of mutual interests. But an expanded relationship faces several natural constraints, and both countries must have a clear-eyed and well-articulated understanding of the benefits and limitations if it is to mature.
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14
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