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Defence

Dynamic Change. Rethinking NATO’s Capabilities, Operations and Partnerships

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, April 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
While the US has been constantly modernizing its armed forces, NATO European states, with the partial exception of the United Kingdom (UK) and France, have lagged far behind (even if one factors in the differences in resources). When pondering on how much and on what to spend public money, European governments are invariably driven by domestic considerations – which for Europeans rarely revolve around military issues – rather than NATO commitments. As a result, a growing imbalance has ensued, with certain allies proportionally contributing to Alliance activities much more than others. While this problem is anything but new in NATO’s history, its proportions – augmented by the economic crisis, which has led to cuts in military spending in most NATO member states – have now acquired an unprecedented scale.
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Enabling the Future. European Military Capabilities 2013-2025: Challenges and Avenues

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Abstract in English: 
In recent decades, a remarkable degree of strategic mobility and military reach, significant social and human capital, and an advanced industrial and scientific base have endowed the European Union with capable and effective armed forces. However, as centuries of European (or Western) dominance are currently giving way to a more multipolar and less governable world system, protecting common ‘strategic interests’ without adequate military capabilities may become ever more difficult. Although Europeans remain relatively well-equipped to mobilise the tools needed to tackle potential threats, within the EU there is limited awareness or recognition of the emerging challenges, a basic disinterest in strategic matters, and relatively few voices calling for effective and sustainable armed forces. In addition, the European political and institutional landscape regarding defence and military matters is extremely segmented. It is in this context that this Report seeks to place European military capabilities in a broader perspective and highlight potential avenues for exploration and development over the next decade.
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