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Defence

The EU’s Security and Defence Policy: The Impact of the Coronavirus

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The EU’s Security and Defence Policy: The Impact of the Coronavirus
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, April 24, 2020
Abstract in English: 
The current COVID-19 pandemic will change the world, like the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 9/11 terror attacks. For the foreseeable future, EU governments will be preoccupied with dealing with the pandemic’ immediate socio-economic consequences. However, other policy areas will be affected as well. With regard to the EU’s security and defence policy, COVID-19 is likely to extinguish the unprecedented dynamism that has characterised its development since 2016. Its most immediate impact is likely to be decreased funding for several new initiatives such as the European Defence Fund. The pandemic is also likely to reduce the EU’s readiness to address crises in its neighbourhood and may hasten the Union’s relative decline as a global power if its recovery is slow and wrought by prolonged disputes between the member states over the appropriate economic response to the crisis. Yet, the EU should not completely abandon its pre-COVID-19 security and defence agenda. Both during and after the pandemic, the Union will continue to face familiar challenges such as cyber-attacks, disinformation campaigns and instability in its neighbourhood.
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11
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Global risks 2035 update: Decline or new renaissance?

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Global risks 2035 update: Decline or new renaissance?
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Abstract in English: 
In the best case, we forecast a world headed toward multipolarity with limited multilateralism. At worst, we projected a multipolarity that devolved into another Cold War bipolarity—with China, Russia, and their partners pitted against the United States, Europe, Japan, and other allies. In that scenario, war seemed inevitable. The fracturing of the post-Cold War global system would be accompanied by internal fraying caused by technological advances. No one was spared. Robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing, and automation were already upending both skilled and unskilled occupations in the developed world. As the cost of robots came down and automation and 3D printing spread, still-struggling emerging markets could no longer rely on lower labor costs, as China did to fuel its rise. This is a far cry from the earlier notion that globalization and technological change would “lift all boats.” Under any scenario, many of the poorest of the developing countries will face stiffer, potentially existential, challenges linked to climate change, poor governance, higher incidences of civil conflict, and overpopulation. Climate change will impact everyone in the coming decades, but the poorest areas—sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia—will be hit hardest by increasing temperatures and rising sea levels.
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88
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Transnational Security Report Cooperating Across Borders: Tackling Illicit Flows

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Publication date: 
Friday, June 7, 2019
Abstract in English: 
Part of the Munich Security Conference’s Transnational Security Series, this report aims to shine a light on selected examples of transnational illicit flows which, in their manifold manifestations, have implications for global, regional, and national security. Given the illicit nature of these flows, available data is often fragmented. In light of this challenge and in order to illustrate key insights, this report – which includes contents compiled in close cooperation with many institutions and experts in this field – will put the spotlight on transnational challenges across several dimensions of illicit flows. In MSC tradition, this report does not aim to be exhaustive, but rather to serve as a discussion starter for our key audience and to highlight questions that need to be asked.
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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?

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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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Crossing Borders: How the Migration Crisis Transformed Europe’s External Policy

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Publication date: 
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Between 2014 and 2017, Europe saw its largest influx of migrants in decades, with 1.9 million arrivals to the continent (and thousands of lives lost at sea during the dangerous crossings of the Mediterranean Sea) and 3.6 million first-time asylum applicants across the 28 EU member states. The European Union and its member states have struggled to absorb this large influx of migrants and refugees and to manage the European Union’s external borders. As migration management has remained principally a national mandate, a delicate balance had to be found between the European Union and its member states to process asylum seekers, manage borders, and address the drivers of migration and instability in Europe’s neighborhood through policy and funding. This led to what is now called the “European migration crisis” of 2015 and 2016.
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81
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Technological Innovation, the US Third Offset Strategy and the Future Transatlantic Defense

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, December 5, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The United States’ Third Offset Strategy (TOS) is a step-change in military innovation offering the likelihood of strategic change in capability, designed to enable the US to maintain global hegemony in an era of great power competition. It represents a key opportunity of technological investment for US defence capacity, which in turn can stimulate the US defence industrial base and the broader technological ecosystem. This policy paper looks into how the TOS may impact Western defence and security decision-making and its strategic implications for the European Union.
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16
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Russia’s New State Armament Programme Implications for the Russian Armed Forces and Military Capabilities to 2027

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Publication date: 
Thursday, May 10, 2018
Abstract in English: 
In this paper, we consider the main objectives of GPV 2027 (gosudarstvennaia programma vooruzheniia, Russian for "10-year state armament programme") and examine whether Russia’s financial and defence-industrial capabilities are sufficient to meet them. We then consider how the Russian armed forces are likely to be equipped by the mid-2020s, should the main objectives of GPV 2027 be achieved. Although the programme itself is classified, enough details have entered the public domain – for instance, through statements by officials, news reports, federal budgets and draft budgets – for educated inferences to be made as to its broad contours, likely priorities and strategic direction. Such assessments are the basis of this paper.
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42
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Missile Defense 2020: Next Steps for Defending the Homeland

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Abstract in English: 
In policy pronouncements over the last two administrations, the protection of the American homeland was regularly identified as the first priority of U.S. missile defense efforts. Homeland missile defense today is provided by the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program and other elements of the larger Ballistic Missile Defense System. The limited defenses fielded today have advanced considerably since defensive operations began in late 2004, but nevertheless they remain too limited and too modest relative to emerging threats. The Missile Defense Agency’s path to improve the system may require additional effort to stay ahead of even limited missile threats. This report explains how the current system works, as well as current and potential plans to modernize the system, and the authors offer recommendations for future evolution of the system.
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160
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China’s Military and the U.S.-Japan Alliance in 2030: A Strategic Net Assessment

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, May 3, 2013
Abstract in English: 
The emergence of the People’s Republic of China as an increasingly significant military power in the Western Pacific presents major implications for Japan, the U.S.-Japan alliance, and regional security. But a comprehensive assessment of the current and possible future impact of China’s military capabilities and foreign security policies on Tokyo and the alliance, along with a detailed examination of the capacity and willingness of both the United States and Japan to respond to this challenge, is missing from the current debate. Such an analysis is essential for Washington and Tokyo to better evaluate the best approaches for maintaining deterrence credibility and regional stability over the long term.
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424
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