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Military Cooperation

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 Equipment inventories have been reduced to critical levels across most weapons categories, and many systems are outdated.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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