The European defense debate is stepping away from the classical opposition between zealots of “Europe of Defense” and supporters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
European strategic autonomy
Europe is faced with a degradation of its security environment, which affects all of the neighboring regional theaters and occurs along the entire conflict spectrum (Russian strategic resurgence, instability and civil wars around the Mediterranean Sea, changing patterns of jihadist terrorism, etc.), and with a growing uncertainty regarding the future commitment to European security of two critical allies, the United States and the United Kingdom. In this context, this program provides analytical support to the renewed European interest for defense, and to the attainment of the goal of strategic autonomy, as identified in the EU’s Global Strategy.
Its aims are:
- to provide substance to the concept of “European strategic autonomy” while contributing to the emergence of a European strategic thought on the use of force in the 21st century;
- to add to the ongoing debate on the degree of ambition for European countries in terms of strategic autonomy;
- to assess the capacity, in Europe, to generate military power, now and up to 2030-2040;
- to come up with a comprehensive overview of the existing capacities as well as the lacking areas, as of today and until 2030-2040 (trends, areas and degrees of dependence, etc.);
- to provide recommendations on key lines of effort, in terms of defense investment, operational and industrial cooperation as well as capability development.
Beginning in the 1970s, becoming solidified with the “peace dividends” in the 1990s and finally accelerated by the financial crisis of 2008, Europe’s demilitarization is undeniable.
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