Biscop, Sven. and Coelmont, Jo. (2011) Europe deploys towards a civil-military strategy for CSDP. Egmont Paper No. 49, June 2011. [Policy Paper]
Executive summary. CSDP: Strategy Needed. Why does Europe develop the military and civilian capabilities that it does? Why does it undertake the military and civilian operations that it does? And why in other cases does it refrain from action? The answers to these questions would amount to a civilian-military strategy for the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Starting from the EU’s vital interests, an analysis of the threats and challenges to these interests, and the EU’s foreign policy priorities, a CSDP strategy would outline the priority regions and issues for CSDP and, in function of the long-term political objectives and the appropriate political roadmap for those regions and issues, scenarios in which launching an operation could be appropriate. Without strategy, we can never be sure that the operations that we do are actually the most relevant and important that we could undertake. We cannot direct the operations that we do undertake to achieve the desired strategic effect. And we cannot focus capability development if we do not know our strategic priorities. Many of the building-blocks of a CSDP strategy already exist. What remains to be done is to connect the dots and render explicit: (1) for which priority regions and issues we must plan and prepare, (2) for which possible scenarios that may require a CSDP operation, and (3) identify the implications for our capabilities and a roadmap to meet those requirements. Priority Regions and Issues. The regions and issues on which CSDP ought to focus are those where our vital interests are most directly at stake: • Defence against any military threat to the territory of the Union. • Open lines of communication and trade (in physical as well as in cyber space). • A secure supply of energy and other vital natural resources. • A sustainable environment. • Manageable migration flows. • The maintenance of international law (including the UN Charter and the treaties and regulations of the key international organizations) and of universally agreed rights. • Preserving the autonomy of the decision-making of the EU and its Member States. That does not mean that the EU will disregard other regions and issues, but it does provide the focus for early warning and prevention, and for permanent contingency planning for: • The Eastern Neighbourhood (the Baltic to the Black Sea). • The Southern Neighbourhood (the Dardanelles to Gibraltar). • The Gulf. • Central Asia. • Sub-Sahara Africa. • Maritime security. • Collective security under the UN, notably the Responsibility to Protect. If the main focus of CSDP is on the external security of the Union, it does have a complementary role to play in our internal security as well, notably in the implementation of the Solidarity Clause, and including perhaps, in the future, in our collective defence. Scenarios for Operations. For the purpose of military planning, as well as to guide military capability development, the EU military bodies have elaborated five illustrative scenarios. These no longer cover all operations that the EU already is undertaking. Five new scenarios ought to be added: • A Maritime Security Scenario. • A Cyber Security Scenario. • A Support Operations Scenario. • A Counter-Terrorism Scenario. • An Internal Security Scenario. Capability Implications. In order to stay in tune with today’s higher level of crisis management activity, the existing military Headline Goal has to be interpreted broadly. The aim to be able to sustain a corps level deployment (50 to 60,000 troops) for at least one year should be understood as a deployment which EU Member States must be able to undertake at any one time over and above ongoing operations. Then the EU would be able to deal with every eventuality. Generating the necessary capabilities requires an ambitious approach to pooling & sharing, but also to go beyond it and create a Permanent Capability Conference as a durable strategic-level platform for harmonization of national defence planning as such, rather than project-by-project coordination only. With regard to civilian capabilities, achieving the original civilian Headline Goal would already constitute a significant improvement, but there is a lack of implementation and follow-through by the Member States. If decentralised civilian capacity-building does not work, the EU should have recourse to sizeable standby pools of civilian personnel which are pre-identified, trained, and ready for deployment. There is scope for combining military and civilian capability development in at least five areas: communications, information, transport, protection and logistics. The EU could be the first to create a permanent civilian-military Operational Headquarters (OHQ), in Brussels, which could plan for and conduct both civilian and military operations and, allowing for close interaction with all relevant EU actors, could implement a truly comprehensive approach to crisis management. Information gathering, analysis and dissemination are strategic enablers for any military or civilian operation or mission. A real Intelligence Fusion and Analysis Centre should replace the scattered poles of intelligence within the EU institutions. From Strategy to Action. Adopting a strategy for CSDP will not in itself guarantee resolute action in each and every crisis. But forging a consensus on priority regions and issues and drawing the conclusions from that for our capabilities, including planning and conduct, will focus our preventive, long-term efforts, and will certainly make us better prepared for action in any contingency. Being more prepared and knowing in advance what our priority regions and issues are, and why, will then hopefully also strengthen the political will to generate action under the EU flag by the able and willing Member States, and will thus make for an EU that carries its weight on the global stage.
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