- EU countries want to work more closely together militarily. To this end, they decided to implement about a dozen new defense projects.
- As reported by Reuters news agency on the basis of a confidential document, the European Union countries are considering building a force of up to 5,000 military personnel by 2025.
- In doing so, the European Union wants to become more militarily independent from the United States after the Afghanistan mission.
The EU must get a new concept of security policy. The first draft is now available, as reported by Reuters and the Department of Political Affairs. Accordingly, the establishment of an EU military reaction force could be decided upon as early as next year. Depending on the requirements, this should include the Air Force and Navy as well as the Land Forces.
The EU’s external representative, Josep Borrell, explained that it was about having “units” that could be combined on his plans, which he presented to the EU Commission on Wednesday. It is not forces that determine diffusion, but rather diffusion that determines forces. Operational scenarios could be intervention in an armed conflict, evacuating people or securing an airport.
Operation in Afghanistan led to a rethink
The European Union decided in principle to form a reaction force two decades ago, but this has not yet been implemented. For now, the formation of a military competition with NATO should be avoided.
However, experiences with evacuations from the Afghan capital Kabul after the Taliban came to power seem to have led to a rethink. The Europeans were unable to secure Kabul Airport without US assistance and had to halt evacuations when American soldiers withdrew.
Subsequently, Germany and other EU countries submitted a proposal to form a reaction force. He intended to develop existing EU battle groups into powerful crisis reaction forces that could be deployed at short notice. Space and electronic capabilities as well as strategic air transport capabilities will also be provided for this purpose.
EU countries discuss the concept
The previous EU battle group concept provided that two units with about 1,500 troops each would remain ready, which would be provided alternately every six months by the different EU countries. Recently, however, there have been problems in gathering enough troops. So there is currently only one fighting group. EU forces have not been deployed.
Borrell’s draft of the new EU security policy was discussed this week at a meeting of foreign and defense ministers. It is also referred to as the “strategic compass” and aims to determine the future capabilities of the European Union in the field of crisis management.
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