The European Union and the Comprehensive Civil-Military Approach in Euro-Atlantic Security: Matching Reality to Rhetoric
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV WASHINGTON DC SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
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When the European Security and Defense Policy ESDP was founded just over a decade ago, it was to be one of the crown jewels in the European Unions emergence as a new, soft civilian-superpower. The ESDP was erected on the premise that the future security environment will be defined less by traditional, state-centric military threats and more by a wide range of diverse challenges that are transnational and complex in nature, and that such complex challenges will require the comprehensive integration of a range of civilian and military capabilities. This comprehensive approach would mean that future success would depend not just on a states ability to wield military power but its ability to employ and leverage state and nonstate civilian power as well, including the political, security, development, rule of law, human rights, and humanitarian dimensions of international missions. Ten years into this effort, progress has failed to live up to expectations. The civil-military integration hoped for at the outset has been plagued by an ESDP institutional design that has served to separate and isolate the military and civilian aspects rather than integrate them. Moreover, the vision of building the ESDP into a vehicle for EU civilian power has been plagued by chronic civilian capacity shortfalls, both in the planning and control structures of the ESDP itself and in the ability to deploy civilian experts in an operational capacity. Most problematic, however, is that rather than seize the opportunity to forge the ESDP as an integrative transatlantic and global leader in civilian aspects of security, it has maintained a primarily insular focus on iterative institutional reforms and a series of small-step, functionally circumscribed security missions. If the ESDP is to fulfill the EUs hope of becoming a more significant force for security and stability in the world, the EU must move beyond the insular focus on institutional design that has defined its first decade.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Defense Systems