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Defense Coronavirus CSS Blog

The New EU Budget and Defense: Narrowing the Capabilities-Expectations Gap

Image courtesy of Guillaume Périgois/Unsplash.

This blog belongs to the CSS’ coronavirus blog series, which forms a part of the center’s analysis of the security policy implications of the coronavirus crisis. See the CSS special theme page on the coronavirus for more.

The EU as a foreign policy and security actor is often haunted by the “capabilities-expectation gap”, referring to the discrepancy between the expectations citizens and states have about the EU’s international role and what the EU is actually able to deliver. The gap consists of three main components: available instruments, resources, and the ability to agree.

The 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) will go down in history as the EU’s coronavirus budget – unprecedented in volume and the raising of joint debt. It features several new defense initiatives complementing the EU’s long-standing efforts to narrow the capabilities-expectations gap. While the budget places promising new instruments at the EU’s disposal, the trimming of resources initially allocated and unchanged decision-making procedures significantly dim the prospects for those initiatives to deliver the expected results. If these projects are to bear fruit, they must be prioritized and interlinked with existing programs and supported by strong financial commitments by the member states.

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Defense

Alliance Capabilities at 70: Achieving Agility for an Uncertain Future

Image courtesy of NATO/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This article was originally published by the NATO Defense College (NDC) in January 2020.

The credibility of any alliance depends on its ability to deliver deterrence and defence for the safety and security of its members. Without capability, any alliance is deprived of credibility and exists only on paper. Despite a rocky history – up to and including the current debate on burden-sharing – capability lies at the heart of NATO’s success. There is good cause to draw optimism from the Alliance’s accomplishments throughout its 70 years in providing a framework for developing effective and interoperable capabilities.

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Defense CSS Blog

Russian Defense Spending

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These graphics provide an overview of the trend in Russia’s defense spending, outlining spending between 2010 and 2018 as well as forecasts for the defense budget up to 2021. For an insight into the prospects for Russia’s defense spending and more, see ‘Russian Analytical Digest No. 237: Security Issues’.

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Technology Defense

AI and Autonomous Systems Are Urgent Priorities for Today’s Defence Force

Image courtesy of Daniel Wetzel/DVIDS

This article was originally published in the Strategist by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) on 29 April 2019.

The 2016 defence white paper and the decades-long integrated investment program will deliver a future force that includes 72 joint strike fighters, several hundred infantry fighting vehicles, nine new frigates and 12 new submarines. F-35 deliveries have started but the ‘future’ frigate and submarine programs were well named: the Hunter-class frigates will turn up, all going well, between 2028 and the early 2040s, and the first Attack-class submarine is scheduled to enter service in 2035, with the 12th in the mid-2050s.

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Defense Cyber

What Are China’s Cyber Capabilities and Intentions?

Image courtesy of Taskin Ashiq/Unsplash

This article was originally published by the IPI Global Observatory on 22 March 2019.

News stories on the cyber threat that China poses appear on a regular basis. Most underscore a view that China is using cyber power to rise and ultimately win global dominance, and that the Chinese government is behind the scenes in many malicious cyber activities. Though many of the allegations focus on the tension between China and the United States on cyber espionage, these actions are unlikely to cause armed conflict since almost all capable actors conduct cyber espionage.