The CSS Blog Network

After Crimea: Does NATO Have the Means to Defend Europe?

Image courtesy of Clayton Lenhardt/DVIDS.

This article was originally published by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in April 2019.

Military spending may now figure in public conversation about NATO. But the alliance, at 70 years old, still lacks military capabilities strong enough to protect Europe from Russia

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Ways Out of the Crisis: Recalibrating European Security

Image courtesy of United Nations Photo/Flickr. (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This article was originally published by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIF) on 23 April 2019.

European Security is in crisis. Like every crisis, this one not only has a prior history, it has also been in the offing for quite some time. 2008 marked a first peak, after the Bush administration offered the NATO Membership Action Plan to Georgia and Ukraine: Russia demonstrated in the war with Georgia who sets the tone in the former Soviet Union. A similar pattern emerged in 2014 in the Ukrainian crisis, this time with the EU in charge and Russia reacting even more forcefully. Since then, the crisis has escalated with almost unrestrained momentum. Its most recent expression is the termination of the INF Treaty, which carries with it the acute danger of a new (medium-range) missile crisis on the continent.

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FNC Groups (Partners and Observers), as of November 2017

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This graphic features the different groups in NATO’s Framework Nations Concept (FNC) to highlight the trend of regionalization within NATO. But what does the FNC, with its emphasis on national sovereignty, actually mean for defense cooperation? See Rainer L Glatz and Martin Zapfe’s CSS Analysis in Security Policy here. For more CSS charts and graphics, click here.

What Does “European Defense” Look Like? The Answer Might Be in the Sahel

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

This article was originally published by War on the Rocks on 19 March 2019.

A few weeks ago, the Danish government announced it would submit to its parliament a request for the deployment of two medium lift helicopters AW101 and about 70 military personnel to the Sahel region as part of the French-led counter-terrorism operation “Barkhane.” Once the deployment is approved by lawmakers, as appears likely, Danish assets would join the operation in late 2019.

This announcement has received little attention, but it is significant — both for the fight against jihadist groups in the Sahel region and for the future of European defense cooperation. It provides an insight into a new approach to the project of building European defense, one that does not necessarily rely on the structures or complex institutional settings of the European Union, but instead focuses on pragmatic and operational cooperation between states.

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The Framework Nations Concept

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This graphic features NATO’s Framework Nations Concept to highlight the trend of regionalization within NATO. For more on the internal challenges NATO faces, see Martin Zapfe’s chapter in Strategic Trends 2017 here. For more CSS charts and graphics, click here.

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