(040) HOW TO STOP THE DEMILITARISATION OF EUROPE Cover Image

(040) HOW TO STOP THE DEMILITARISATION OF EUROPE
(040) HOW TO STOP THE DEMILITARISATION OF EUROPE

Author(s): Nick Witney
Subject(s): Security and defense, Military policy, Peace and Conflict Studies
Published by: ECFR European Council on Foreign Relations
Keywords: NATO; soft power;
Summary/Abstract: Discounting threats of armed attack and disillusioned with liberal interventionism, Europeans are shrin-king their militaries and banking on “soft” power. But this betrays a failure to understand the nature of the new, multiplayer global environment that will determine Europe’s future security and prosperity. The value of Europe’s armed forces is less in countering specific “threats” than as necessary instruments of power and influence in a rapidly changing world, where militaries still matter. Unless it gets over its discomfort with hard power, Europe’s half-hearted efforts to improve the efficiency of its defence spending will continue to fail. This Policy Brief argues that Europeans now need to reassess their strategic environment, reconsider the role that hard power should play in it and relaunch their efforts to combine their defence efforts and resources. The Weimar Triangle – Germany, France and Poland – should jointly press for a heavyweight commission to conduct a European Defence Review, which would examine member states’ defence policies, much as the budget plans of eurozone members are now reviewed in a “European semester”; rewrite the European Security Strategy; and present to Euro-pean leaders a menu of big, bold proposals for decisive further defence integration. The alternative will be not just the end of the common defence policy but the steady erosion of Europe’s ability to defend its interests and values in the twenty-first century.

  • Page Count: 16
  • Publication Year: 2011
  • Language: English