The EU is trying to transition from its perceived status as a ‘soft power’ actor in defence, focussing on civilian crisis management and regulation of the European defence market, to a mix of soft and hard power to enable its ‘strategic autonomy’. However, the inability of the EU to clearly define its criteria for strategic autonomy has the potential to affect not only this ambition, but also the...
A new version of the UK’s counterterrorism strategy (also known as CONTEST), was unveiled earlier this month. Of the four strands comprising CONTEST, it is the Prevent strand, preventing individuals from becoming terrorists and supporting terrorism, that elicits the strongest reaction from different sections of British society.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has allegedly refused to pledge that Britain will be a ‘Tier One’ military power in the future, after media reports hinted at tensions with her defence secretary over the future resources of the armed forces. RUSI’s Deputy Director-General attempts to decipher what this discussion on ‘tiers’ means.
The EU won the Nobel Peace Prize for maintaining peace between European nations, but it has failed to prevent wars of words. Proof can be found at the UN, where battles between EU members could spoil the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference.
With news of regular tragedies involving migrants awash on Europe’s shores, the European Union is promising to respond to these through military means. But the political will just does not exist in Europe; neither can the hurdles be overcome easily.
It is reasonable to assume that there will be a real-terms increase in the defence budget now that the Conservatives have full control of the government. However, commitments to future military interventions are less certain.