the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the West has rightly
invested its time, energy, and resources into combating Islamist
radicals and fighting asymmetric warfare. Russia's immoral and
illegitimate invasion of Georgia on August 7, 2008, however,
demonstrated that the threat of traditional military confrontation has
not disappeared. Europe must, therefore, rebuild its militaries to
undertake operations in both security contexts, determining what
threats they are likely to face and how best to approach them.
NATO has been the primary alliance architecture in which to discuss
Europe's security. But when France assumed the six-month EU presidency
on July 1, 2008, the advancement of a military identity anchored within
enhanced EU power structures, independent of NATO, was made a top
priority. TheBritish Conservative Party has described these plans as "a
manifesto for an EU takeover of our armed forces."
With the recent Franco–American détente, however, the Bush
Administration has been sufficiently convinced that this EU initiative
does not threaten NATO and has given it a warm welcome.
European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) in existence for nearly a
decade, average European defense spending has decreased and NATO has
seen little or no valuable complementarity, while serious questions
remain about the EU's motivation in pursuing a military identity. The
EU's cautious and ambiguous response to the Georgian–Russian war
highlights just how far Brussels is from assuming a strong and united
foreign policy. The structural and organizational relationship between
the EU and NATO must, therefore, be reassessed—as must the purpose and
value of pursuing further integration.
Ten Years After St. Malo: ESDP of Little or No Help to NATO
the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the newly liberated
countries of Central and Eastern Europe rushed for membership in NATO
first, and the European Union second. Having experienced more than
half a century of Soviet dominance, the need for a strategic security
relationship with America was paramount, followed by the economic
benefits of EU membership. These countries' relatively peaceful and
successful transition to democracy, achieved in part through NATO
membership, then paved the way for the vast majority of Central and
Eastern Europe to join the EU in 2004. Today, NATO and the EU share 21
EU integration in the field of defense was already well underway when
Central and Eastern Europe acceded, and the newer members have largely
seen fit to defer to founding older members.
are underpinned by the Berlin Plus Agreement signed in December 2002
and implemented in March 2003. It is easy to see why Washington thought
it was receiving a good deal out of Berlin Plus: While the agreement
assured the EU access to NATO's planning capabilities and assets for
EU-led crisis management operations (CMO), the United States also
anticipated a bigger commitment by the EU to upgrading its military
capabilities. The premise of Berlin Plus was essentially that the ESDP
would reinforce NATO, not undermine it, and that the long-held American
policy doctrine of the "three Ds" would be upheld: no decoupling from
NATO, no duplication of NATO resources, and no discrimination against
NATO members that are not part of the EU. The U.S. Congress and
Administration must also have been encouraged to see its closest
friend, the U.K., in agreement with this project. (Then-Prime Minister
Tony Blair initiated a significant reversal of British policy to back
an EU defense identity at St. Malo in 1998.)
But there has been
no increased defense commitment by the Europeans in terms of spending
or manpower, and Tony Blair has now departed the European stage to be
replaced by a weak and ineffective government in London. There is also
significant evidence that the three Ds doctrine has long been
abandoned by the EU. It has become clear that the European Union signed
Berlin Plus for the purposes of elevating its own status and gaining
access to NATO assets (largely American), with no genuine commitment to
increase defense spending. Blair's original intention—that NATO would
obtain added value and significant complementarity from the ESDP—has
not occurred and he was outwitted by Paris. As a Congressional Research
Service report noted in January 2005: "French officials have long
argued that the EU should seek to counterbalance the United States on
the international stage and view ESDP as a vehicle for enhancing the
EU's political credibility." Therefore, there is a significant case for the U.S. to review the terms of the Berlin Plus Agreement.
Kosovo is a profoundly European matter. 
EU Enlargement Commissioner
EU was made profoundly aware of its military shortcomings during the
Kosovo War in 1999, where it lacked serious military hardware in terms
of strategic airlift, precision-guided munitions, and command and
control structures, among other things. It was these shortcomings that were highlighted in justifying the advance of an EU defense identity.
the EU has been determined to take a leadership role in Kosovo upon its
declaration of independence, albeit in a civilian rather than a
military capacity. On February 15, 2008, the EU "launched" the
European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX Kosovo) with the
goal of developing an independent and sustainable police force and
criminal justice system in the fragile new democracy. In a display of
support for the under-fire country, the European Union attempted to
demonstrate strength and resolve toward the question of Kosovar
independence and announced a 16-month, _205 million mission headed by
French Lieutenant General Yves de Kermabon. The EU also announced the
appointment of a "special representative," Pieter Feith, whose mandate
was to beef up the EU's political involvement in guiding and
supporting Kosovo at this delicate time.
EU argues that one of its major strengths is its ability to carry out
civilian missions and wield its enormous diplomatic power to ensure a
comprehensive approach to defense. This mission is the EU's largest
civilian mission to date, with a planned 1,900-man deployment of police
officers, judges, a customs unit, and significant command and support
Keen to increase its engagement with the Western Balkans, the EU
planned to undertake the lead from the multiple other international
agencies there, led by the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
They announced in February 2008 that after a carefully planned 120-day
build-up, the EU's two-year mission would be ready for full deployment
by mid-June 2008.
In fact, the EU had almost two years to prepare this ESDP mission. On
April 10, 2006, the EU deployed a substantial planning team for
precisely the purpose of preparing for a future civilian mission.
not a single EU police, justice, or customs officer was deployed in
the field according to schedule, and the 120-day countdown period has
recently been re-started. Even under optimistic circumstances, the
EU's deployment will not be complete until a November–December
A dedicated page on the EULEX Web site asks, "So, what has EULEX
achieved?" Sadly, despite the EU's initial show of enthusiasm and
substantial bureaucratic planning, the Web page does not have any
achievements to record.
other priorities, not least of which the ramifications of Ireland's
rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has lost its passion and zeal
for leading in Kosovo, blaming its lack of progress on an uncertain
legal position within the United Nations. However, Kosovo has been
recognized by 47 U.N.-member countries including a majority of Security
Council members, with 11 recognitions currently pending.
It has applied for membership of the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund. It has even issued its own passports in place of those
issued by UNMIK.
The hope of gaining a U.N. agreement on Kosovo was unlikely in the
first place and the EU should have been prepared to take the long
route, especially considering its substantial planning period. The EU
however, seems determined to launch missions only when a conflict
arises under perfect EU–U.N.-compatible conditions.
Serbia's President Boris Tadic has said that Serbia will accept EULEX
only if the deployment is approved by the U.N. Security Council and if
EULEX does not support the Ahtisaari plan, the U.N.'s comprehensive
proposal for Kosovo status settlement. Setting aside the fact that
Russia is practically guaranteed to once again wield its veto power in
the Security Council to deny Kosovo's independence, the EU has been a
forceful proponent of the Ahtisaari plan from the beginning. Martti
Ahtisaari, the U.N. special envoy on Kosovo's future status, also
enjoyed the support of the Organization for Security and Co-operation
in Europe (OSCE), NATO, the United States, the Western Members of the
Kosovo Contact Group, and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It is
difficult to imagine a situation where the EU could have greater
international legitimacy for its mission. EULEX's deployment should
not be contingent on the consent of Serbia, but rather in accordance
with Kosovo's constitutional obligations.
The EU has been a
weak partner in comparison to NATO in Kosovo. With a 15,000 in-country
force, and an Operational Reserve Force on standby for rapid-reaction
missions, NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR) has provided the logistical,
military, political, and moral impetus to guarantee the safety and
security of Kosovo, crucially with a mandate to use force where
absolutely necessary as it did during the ethnic riots in March 2004.
In practice, it has undertaken a range of tasks including border
security, medical assistance, and support for the establishment of
As opposed to the prevarication and lack of leadership on the part of
the European Union, KFOR has been doing the work of normalizing Kosovo.
Even when EULEX is dispatched, it is KFOR that will ensure its security.
will likely be a welcome instrument when it finally deploys to Kosovo.
However, it will deploy in an arena which NATO has already secured and
where NATO will continue to take on the bulk of responsibility. It will
deploy vastly behind schedule and with a reduced confidence in its own
legitimacy. The EU has lost a prime opportunity to demonstrate the
supposed added value of ESDP of which it continually boasts.
conducted a small rule of law mission, EUJUST THEMIS, in Georgia in
2004, the EU immediately took the helm at the outbreak of the
Georgian–Russian war in an attempt to broker peace and resolve the
crisis. France's weak efforts in the wake of Russia's invasion on
August 7, however, exemplifies what the United States can expect in a
future EU foreign and defense posture—a Franco– German-dominated
approach with a low common baseline for action.
From the outset
of the crisis, the EU—under the direction of French President Nicolas
Sarkozy— took all military options off the table, starting
negotiations with Moscow from a position of weakness. Only after more
than a week of disproportionate military action by Moscow, including
multiple incursions into sovereign Georgian territory within miles of
Tbilisi, did Russia sign the French-led ceasefire agreement agreeing to
six key points. Sarkozy ultimately negotiated the ceasefire on
Moscow's terms and provided no enforcement mechanisms in the event
that it would be broken by Russia. Moscow proceeded to brutally expose
the weakness of Sarkozy's shuttle diplomacy by flouting the ceasefire
at every turn and soon tore it up completely by unilaterally
recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
this recognition, Russia is attempting to set the redrawing of borders
by the use of force as a precedent. The EU's response was so pitiful it
left Moscow praising it as "common sense."
At its emergency summit on September 1, 2008, the EU failed to
meaningfully address even basic questions such as upgrading its
European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan for Georgia. The EU is
completely out of ideas about its future relationship with Russia and
it has not laid out any concrete steps to oppose the unilateral state
boundary changes resulting from Russia's recognition of South Ossetian
and Abkhazian independence. The weak resolutions at its emergency
summit have sent Russia the message that the worst it can expect from
the EU is a slap on the wrist and that its action will escape serious
Worse still, the EU agreed on a military deal with
Russia on the same day that it issued its statement on Russia, securing
a Russian commitment of four helicopters and 200 military personnel for
its ESDP mission in Chad.
The French-dominated mission has been desperately short of helicopters
since its inception in March 2008 and the Russian year-long donation of
four Mi-8MT transport helicopters will relieve a significant
operational shortcoming for the mission. But the timing of this deal
supports a massive conflict of interest on the part of the EU and
especially President Sarkozy, who has been the driving force behind
both the mission to Chad and the EU's response to the Russian invasion
The Georgian–Russian war has demonstrated deep
divisions among European powers about how to handle Russia, with
Central and Eastern Europe and the Nordic states on one side and
Continental Europe led by France and Germany on the other. It should
come as no surprise that "New" Europe wants to see a stronger reaction
to the reawakening of Russian aggression, but President Sarkozy and
German Chancellor Angela Merkel have claimed primacy to act as
"commanders in chief" as they do on all major foreign policy questions
where the EU is involved. If the war in Georgia is a signal of
Russia's geostrategic ambitions and a preview of what the West can
expect from Moscow in the future, it is also true that a Franco–German
axis will dominate any common EU foreign response.
French Ambition: All Talk, No Action
the French presidency of the European Union, President Sarkozy set
forth an ambitious agenda to increase Europe's defense identity and
capabilities, laying out plans for a new security strategy and how it
will undertake a full range of missions from stabilization and
reconstruction, to combat and reconnaissance. Paris is hoping to make
significant progress in developing the ESDP in time for the EU
presidency's concluding summit in December 2008 where it expects to
announce multiple initiatives, including an operationally ready
60,000-man force capable of a year's deployment at a time, a
full-fledged rapid reaction intervention capability, and European
military exchange programs, among other things.
Although significant legal hurdles should, in theory, prevent the
progression of defense integration in light of Ireland's rejection of
the Lisbon Treaty, the French intend to use their EU presidency to
press ahead regardless.
It is certainly the case that Europe as
a whole desperately needs to increase military capabilities. Yet it is
highly unlikely that the EU will see this through. As is already
perfectly demonstrable, the EU has been successful in acquiring
political and bureaucratic power, and much less so on defense spending
and military manpower.
Sarkozy's ambition for EU defense is less
concerned with increasing Europe's defense capabilities, and wholly
concerned with the accrual of power for a highly centralized European
France's insistence that the EU should have its own
permanent operational planning cell exemplifies French aspirations in
this field. Berlin Plus was negotiated specifically on the
understanding that autonomous EU operations would be directed from
national capitals or from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
(SHAPE) in Belgium. Prime Minister Blair was adamant on this point when
drawing up the St. Malo Declaration with French President Jacques
Chirac. For Blair, a permanent EU planning cell represented not just a
wasteful duplication of NATO assets, but a definite decoupling of the
two organizations. Of course, it is highly likely that Chirac intended
these very consequences, but he gave way to Blair initially, knowing
that the centralization of power within the European Union occurs only
in a one-way direction.
Chirac was correct that the St. Malo
agreement was only the beginning of the EU's wholesale centralization
of defense policy. The EU's Brussels-based operations center (OpCen)
was declared open on January 1, 2007, and put to the test in a
fictional exercise in June that year. It is a separate, non-permanent
EU operational headquarters that is intended for civilian or
civilian-military operations, and only under limited circumstances.
These limitations were put in place after British objections failed to
eliminate the idea completely, but will certainly be removed as the EU
military identity takes shape. The French White Paper on Defense and
National Security states explicitly: "Reinforce considerably European
planning and command capability.The EU must have an independent
European standing strategic planning capability. The growing number of
EU interventions abroad also requires more military operational
planning and command capability."
is just the thin end of the wedge that opens the back door to a fully
operational permanent EU military headquarters. When the proposal was
initially floated in Brussels, U.S. Ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns
described it as, "the greatest threat to the future of the Alliance."
However, the idea gained real momentum in 2003 in the midst of Europe's
deep divisions over the Iraq war. France, Germany, Belgium, and other
nations were incensed by the U.S. action in Iraq and took the
opportunity to put the idea of an independent EU headquarters firmly on
the table in response to this divisive foreign policy question.
originally threatened to veto any such proposal, but as with the
advancement of all European security and defense elements, they ensued
incrementally and stealthily. Equally, Britain has lacked any real
leadership capacity within Brussels since Margaret Thatcher's departure
from office. The United States and the U.K. have now been hoodwinked
into supporting a policy they initially objected to, and into agreeing
to a proposal that will rip the heart out of NATO. There is absolutely
no evidence that OpCen will add military value or defense capabilities
to Europe's overall defense needs.
France's intention to rejoin
NATO's integrated military command in exchange for American backing of
an independent EU defense identity is a political masterstroke on
Sarkozy's part, but represents nothing less than the death knell for
the NATO Alliance. Paris is joining NATO's integrated military command
structure while at the same time building a duplicate one in Europe
which will decouple the alliance and ultimately destroy NATO. When U.S.
Ambassador to NATO Victoria Nuland announced in February 2008 that the
Administration would support a strong EU military identity, she
reversed years of carefully crafted American policy. Washington has
been blinded by the recent détente in Franco–American relations
spearheaded by the enigmatic Sarkozy.
French-led plans for an
autonomous and independent military wing within the EU will also
damage the U.S. ability to operate effectively within the NATO
alliance. An enhanced EU defense identity will create an internal
conclave in NATO whereby European nations will caucus with one another
in advance of NATO meetings. It already happens to a limited extent, as
was demonstrated when Germany colluded with France to exclude Georgia
and Ukraine from receiving a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the NATO
Summit in Bucharest in April 2008. The United States will continue to
find itself in a profoundly weakened position to negotiate with
individual NATO allies in advance of summits and will find itself on
the sidelines of transatlantic security debates.
pacifist ideology of the European Union is bound to infect NATO, and EU
policy will reign supreme. It is hugely ironic that a separate EU
defense identity will probably be more about the demilitarization of
Europe than re-equipping it to confront global security threats. As the
entire European project has demonstrated thus far, the political
horse-trading associated with EU politics demands concessions that
effectively castrate it from taking effective action. When considering
foreign policy, Franco–German interests are the priority, and
decisions are made only when Berlin and Paris are sure their national
interests are upheld. By Germany and France using the EU as a cosmetic
cover for their foreign policy interests and corralling other EU
members in advance of NATO meetings, the United States loses valuable
traction with traditional allies. Since all NATO decisions are made on
a consensus basis, the EU will turn one of NATO's greatest strengths
into a significant weakness by agreeing on its positions in advance
and leaving little room for the U.S. to maneuver or even form ad hoc
coalitions of willing European partners.
Europe's Defense Crisis: Centralizing Power, Failing on Manpower
Union must have the capacity for autonomous action, backed up by
credible military forces, the means to decide to use them and a
readiness to do so, in order to respond to international crises. 
—Franco–British Summit Joint
Declaration on European Defense
then-Prime Minister Tony Blair signed the St. Malo Declaration, he was
adamant that an EU defense identity should represent added value for
transatlantic security. When Blair oversaw the EU's 1999 Headline
Goal—aiming to have up to 60,000 troops available for up to one year's
deployment for crisis management—he wanted to enable a serious
crisis-management capability that could genuinely collaborate with NATO
rather than create a standing European army. The United States was
clearly excited at the prospect of the EU accepting more responsibility
for Europe's security, and the two organizations dovetailed their
defense planning strategies to identify key areas where gaps needed to
be plugged. NATO's Prague Capabilities Commitment (PCC) and the EU's
Capability Action Plan (ECAP) identified multiple areas for
cooperation, including strategic air and sea lift, air-to-air
refueling, and nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons defenses.
very little has come of Europe's big talk, and rather than adding
value, the EU is now simply offering a distraction from members' NATO
obligations. In fact, more conflict has arisen than complementarity.
For example, when the African Union (AU) requested airlifts for Darfur
from the EU, the U.S., and Canada in June 2005, the EU refused to
coordinate with NATO, insisting on European "branding" for the
operation. In the end, two separate airlifts were established, which
the AU was then required to coordinate, since France insisted that the
EU assert itself as the primary player in African security affairs.
creation of EU Battle Groups (BGs) epitomizes the EU's quest for power
at the expense of NATO. The BGs are either national or multinational
battalion-sized units of 1,500 men, capable of deployment to remote and
hostile areas within 10 days. These numbers are meant to be in
addition to Sarkozy's plan for an EU army of 60,000. BGs reached full
operational capacity in January 2007 and now stand on roster for
deployment. However, they are not a permanent reserve force on standby
because the majority of contributing nations are either unwilling or
unable to invest in resources and manpower to create additional
capacity. Therefore, the EU will inevitably have to draw down the same
reserves that are on standby for call-up under NATO.
BGs are also a duplication of the NATO Response Force (NRF). The NRF
was proposed by then-U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in 2002
as an innovative and useful mechanism whereby 20,000 to 25,000 highly
capable, highly trained troops could be deployed to any theater of
action in the world to undertake a range of missions for up to 30 days.
Crucially, the majority of these troops would come from Europe, rather
than the United States. The NRF represents a key transformational
aspect of the NATO alliance and has already been deployed successfully,
including its quick response to the humanitarian crisis precipitated
by the devastating Pakistani earthquake in late 2005, and during
Afghanistan's presidential election in October 2004. But the NRF will
invariably be left short of its requisite forces if the EU calls on its
BGs at the same time. National governments are of course careful to
avoid such a conflict, but there is only so much that can be done when
resources are in such short supply. Without new defense euros and new
European soldiers, the EU's battle groups should be seen as nothing
less than a direct duplication of the NATO mechanism—and a challenge
to NATO's transformational initiative.
It will invariably become
more difficult for NATO's military planners to know which assets are
genuinely available to them, especially when the EU realizes its dream
of a permanent planning and operations headquarters outside of SHAPE.
Sarkozy is well aware that all but 10,000 of Europe's NATO troops are
already committed, making a mockery of his flagship proposal for a
60,000-man deployable EU force.
However, he is not concerned with counting soldiers twice from the same
national force pools because he foresees EU preeminence in the arena of
In a seminal report, European Military Capabilities,
the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) found that
just 2.7 percent of Britain and Europe's 2 million military personnel
are capable of overseas deployment.
This contrasts sharply with NATO's goal that 40 percent of its land
forces be deployable, which in itself was a modest and under-reaching
goal in the first place. The IISS report highlighted a number of
critical shortcomings of Europe's military capabilities—a lack of niche
skills, lengthy and costly procurement procedures, and a lack of
defense research and development.
Clearly, members are failing to invest sufficiently in either NATO or
EU capabilities, making a stronger case for a sharper focus in only one
arena. Considering that the EU's civilian instruments are not
available to NATO under any type of reverse Berlin Plus agreement, it
is difficult to see any value to NATO from the ESDP at all.
NATO benchmark that has not been reached is defense spending. Just four
of the 21 EU-NATO members spend the NATO benchmark of 2 percent of
gross domestic product (GDP) on defense (Bulgaria, France, Greece, and
the U.K.). Average EU defense spending has significantly decreased over
the past 10 years, indicating that valuable resources will merely be
diverted from NATO to the ESDP.
One area in which the EU has
excelled is in the creation of permanent political and bureaucratic
structures. With a Political and Security Committee (PSC), a Military
Committee, and a Military Staff, the EU has created a complex web of
working groups, consultation forums, and permanent arrangements to
encroach on NATO's space. By its very nature, the EU is a technical
bureaucracy and, therefore, has a ceaseless will for institution
building. It does not, however, have the political will for serious
action or the means with which to carry out such endeavors.
Failing on Political Leadership
area where the EU and NATO have traditionally worked well together is
on the question of enlargement. Generally, EU enlargement has mimicked
NATO enlargement, reflecting a sense of shared political commitment to
aspirant countries. However, this EU policy appears to be shifting away
from its historical behavior.
Croatia and Albania signed NATO
accession accords in June 2008, and provided that their membership is
ratified by their parliaments and the 26 existing members, the two
countries will accede to full membership. The United States sent a
positive signal to the rest of the NATO alliance when the Senate became
the first to ratify NATO membership for Croatia and Albania. The United
States has demonstrated leadership to the rest of the NATO alliance
by stating that it considers NATO still open for business and a vital
part of the transatlantic security architecture.
contrast, Merkel and Sarkozy are now threatening to block any further
EU enlargement if the Lisbon Treaty is not ratified (despite the
Treaty's rejection by Ireland's voters), seriously jeopardizing
Croatia's timely accession to the EU. This unfair and purely political
move by France and Germany has been roundly criticized, most recently
by the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, who states that it is
possible to conclude technical membership negotiations with Croatia
before the end of 2009.
A serious and unfair delay to Croatia's accession to the EU would place
Albania and Macedonia on a permanent back burner and send a message of
instability to the region.
In addition, at NATO's Bucharest
Summit, Chancellor Merkel led a Franco–German coalition to defer
Georgia's accession to MAP until December 2008 in a failed attempt to
avoid "provoking" Russia. This act reversed the previous German
position supporting an open-door policy for NATO and stood in direct
contrast to President Bush's visible support for Kiev and Tbilisi at
EU should reappraise its approach with regard to EU membership for
Croatia and Europe should consider acceleration of Georgia and Ukraine
into NATO's MAP. This will continue one of the transatlantic
community's most positive post– Cold War policies and send a message
thatmembership in NATO and the EU is a possibility for those who
actively seek it.
A New Relationship for NATO and the EU
boasts that there is a 'strategic partnership' between NATO and the EU.
There is no such thing, only an incipient strategic competition
between America and Europe.
Advisor to Lady Thatcher, May 2006
is no better time to look at NATO–EU relations than now, as NATO
approaches its 60th-anniversary summit in 2009. The Strasbourg-Kehl
Summit will produce a Declaration on Allied Security outlining NATO's
purpose and potentially paving the way for a new Strategic Concept for
the Alliance. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has
described the Declaration as "a major deliverable" of the summit.
is certainly the case that Europe and America have mutual security
interests. Under the ESDP, however, the EU is duplicating NATO's role
while simultaneously decoupling the alliances. This does not
add to global security. Therefore, if the summit intends to clarify
NATO–EU relations, it should not be in the vein of accelerating an EU
military identity, but rather explicitly stating two non-negotiable
- NATO's primacy in the transatlantic security alliance is supreme; and
EU's relationship to NATO is as a civilian complement, and the EU is
defined as a civilian actor in the transatlantic security alliance.
has many partnership arrangements; in fact, that is one of its
strengths. Its Partnership for Peace and Mediterranean Dialogue
programs have resulted in several fruitful and collaborative
relationships. The rush to elevate its relationship with the EU above
all others is a mistake. Since the vast majority of EU members are
already NATO members and there are no additional EU-only forces, the
concept of holding joint exercises or combining rapid reaction forces
is unnecessary. In fact, the overlapping membership negates the
military value of the EU's involvement in this area. At a time when
NATO needs to be concentrating on learning in-theater lessons from
Afghanistan, developing a new strategic concept, and addressing
transformational issues, its relationship with the EU is an
Therefore, a new category must be
formulated to define the EU's relationship status with NATO. Since
conflict resolution requires a comprehensive approach, the EU offers
the possibility of being primarily a deployable, civilian complement
to the NATO alliance. The momentum for NATO and the EU to work together
in the military field is fraught with problems and driven by a desire
to secure an EU powerbase. The EU has an army of bureaucrats, police
trainers, aid workers, and jurists to complement a more cohesive
approach to reconstruction and development. As Afghanistan has
demonstrated, it is often necessary for these professionals to work
alongside the military. Civilian missions are tasks that the EU
naturally favors, and which the EU has some capacity to perform.
Following the Feira Summit in 2000 when the EU outlined its goals for
EU-level civilian crisis-management, it quickly exceeded expectations
with 5,700 police officers, 630 legal experts, 560 civilian
administration experts, and 5,000 civil protection experts currently
available to the EU.
In that respect, NATO's consultative
mechanisms can be simplified, with little need for the complex web of
security clearances and political committees. The EU has long resisted
the concept that each institution should work where its strengths lie,
and instead has focused on developing duplicate roles. It has since
been proved that its limited contribution to global security can
perhaps be provided in the civilian sphere, if it is willing to
concentrate its efforts in this arena. Ideally, a simpler, modified
European Security Strategy should be adopted.
however, the EU will continue to institutionally and programmatically
arm itself for an independent defense identity, and it must be
prepared to undertake the political and financial investment necessary
to make it happen. If the EU wants to act in areas of the world where
NATO does not, then there is no reason why NATO should be expected to
provide its resources for these missions. If the EU genuinely believes
that global security is enhanced by engaging in military missions in
which NATO is not acting, then it should pay for them exclusively from
European budgets, and use European assets and manpower. In determining
a new NATO–EU relationship, it must be required that those assets and
resources must be provided in addition to members'
contributions to NATO, not at their expense. First and foremost, any
investment in the ESDP must not obfuscate members' commitments to NATO.
What Needs to Happen
- NATO must be the cornerstone of the transatlantic
alliance and the primary actor in European security. This must be
stated explicitly in the on-going negotiations for a revised strategic
concept for NATO, and at the 2009 NATO Summit. In defining its
role in the transatlantic security architecture, the EU must be
encouraged to develop its civilian role, working with NATO's Allied
Command Transformation to coordinate what role it can play in
- The U.S. should reserve NATO resources exclusively for NATO missions.
All European military missions should be funded exclusively by EU
member states. U.S. taxpayers should not subsidize European military
adventures. The terms of Berlin Plus should be revised to reflect this,
as NATO–EU cooperation is defined in terms of the EU's civilian
complementarity to NATO. The assets and capabilities of a newly
reformed civilian European Security and Defense Policy should be at
NATO's disposal under the terms of a revised Berlin Plus agreement.
- The ESDP should represent additional
resources for European security. It must not be an alternate option
for EU–NATO members to withdraw from their NATO obligations. The
creation of an ESDP as a civilian component in the global security
architecture should provide added value, rather than allow EU–NATO
members to opt out of NATO missions or open the door to a two-tiered
- NATO members should commit to the NATO benchmark of spending 2 percent of their GDP on their national defense. Where necessary, members must approve long-term and supplemental budgets to fund ongoing and future commitments.
United States must urge the French president to make an unequivocal
statement on NATO's primacy at NATO's Strasbourg Summit in 2009.
France should be readmitted into NATO's integrated military command
structures only if Paris is willing to uphold the primacy of NATO in
European defense cooperation, and the alliance can be confident that
Paris will be a cooperative rather than a confrontational partner.
United States should encourage NATO alliance members to expedite
ratification of Croatia's and Albania's NATO membership, and restate
its support for accelerated MAPs for Georgia and Ukraine. The United States should work closely with its allies in Europe and continue NATO's open-door policy.
purpose continues to remain essentially the same: "to safeguard the
freedom and security of its member countries by political and military
means." The ESDP has played little or no role in fulfilling this goal
and nothing has occurred since the signing of the St. Malo Declaration
that has significantly improved Europe's military posture. Advocates
of ESDP continue to assume the benefits of further European
integration, while ignoring its inherent weaknesses and poor track
record. The accrual of power is the main motivating force driving the
European Security and Defense Policy, accompanied by the assumption
that NATO is no longer the cornerstone of the transatlantic security
As a military alliance, NATO has the right to expect
its members to undertake the responsibilities of membership as well as
enjoy the benefits. But America's desire to see Europe play a larger
role in world affairs has led to a misplacement of trust that this can
take place under the leadership of the European Union. European members
of the NATO alliance, operating as sovereign and independent nations,
will be better placed to serve transatlantic security interests within
the Alliance, than as members of a supra-nationalized and
Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia,
and Slovenia were among the enlargement countries that acceded to the
EU on May 1, 2004. Bulgaria and Romania acceded on January 1, 2007.
NATO and the EU share the following members: Belgium, Bulgaria, the
Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary,
Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the U.K.
 Archick and Gallis, "NATO and the European Union."
Security Council Resolution 1244 of June 10, 1999, was passed under
Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, which permits the use
of both military and non-military action.
 "EU Showed 'Common Sense' on Georgia Crisis: Putin," Agence France-Presse, September 2, 2008.
 "White House Welcomes Senate NATO Votes for Albania, Croatia," Agence France-Presse, September 26, 2008, at http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jJv0sY3GywaT6c6VEYTbf7tl9IHA (September 30, 2008).