To fulfil its true potential, the EU needs to end its strategic cacophony and focus on capability building
© European Union 2014 - European Parliament
Immanuel Giel via Wikicommons
Europeans remain unwilling to renew their thinking on nuclear deterrence, despite growing strategic instability. Their stated goal of “strategic autonomy” will remain an empty phrase until they engage seriously on this matter.
This intellectual under-investment looks set to continue despite: a revived debate “German bomb” debate; a new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; and the collapse of the INF treaty.
Attitudes to nuclear deterrence differ radically from country to country – something which any new engagement on the nuclear dimension will have to contend with. And, while many governments and their voting publics are aligned in attitudes, in some crucial players like Germany the government and public are at loggerheads.
No European initiative to declare strategic nuclear autonomy is yet practicable but a strategy to hedge for future uncertainties is available.
As a first step, the UK and France should convert the idea of a European deterrent from mere notion into credible offer, by thickening their bilateral nuclear cooperation and sending growing signals that indicate their readiness to protect others.
LA(phot) Mez Merrill/MOD
Great power competition is increasingly shaping Europeans’ security environment, while other security threats are also on the rise, from terrorism and cyber attacks to climate change.
A critical mass of countries agree on the need for more flexible cooperation, but what could it look like?
Pixabay / PIRO4D
European leaders are underestimating the danger that Trump presents to the transatlantic alliance and assuming too much continuity in the event of a Clinton presidency.
In the midst of a Schengen crisis, how do Europe's member states see the future of Europe's visa-free travel area?