New study doubts EU rapid reaction force

A new study by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, dealing with the post-September-11 threat, expresses doubt that the EU will be capable of setting up its rapid reaction force by 2003. The study deals with the new strategic era after the terrorist attacks in the US, when international terrorism is a newly defined enemy, capable of effectively controlling states from which it can operate.

The IISS study, “The Military Balance 2001–2002”,
questions the EU Member States’ capability to finance the RRF as
the overall trend of European defence spending is downward and
there are capability gaps, particularly in the areas of sealift and
airlift.

The study emphasises that “the adaptability of
Europe’s Security and Defence Policy to the post-11 September
dispensation will become an increasingly important issue”.

 

European leaders agreed on a common defence strategy at the
Cologne Summit on 3 June 1999. The 15 Member States of the EU
formally decided to create a rapid reaction force (RRF) of 60,000
men at the Nice European Council in December 2000. Some progress
has been made in creating a military structure within the Council
of Ministers in 2001. The RRF should be operational from 2003 on.

 

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