chapter  3
18 Pages

Military capability development in CSDP

The adoption of a CSDP strategy would determine the types and quantities of milit ary (and indeed civilian) cap abil ities required. Procuring these cap abil­ ities ought not to be prob lematic, for in abso lute terms and when taken as a block, the EU is the world’s second largest milit ary actor, preceded only by the US. In 2009, the 26 EU Member States that parti cip ate in the Euro pean Defence Agency (EDA) col lect ively spent €194 billion on defence, having some 1.67 million men and women in uniform (EDA 2010). However, of that impressive overall number, only a small share is em ploy able for expeditionary opera tions – clearly, not every one in uniform is a soldier. Estimates vary, but most ob ser vers and practitioners agree that no more than a meagre 10 per cent of Euro pean armed forces or some 170,000 troops are deployable; according to some, the number is even lower (Horvath 2011: 57). Because of the need for rotation, the EU can sustain about one third of those in the field. In other words, the current rate of deployment of 60,000 to 70,000 troops (as mentioned in Chapter 2), which more or less equals the level of ambition of the Headline Goal, is about the max imum effort which in the current state of its cap abil ities and under normal circumstances the EU can sustain. Clearly, the transformation of Europe’s armed forces must be con­ tinued and stepped up in order to enhance deployability and sustain­ ability; not only because, as argued in the previous chapter, a CSDP strategy based on the safeguarding of the Union’s vital inter ests demands a maximal in ter pretation of the Headline Goal, i.e. the EU ought to be capable of deploying an army corps over and above ongoing opera tions, but also because this very low cost­ effectiveness of Euro pean defence budgets can in no way be justified to Euro pean taxpayers. Which mech an­ isms for capability de velopment have been introduced to overcome this prob lematic situ ation and are they sufficient to achieve the required trans­ formation within a reason able time frame?