What European strategic autonomy requires: smarter talk, more action

When it comes to the latest flare-up of the debate over “strategic autonomy,” Europeans agree on one thing: They are tired of it.

Actually, this is unfair. Europeans agree on two things.

First, beyond acrimonious battles over terminology, most commentators broadly agree on the need for Europeans to be in a better position to defend their own security interests—if possible with partners, especially the United States, but alone if necessary.

Second, they also agree that it’s time to act. Indeed, the debate is starting to feel like Groundhog Day.

Whether we use the term “strategic autonomy” or “the European agenda of doing” to describe them, European efforts start with increasing defense budgets, something FranceSweden, and the United Kingdom have done recently. Key European military-capability gaps—such as airlift, air refueling, and ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance)—are well-known and clearly identified. Improving readiness, investing in defensive and offensive cyber capabilities, and countering hybrid threats are obviously important. Much has been written about what needs to be done, in both the European Union ( EU) and in NATO.

Since Europeans agree to a large extent on the first steps, they must act on those. This movement, in fact, has already started.

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Πηγή: atlanticcouncil.org

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