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What Are The Defence Challenges Facing The EU And NATO?

The Lieutenant General spoke about Brexit’s impact on defence, why an EU force could be beneficial and challenges facing the EU and NATO.

The UK "will be always one of the prime partners" in Europe, according to Germany’s Director-General for Strategic Defence Planning.

Lieutenant General Christian Badia has been visiting London to discuss how to further strengthen the European pillar of NATO in terms of military capability development.

While in the UK, he spoke to Forces News about Brexit’s impact on defence, why an EU force could be beneficial and challenges facing the EU and NATO.

 

Brexit

Lt Gen Badia says Brexit will not change UK's defence relationship with the rest of Europe: "The UK was, the UK is and the UK will be always one of the prime partners for us in Europe and I think from a military point of view, even though Brexit is coming, I assume, I think it will not have a big impact on the relations we have."

 

NATO And The EU

The Lieutenant General discussed how European countries could be doing more to contribute towards NATO: "It is not only about cash, it is not only about the 2% of GDP, its the contributions to NATO and it's the capabilities you bring to NATO.

"You can spend a lot of money but if you don't contribute, if you don't bring capabilities NATO as a whole will not succeed and will not be brought forward."

In regards to developing capabilities to protect against cyber attacks he said: "They need to do more, they can do more and they will do more."

Trident Juncture

An EU Force?

Unlike the UK, Germany is pro having an EU military force.

Lit Gen Badia believes it is necessary: "As long as we are careful not duplicating capabilities, not decoupling from each other, this is really complimentary and this is where the capabilities needed are brought forward.

So I really don't see any problem in bringing those initiatives forward for one common goal."

It could be thought that an EU force would have an impact on NATO, however the Lt Gen Badia believes that as long as everyone sticks to their contribution to NATO it wouldn't have any impact at all. 

An EU force would be an added value: "Is it always wise to rely on NATO overall if you have a European conflict you have to solve or is it wise to have your own capabilities within the frame work of NATO?"

But, there is a potential fear the forming an EU force could lead to the US turning their back on Europe. 

This is not something Lt Gen Badia believes would happen. If everybody sticks to their contributions and EU Force is would not cause NATO to "break apart".

 

The Future Of European Capabilities

Lieutenant General Christian Badia believes the key to future of European capabilities is for NATO and EU nations to "always be inter-operable, be standardised, be harmonised".

"At the end of the day you need common training to come to common operations and when it comes to the point you have to deploy the forces are really ready," he continued.