The Making of European common security and defence policy (CSDP) : the capability gap and its implications on NATO

Arı, Mehmet Mükerrem
During the Cold War period, NATO has been the primary organization that links the US and Europe on defence and security matters. European and Transatlantic forces have been very content with stable and extraordinarily predictable security environment. Nevertheless, after the demise of common perceived threat and with the emerging unpredictable threats and upheavals the security environment has become unpredictable. Moreover, the crises in Bosnia and Kosovo have provided dramatic confirmation of European weaknesses with regards to adequate military capabilities in the new security environment. The conflicts in Europe’s own backyard sharply manifested that without making an effort to improve its military capabilities, Europe’s influence and responsibility for ensuring its own security and stability would remain to be very restricted. These concerns led respectively to the emergence of the European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI), the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) and recently after the Lisbon Treaty the CSDP, parallel to transformation of NATO’s military capabilities. Although Europe’s military capabilities gap, the EU has embarked upon CSDP project. Therefore it is really interesting to see “How is the evolving process of the CSDP affecting itself and NATO in terms of transatlantic air forces’ capability gap?” The thesis argues that the EU has indulged in a path where turning back or turnover is really difficulty and inconvenient. The current CSDP structures seems to be locking-in the EU member states in the process of security and defence integration by continuous collaboration and cooperation. Given the established structures and completed/ongoing missions of CSDP, the CSDP project will continue to evolve although its current shortfalls and its capability gap. Nevertheless, the capability gap will affect to a great extent the operational capability (scope&range) of the EU member states. Moreover, the capability gap will affect the operational capability and harmony of the NATO as well. But the latter effect would not be as much as the first one as long as the US remains and stays in the organization of NATO, since it takes much of the burden.


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Citation Formats
M. M. Arı, “The Making of European common security and defence policy (CSDP) : the capability gap and its implications on NATO,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.