Today, European countries face the challenge or transforming their defence. In particular, the military, political, budgetary and societal implications have a declining importance looking at the defence of national territory imperative. A key assumption underlying this publication is that there are a number of themes in this area that are common across the NATO and Partnership for Peace (PfP) regions, that transcend the traditional divisions between western and post-communist Europe. This book consists of eight parts, each focused around a particular area of military role evolution and illustrated by the experiences of a specific country example. These include the changing nature of the defence of national territory role; expeditionary warfare; peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention; defence diplomacy; domestic military assistance; and internal security. The authors come from a range of different groups involved in defence transformation processes, including academic experts, analysts from think tanks, journalists, policy makers and serving military officers.
The chapters in this book were first presented at a NATO Advanced Research Workshop on The Challenge of Transformation in Europe, held at Brdo in Slovenia between 27–30 May 2004. The Workshop was jointly organised by the Governance Research Centre of the University of Bristol and the Defence Research Centre of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, and financed by the NATO Science Programme (Grant No. SST.ARW.979967). The aim of the workshop was to provide a forum for expert discussion of the defence transformation challenges facing European countries today: in particular, the military, political, budgetary and societal implications of the changing nature of the defence of national territory imperative. Workshop participants were drawn from a range of different groups involved in defence transformation processes, including academic experts, analysts from think tanks, journalists, policy makers and serving military officers.
A key assumption underlying the workshop was that there are a number of themes in this area that transcend the traditional divisions between western and postcommunist Europe. The workshop was themed around eight different sessions, each focused around a particular area of military role evolution and illustrated by the experiences of a specific country exemplar. These included: the changing nature of the defence of national territory role; expeditionary warfare; peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention; defence diplomacy; domestic military assistance; and internal security. The chapters in this volume present a cross section of country case studies in each of these areas, including the experiences of the United States, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Turkey. The contributions by Marjan Malešič, Timothy Edmunds and Anne Aldis, build on these case studies – as well as the workshop discussion – to provide a wider overview of defence transformation in Europe today.
Changes in international security and political environment of contemporary states as well as internal changes in their societies have brought about a number of changes within European armed forces. Of these, perhaps the most important is their changed functionality. Unlike during the Cold War when the defence of national territory was the main role and mission of the armed forces, today armed forces are preoccupied with other missions like coping with asymmetric threats and terrorism, peace support operations and humanitarian assistance, defence diplomacy, domestic military assistance and internal security. This is not to say that the defence of national territory mission has became obsolete or irrelevant, nor that other missions were not there in the past: it is more a matter of prioritisation of different missions and the intensity of performing them.
The evolution of military roles in Europe since the end of the Cold War poses a series of important challenges for armed forces. For a number of states, the declining saliency of the external defence role has been replaced by an emerging focus on new – or at least newly re-emphasised roles and missions. These include power projection for both war fighting and peacekeeping purposes as well as internal security tasks in response to new security challenges and the continued importance of nation building and domestic military assistance role. However, the organisational and financial demands of these roles are high and often conflictual. Most European countries simply cannot 'do everything' with their armed forces therefore. They need to make hard choices about what they are actually for and structure their military reform programmes on this basis.
The armed forces of advanced Western democracies at the onset of the 21st century are entering a new organisational format we can term postmodern. The contemporary period is characterised by a decline of wars between states and the rise of a terrorism cutting across national borders as well as more wars within states. Western militaries are also much likely to engage in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations than in times past. The correlates of the postmodern military are manifold. The more obvious include the decline of conscription, a growing percentage of female solders, and an acceptance of open homosexuals. Especially noteworthy is the employment of civilian contractors to perform military roles formerly carried out by uniformed service members. A long-standing continuity in armed forces and society must also be noted. Societal acceptance of military casualties is directly related to its leadership being viewed as self-sacrificing. This is a timeless truth.
The article traces back the historical, political and strategic contexts that led to the creation of the German Bundeswehr and their integration into NATO in the mid-1950s. An analysis of official documents and statements by the Federal Ministry of Defence serves to illustrate the changes and continuities in the functions and strategic imperatives that have been ascribed to the Bundeswehr over the last decades. These objectives, however, stood often in contrast to the beliefs and threat perceptions of other parts of society, such as the peace movement, in particular at the beginning of the 1980s and after the end of the East-West conflict. Yet, as current political events demonstrate, these often ideologically heated debates have largely been superseded by more pragmatic, and still ongoing, discussions on the future role of German armed forces in times of a deeply changing international security landscape and the most far reaching reforms and restructuring efforts of the military in the history of the German Bundeswehr.
Peace operations have been the single most important driver of defence transformation in Denmark since the end of the Cold War. While this may also be true for other European countries, Denmark nevertheless stands out in a number of respects. The transformation from invasion defence towards an expeditionary force structure began as early as 1992, the process has been underpinned by a remarkably strong domestic consensus, and the officer corps has not resisted the move away from invasion defence. The distinct features of the Danish case can be explained by the fact that Danish decision makers buried the threat from the East very quickly, that Foreign Minister Uffe Ellemann-Jensen and Defence Minister Hans Hækkerup succeeded in pushing the armed forces to the forefront of Danish foreign and security policy at an early stage, and that the policy paid off. This locked Danish defence transformation on a course of internationalisa-tion that it shows no signs of departing from.
The chapter argues that Hungary has contributes to peace operations in a number of different capacities: it has provided host country support, helped the transit of forces through its territory and contributed troops. However, as peace operations move further away from the country's borders Hungary faces a series of challenges in this area. This has led the government to limit the number of Hungarian troops engaged in peace operations, with a number of potentially negative implications for the armed forces as a whole.
The aim of this article is to present and analyse the experience accumulated by Bulgaria in performing activities within the defence diplomacy concept framework. The focus is on the process of establishing a systematic vision and approach towards practicing different 'defence diplomacy' activities during the last decade of both crisis management on the Balkans and preparation of Bulgaria for NATO membership. Despite the lack of a coherent concept, there are significant achievements in the list of the Bulgarian defence diplomacy practice, like the South-Eastern Europe Defence Ministerial Process, the establishment of the SEEBRIG, the Common Assessment Paper, the consolidation of a regional consensus on breaking the wars on the territory of the Former Yugoslavia, etc. Membership of NATO opens new opportunities for a more active and resultant performance especially in such areas as the Western Balkans, Black Sea area, and the Caucasus. The country's capacity to help with the creation of new national defence capabilities in Iraq and Afghanistan should also be taken into account.
The Domestic Military Assistance Task is a matter of complex relations among Slovenian public opinion, Slovenian Army, defence actors in rescue and protection, and official state policy. The participation of Slovenian military in rescue and protection operations at home is one of its most important sources of social legitimacy and public support for this task is longstanding. Operational problems regarding the more effective use of the military in such operations are caused by the exclusivist approach to such missions during the early years of the modern Slovenian Army, and by competition with other actors that participate in rescue and protection units and operations on more professional basis.
Turkey's troubled neighbourhood, incorporating the Middle East, the former Soviet south, the Balkans, and a fraught relationship with Greece, meant that Turkey's security perspectives remained relatively unaltered as a consequence of the end of the Cold War. This was accentuated both by the domestic political role traditionally played by the Turkish General Staff, and the intensification of the Kurdish problem. In fact, Turkey embarked on an expensive programme to modernise its large, infantry-heavy armed forces. However, the requirements of EU accession, economic problems, and the election of the Justice and Development Party, have served both to reduce spending on defence and prompt a reform of Turkey's civil-military relationships. Yet continued internal and external security threats, and domestic political uncertainties, could undermine the defence transformation process in Turkey.
Despite the plethora of recent reforms in the security sector, military forces may not be best suited or well equipped for today's defence tasks. Force structure and capability building should proceed on the basis of rigorous prioritisation. Special pleading on budgets and technology and ineffective or inappropriate use of both mass and specialist military forces undermine morale and public support. Defence specialists must learn to operate effectively in the real, public, world.
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