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The EU's Military and Civilian Crisis Management Instruments after 11 September

01 October 2001

<i>More Headline Goal</i>
The EU, directly after the attacks on the US on 11 September, stated its solidarity with and willingness to support the US. Consequently, the question that arises is: what concrete changes will take place/are needed in EU security-related policies and instruments in order to realise such support. As intelligence-sharing was highlighted as the first area for increased cooperation in the EU, within the Headline Goal (HG) process more emphasis will now be put on ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance). A first consequence in terms of capabilities would thus be a speeding up of the process to achieve the intelligence part of the HG. However, an acceleration of the process of making the EU operational and expanding the HG will actually be more important. The possibility of a further US withdrawal from the Balkans following shifts in US foreign policy foci, necessitates bringing forward the deadline by which the EU must be operational. An increased EU role in the Middle East is already becoming apparent but it is doubtful whether any EU action in that region will be possible (yet?). However, it cannot be that EU military bodies ignore the regions evermore eastwards. It may actually be conceivable that EU action/aid might be requested from the US for instance. In the light on conflict-prevention it is not impossible that the European Council will approve a certain EU involvement in say, Afghanistan. Obviously the HG, as it stands today, will not suffice - not for action in such remote areas and even less for say, the Balkans and the Middle East and Afghanistan. What is more, even if we stick to the goal of 50-60,000 troops under the HG, more protection will be needed for these troops when deployed. A whole &quot;new&quot; gamut of threats have arisen and, for instance, more measures need to be taken to protect contingents on mission against possible attacks with chemical or biological weapons. Thus:
Europe needs to accomplish the HG as originally set out but sooner than expected in order to respond to crises in which the US might no longer have an interest.
Expanding the HG is needed, as action beyond the EU's &quot;backyard&quot; becomes more and more likely. <br />Better protection of EU troops is needed.
At the same time Europe aims to increase &quot;European Home&quot; security and take counter-terrorist measures and give Europol a greater role and the necessary means.
More civil and para-military police are also sought under the &quot;Feira Police Goal&quot;, although, as is the case for the HG, officially for crisis management tasks rather than territorial defence.
As civil and para-military police are &quot;meant&quot; for post-conflict state-building, this also includes dealing with organised crime and the like. But will it need to refrain from counter-terrorist activities as it is &quot;only&quot; a crisis management instrument? How can one make a distinction between possible counter-terrorist activities falling under state-building, and thus part of crisis management, and &quot;other&quot; terrorist activities? Cooperation between Pillar II police and Pillar III police is needed. Coming back to Pillar II involvement in counter-terrorism, retaliating after the 11 September attacks is seen as territorial defence, which the EU neutral states do not want to adopt within the EU/ESDP/Petersberg tasks.
However, can a state really be neutral in the face of terrorism? Suppose a non-NATO EU country suffers the next terrorist attack; is it conceivable for the other EU members not to rush to its aid because the WEU's Article V has not been transferred to ESDP? Could some EU states really proclaim themselves neutral in such a case?&nbsp; EU-NATO CooperationThe major obstacle in EU-NATO cooperation is the Turkish objection to EU use of NATO assets, unless Turkey is given a proper role within ESDP. However, post-11 September, Turkey's position has also changed for several reasons. If US interests do indeed shift away from the Balkans, Europe will need to fill the vacuum, and it is very likely that in order for the Europeans to be successful, the US will pressure Turkey to lift its veto. The US needs the EU to act in the Balkans and this is one of the reasons why Turkey's leverage and strategic importance have completely changed as well since 11 September. A second reason is that, with US deployments further eastwards, Turkey is no longer the only strategic gateway to the East. Many countries in the Middle East and Central Asia are willing to cooperate and have offered use of their facilities. Turkey's strategic relevance has therefore diminished in relative terms. Thirdly, the EU's assault on financing structures that underpin terrorism could undermine Cyprus' bid for EU membership, unless Cyprus drastically changes its banking policies. Besides the need for more cooperation regarding intelligence, it is, at first glance, actually difficult to see increased collaboration between the EU and NATO. The ESDP concerns crisis management and does not include territorial defence. This implies that counter-terrorism cannot become a Pillar II-task or, say, Petersberg task number 5. If this does not change, how is cooperation between the EU/ESDP and NATO supposed to progress if the US, and thus NATO, concentrates more on terrorism and Central Asia while the ESDP remains focused on crisis management? Will we end up with a crisis management-oriented Headline Goal/EU and a counter-terrorism-oriented DCI/NATO and thus an ever-larger capability/technology-gap? At the same time, the EU possesses the more useful means in tackling terrorism (such as police (Europol), financial measures (and sanctions) and judicial means) but is not, treaty-wise, allowed to use them in counter-terrorism. Conversely, NATO has taken up counter-terrorism as one of its tasks and invoked Article 5 but lacks those necessary means that the EU possesses. NATO military means are more geared towards possible retaliatory attacks, rather than preventive counter-terrorist activities. Pillar I &amp; III cooperation with NATO is thus also impossible. All of this means that the EU actually might be better-suited for counter-terrorism, in terms of the broad range of instruments. It is necessary that it is given the authority to act in this area. However, it will, of course, have to streamline its internal organisation and, for instance, reconsider situations such as is the case for (&quot;Feira&quot;) Police, where more than 20 different EU committees and groups are involved in one way or another. Most importantly, however, the Headline Goal process needs to be speeded up and a second phase needs to start for an even more ambitious goal for wider-reaching EU action. As regards public support for the enormous amount of extra resources needed, decisions need to be taken as soon as possible before the momentum disappears.