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  • Author: Luis Simón
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
  • Abstract: This paper assesses the effectiveness of the European Union's capability for the planning and conduct of military operations. Given the fact that the planning and conduct phases of an operation can never be fully isolated from each other, the paper does include some references to the conduct dimension, i.e. command and control (C2). However, it is with planning issues that this paper is most directly concerned. It argues that the lack of a permanent planning and conduct capability cripples the Union's planning and C2 performance as well as the development of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) more broadly. This capability, though, need not adopt the form of a fully-fledged Operational Headquarters (OHQ). The paper explains that the nature and evolution of the Union's planning and C2 capability is largely the result of compromises between France, Britain and Germany (the Union's 'Big Three') and argues that a coincidence in British-German objectives – the 'awkward alignment' – is particularly responsible for the continuing absence of a permanent military planning and C2 capability.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Peacekeeping
  • Political Geography: Britain, Europe, France, Germany