We need a breakup of the EU, not more political and economic integration, and certainly not military integration. Love Europe, hate the EU.
Dirk - Amsterdam
A disappointing article that does not take the debate forward and lacks any attempt at intellectual rigour. Dr Dijkstra does not offer any evidence that the current set up for command of EU military operations is unacceptable, nor that the situation could be made better and cheaper by adopting a permanent EU HQ. indeed, neither does he explore alternative options that may be acceptable to all EU members. The anti-UK tone is unbecoming.
J. Tattersall - UK
Progressive move. The US should back this HQ. It does of course compromise the new, fancy billion dollar NATO HQ, but perhaps we could do without the carpeting and move some of this billion to the much more important CSDP HQ.
A strong transatlantic alliance means recognising that America's European allies need, at times, to discuss defense matters without the U.S. at the table.
Sarwar Kashmeri - Washington DC, Atlantic Council
This is a very poorly-argued article. It is just one person's point of view with no real meat on the bone. "The use of NATO assets is made impossible by the long-standing conflict between Cyprus and Turkey." Really, how does that go then?
I seem to remember that the carrot of the HQ in Britain was dangled as a means of roping in our forces. Since this juicy carrot has been rejected, it follows that other countries will play for it with France being favourite, as the only series military force with the UK - even after all the cuts. There will be a 'blue moon' in the sky before Germany operates beyond its borders in any serious way.
heir operations in Afghanistan are a joke.
For this to work, you really need a fully integrated EU armed service and I just can't see the larger countries electorate swallowing their troops under the command of some obscure Belgian Spanish commander, especially when the body bags start coming home. France and the UK have agreed to assist each other by using expertise or sharing equipment, but really that is far as it is going to go.
George Mc - UK
It was a pity that France refused in the past the organisation of a European Army. The consequence was that we now have NATO, that is a quite different kind of army in Europe.
Rebuilding NATO will not solve the problem. We need to have our European voice free of any non-European voice. As said by US President Monroe: "Europe for europeans".
Alfonso J. Vázquez - Madrid, Spain
What a strange little rant this is.
Pugg - Blighty
We need to acknowledge as British people that we no longer are the dominant power on the globe, let go of our illusions of empire and fully integrate into the union. Otherwise, we'll just end up slowly deteriorating as a country.
A. Swanson - UK
This article certainly does not answer the question. Why the EU needs a military headquarters? The author seems to be unable to differentiate between 'needs' a military headquarters - i.e. an irreducible military requirement for one - and 'wants' a military headquarters - i.e. a political aim. At present, four or five national operational headquarters are made available to the EU for its military operations.
It is widely accepted that of these, only the French and British headquarters are competent to command and control serious multilateral military operations. One might see that some countries (Germany, Spain, Italy) might wish to reduce costs by amalgamating their national HQs and the fig leaf of doing this under an EU banner might allow them to salve their national pride. Other countries such as Belgium, Finland or Sweden who cannot afford a national HQ might want assured access to one.
What would be achieved by a European military HQ? Well, it would be unlikely to ever reach the levels of competence of its French and British counterparts to whom it would probably have to defer to carry out all but the most basic of multilateral military operations. However this is very different from saying that the EU needs a military HQ. In the absence of a European Army the actual need for such a European HQ appears to be very weak.
Either the EU is serious about its Common Security & Defence Policy or it isn't. The continual focussing in on the alleged need for a military HQ indicates that its proponents are in fact not serious about CSDP, but rather want the superficial trappings of a European defence while remaining unwilling to address the underlying issues of the lack of credible military capabilities. Mark my words, if there ever is an EU military operational headquarters then it would soon be followed up by demands for an EU Supreme Commander.