Task specialisation: risk, virtue or policy?

The Netherlands Clingendael Institute of International Relations published a policy brief titled: "European Defence: Specialisation by Capability Groups" 

Dick Zandee writes: In many professions specialisation is regarded as a virtue. In a hospital the surgeon, the anaesthetist and the nurse have specialised skills. Together they engage in teamwork to cure patients. Yet, when it comes to defence, specialisation has a negative connotation. Contrary to the hospital’s operating theatre, dependency on each other’s armed forces is regarded as a serious, if not unacceptable risk, as a country has to be able to defend itself without relying on capabilities to be provided by other states.

Read and download the report here

The Netherlands MoD has included task specialisation within in the European Union as policy goal for 2035. Implementation comprises intensified cooperation as well as active participation in pooling and sharing initiatives.

Read page 35 (Design principle 9) of the Netherlands Defence vision 2035 here

Eurodefense is promoting a slightly different line in specialisation. In our report "New initiative for security and defence of the European Union" of 6 November 2020 we propose to start with a small common force. This permanent, limited, but high-quality EU intervention capacity should be available for direct action in case of crisis under European command. The staff of these permanent EU units is complementary to national capabilities and paid by the EU.
In the future, this nucleus could grow into a larger European capability giving the ability to act quickly while cooperating within NATO more effectively.  

Read our report here


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