News BlogPSDC crisis management

Small holes… in the Battlegroup schedule, always!

(Informal meeting in Budapest) The Ministers of Defense could not agree in Budapest to complete the table of permanence of the battlegroups. There remains a "hole" for the second on-call battlegroup in the second half of 2 as well as in 2012. No volunteer has explicitly volunteered. Which means that only one battlegroup will be on duty.

Maybe that's enough, by the way. But it is symptomatic of a state of mind. Few countries are ready, in these times of economic crisis, to put time, men and funding just for the pleasure of seeing a schedule filled, in a device that has not, for the moment, proven its usefulness. . Because it suffers from a concept that is too narrow and too many operational constraints, to counter any reluctance to use it. This despite the relaxation made under the Swedish presidency. In Budapest, Swedes, Finns and Spaniards offered to go further and plead to be able to use these battlegroups in support of humanitarian actions. This proposal went unanswered.

It is now certain that if no impetus is given at the political level to use this battlegroup, even once and partially (the needs are not lacking), reluctance will outweigh enthusiasm. The ball is now in the court of the High Representative, whose task it is to preserve this indispensable tool of a rapid reaction force, by quickly giving it a more operational virtue.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).