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Pooling and sharing: it's not automatically easy

(BRUSSELS2 in Paris) The seminar organized by France, on the eve of July 14, was the third in the series of “Weimar” seminars (the first organized by Germany focused on the OHQ, the second by Poland on battlegroups). The audience was enthusiastic and interested. And some speeches were “mind-blowing”. However, we have not yet reached the implementation stage. But there is at least a certain awareness that the armies and the ministries of Defense will have to work together, more than ever. “ The operation in Libya demonstrated this” explains a senior. “Some European deficits appear very clearly. » They had already existed for years — in-flight refueling, ISR (reconnaissance). They have still not been resolved.

Cooperate: a shared fear

However, pooling and sharing is not the obvious panacea. For States and armies, there are certain fears of negative repercussions (job losses, etc.), limitations in operations (cavets), etc. Of the " difficult choices must be made on the common commitment ". This also presupposes a political will which exists beyond economic or technical connections which can transcend the difficulties. “ Such an approach also carries the obligation to share a political vision over a long period, even a very long period, which implies trust between partners and a shared vision of security interests.é”.

Shareable domains

If pooling can be implemented quickly, more demanding sharing can only take place in certain, very limited areas, with a few partners. In terms of sharing, there are areas which are obvious and can be implemented. fast enough. For example: training, maintaining operational condition (such as monitoring equipment configuration, maintenance contracts), intelligence (sharing of satellite information or from drones), communications, etc. In the second category, we find support tanker in all forms (air, land, sea), NRBC applications (with the possibility of dual use), logistics trains (air, sea, land), medical support (in various variations). »

In short, as this senior officer points out: “ The prospects exist, the room for improvement is obvious. Let each army make a proposal. »

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).