Moving Mountains Amid a Crisis?
Increasing Military Mobility Across Europe
On Thursday, April 2, CEPA hosted a virtual panel discussion on the latest developments and challenges for allied military mobility, featuring insights from LTG (Ret.) Heinrich Brauss, former Assistant Secretary General for Defense Planning and Policy at NATO, BG (Ret.) Hans Damen, Strategic Advisor for Insparcom, Tania Latici, Policy Analyst at the European Parliamentary Research Services, and Professor Julian Lindley-French, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Statecraft. The conversation was moderated by CEPA Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies LTG (Ret.) Ben Hodges.
Military mobility is vital for the rapid movement of NATO, European Union, and national resources across Europe. This capability provides civilian leaders the flexibility to take preemptive action and is essential to strengthening allied cooperation. Yet, current legal and diplomatic restrictions, infrastructure, and insufficient capacity for the volume of movement make credible deterrence challenging. The evolving COVID-19 crisis is contributing to this challenge and exposing potential vulnerabilities.
Fortunately, even prior to the current crisis, the European Union and NATO have recognized the need to improve. The EU has established military mobility as one of its PESCO projects and NATO has identified the requirements for improving military mobility. The current crisis could provide an opportunity to serve as a forcing mechanism to build cooperation between NATO and the European Union.