Battalions to Brigades: The Future of European Defence
There is no lack of initiatives to further defence cooperation between European states, but there might be a lack of ambition. Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), the new European Union mechanism launched in December 2017, could probably be described as the most promis ing scheme, but the participating states have so far explored only a fraction of its potential. The risk is that it will yield but a small step forward, when much more is needed. Achieving inter-operability between Europe’s limited existing capabilities should not be the only goal: Europe’s defence effort must be truly integrated so as to increase capability. That means thinking big, including in terms of operations. Brigades, not companies or battalions, must be the building blocks of European defence.