The Politico-Military Dynamics of European Crisis Response Operations

Planning, Friction, Strategy
Authors: 
Alexander Mattelaer

Strategy promises to turn the use of force into an instrument of policy. This book explores how military operations undertaken by European armed forces are intended to deliver political effects. Drawing on the work of Carl von Clausewitz it argues that strategy is the product of an iterative politico-military dialogue. While strategic-level planning endows operations with a rational intent, friction between political leaders and military commanders risks derailing the promise of strategy. Three case studies – the EU in Chad, the UN in Lebanon and NATO in Afghanistan – illustrate that the strategic template for European crisis response operations relies on deterrence and local capacity building. Building on over 120 interviews with diplomatic officials, military planners and operation commanders, this book sheds light on the instrumental nature of military force, the health of civil-military relations in Europe and the difficulty of making effective strategy in a multinational environment.