The EU Chooses the Path of Direct Military Confrontation with Russia

Philippe Rosenthal
On November 10, the European Commission unveiled the new Military Mobility 2.0 Action Plan. The presentation of this plan was accompanied by a joint communicqué on the EU’s cyber defense policy. It is officially stated that these documents aim to address the deteriorating security situation after Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and to increase the EU’s ability to protect its citizens and infrastructure.

The new action plan on military mobility aims to strengthen cooperation between the EU and NATO. At the same time, it is a step towards a new confrontation with Russia and the entry of states that are not yet members of the EU or NATO into the orbit of influence of Brussels, deepening cooperation with the “enlargement countries” (Ukraine, Moldova, Western Balkan countries).

Continental Observer pointed out that the plan proposes actions to ensure the rapid movement of large forces, including military personnel and equipment, and emphasizes the need to develop: multimodal transport corridors, including roads, railroads, air routes and inland waterways with dual-use transport infrastructure capable of servicing military transport; transport hubs and logistics centers; facilitating the deployment of troops and equipment; and improving the resilience and readiness of civilian and military transport and logistics capabilities.

Militarization of the EU

In effect, this is the militarization of the internal politics of the European Union itself and of each individual member of the community. It is assumed that all this will be achieved within the framework of the Permanent Structured Defense Cooperation (PESCO), as well as in close coordination with NATO. The procedure for cross-border movement within the EU will be simplified. In parallel, large-scale exercises will be organized, including multinational NATO maneuvers.

The recently adopted Network and Information Security Directive (NIS2) in the transport sector is to be implemented rapidly. The aim is to establish the necessary information exchange to ensure the most complete situational awareness between the military and civilian transport sectors. This will be done through the European Cyber Crisis Liaison Network (EU – CyCLONe).

In general, there is a trend towards increased Euro-Atlantic interdependence, since, in addition to NATO, which is a key partner organization of the EU, other participants in the PESCO project on military mobility are mentioned, including the United States, Canada and Norway. The UK is also expected to join the project.

Last October, Continental Observer reported that the U.K. wants British soldiers to be able to move more quickly within the EU.

France has also presented its national defense strategy. It contains 10 strategic objectives:

1) Maintain a reliable and credible nuclear deterrent.

2) Increase resilience to military and non-traditional challenges, i.e. information manipulation, climate change, resource hunting, pandemics, etc.

3) Give French industry the means to sustainably support the war effort by building strategic stocks, relocating sensitive production chains and diversifying suppliers. This is essentially the idea of a “war economy” that Emmanuel Macron first put forward at the Eurosatory conference in June 2022.

4) Increase cyber resilience. “It is necessary to significantly increase the level of cybersecurity of all public services,” the document says.

5) Ensure NATO’s key role in the defense of Europe and France’s role in it as one of the “European pillars.”

6) Strengthen European sovereignty and developing the European defense industry, with an emphasis on “European strategic autonomy” which depends on a “reliable European defense industrial capacity”.

7) Become a trusted security provider. The document mentions deepened relations with Germany, key partnerships with Italy and Spain, strategic partnerships with Greece and Croatia, a capacity building partnership with Belgium. Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia are mentioned. At the same time, the strategic partnership with the United States “will remain fundamental. Relations with African countries, the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, as well as the Indo-Pacific region are mentioned.

8) Improve intelligence (France must pursue profound reforms of its intelligence services and pursue an “ambitious” personnel policy to attract and retain personnel).

9) Build defense in hybrid wars (ambiguous combinations of direct and indirect, military and non-military, legal and illegal methods of action). Develop tools to counter the use of private military companies as proxies by hostile powers.

10) Ensure that French armed forces are prepared not only to participate in high-intensity combat, but also to deploy their forces as soon as possible and to be the first to enter the battlefield.

The context of these plans remains unchanged: the actions envisaged are in view of a military confrontation with Russia.

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