As evidenced by a growing number of comments, such as the ones by the Centre for European Reform and the Group for Research and Information on Peace and Security, the latest initiatives in European defence reopen discussions for European harmonisation in the field of arms export controls.
On August 2, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty between the United States and Russia officially collapsed, freeing the world’s two largest nuclear hoarders to develop weapons once banned by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Less than three weeks later, with the corpse of the Treaty still cooling, the United States launched a new ground-based cruise missile off the coast of Los Angeles with a range previously prohibited by the defunct agreement.
The times we are living in are characterised, to a far greater extent than the Cold War era, by immense strategic uncertainty and unpredictable events. In such dangerous and tumultuous times, we need institutions like NATO more than ever. The Alliance binds nations together on the basis of shared values.
Over the past decade, the expanding threats from global jihadism and the sudden escalation of irregular migration in the Mediterranean have galvanized international attention and prompted prioritised support to the security infrastructure and border capacity of the states in the Maghreb. These actions, in response to the dominant threats of terrorists and migrants, have broadly been assumed to also cover the requirements of the region in terms of responding to the subsidiary, yet not inconsiderable, concern of organized crime.