Military and Security Cooperation
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Although the EU plays a relatively modest role in military and security issues, US–EU cooperation in this field is important, especially in Africa. In some difficult conflicts in its southern and eastern neighborhood, the EU provides capabilities that the United States lacks and therefore makes an important contribution to regional stability and even US security. Its growing military and security identity have proven so far to be complementary to, not competitive with NATO. Urging Europe to spend more on its own defense is only one part of the picture; Europe must spend more effectively and it needs to have a defense industry that has greater scale and ability to innovate. Talk of a European army is premature and a costly distraction from the real work of building battlefield capabilities, a coherent defense doctrine and focusing on limited but high value-added areas where Europe can contribute to security in its neighborhood.
The contribution of Caroline Wefer is gratefully acknowledged.