The 2016 EU ‘Global Strategy’: Consequences for European Force Structures
Jan Willem Honig
Department of War Studies, King’s College London
When one surveys successful grand strategy statements of the not-so-distant past and compares these with the EU’s new ‘Global Strategy’, one basic difference catches the eye. Whether secret –– like the 1950 Report to the US National Security Council known as NSC68, or public –– like NATO’s 1967 ‘Report of the Council on the Future Tasks of the Alliance’, known as the Harmel Report, they either explicitly contained or quickly permitted the central tenet of the proposed strategy to be captured in a catch-phrase: ‘containment’ and ‘defence and détente’. These notions then not only served to legitimate existing security and defence structures, but they also injected them with direction and development. They provided the political underpinning to NATO’s force structure and it is no accident that they organize the narrative of the history of the Cold War and the West’s successful stand against the Soviet Union. On reading the EU ‘Global Strategy’, it is difficult to see how this document either contains or may become associated with a strategic concept that can coherently frame force structures.
To be fair, current threats and security challenges are more diffuse and variable than they were during the Cold War. The lack of a singular, persistent and potentially cataclysmic threat complicates tremendously the devising of a coherent strategy that preaches pragmatism and realism on all fronts. What is more, the fact that the EU is a work in progress, especially when it comes to the fields of security and defence, means that one deals with an institution still in search of a mission. As will be elaborated in the first section, it should therefore perhaps not surprise that the EUGS does not really present much of a strategy. That prepares the way for the second part which discusses the very significant implications the absence of strategy has for the structuring and designing of the means that could be used for implementation. However, an argument is put forward that this need not lead to total despair. An understanding of the logic that drives the institutionalization of ESDP and force structures does provide some directional guidance and opportunities to national armed forces and defence establishments.
The EU’s ‘Global Strategy’
The EU’s ‘Global Strategy’ (EUGS) is a type of document that is nowadays a common feature of government and also business practice. It employs the word ‘strategy’ in a sense that is very different from that prevalent among those who coined and used to own the term, the military. For them, strategy has long been a practical preoccupation which revolves around the employment of military means to achieve carefully defined, achievable objectives. Strategy has thus exhibited a tendency among the military to be understood narrowly as a technical planning process. Nonetheless, adapting means to ends in the face of a thinking and adaptive enemy cannot wholly be considered a precise science. Preparing and moving forces into the uncertain environment of battle must involve a serious element of imagination and creativity. Once upon a time, that realization was encapsulated by subsuming strategy, with tactics, under the rubric of ‘the art of war’. Today, military strategy is more popularly seen as a process of balancing ends, ways and means.
This balancing act was never supposed to take place in a military vacuum. The ends the military should pursue with clever, well-planned strategy should be supportive of nationally defined political goals. In the era of the total wars of the 20th century that led to the emergence of a notion of ‘grand strategy’. In tandem with the military, governments were increasingly expected to engage in a process of deploying the full range of nationally available instruments of power to support the fulfilment of national political goals. Perhaps the malleability and necessary ambition of national political goals increased the complexity of designing a practical grand strategy to such an extent that it led to a gradual de-emphasis of the practical means and ways in political strategy documents and instead fostered a disproportionate focus on aspirational goals.
The EUGS fits firmly within this modern mould. It is essentially a hortatory document that skates lightly over the ‘how’ and ‘with what’ the long list of highly ambitious aspirations can and will be achieved. It is also a pre-eminent example of a liberal-progressive agenda as opposed to a conservative-realist one that was, arguably, more prominent in the survival-oriented grand strategies of the democratic powers in the total war era. The EUGS sees the world as one that is full of ills and wrongs that must be righted and proposes not simply to fight or manage symptoms but also address causes. However sympathetic one is to such a big agenda, one should note that seeking to tackle so many ills of the world does possess an unforgiving quality in that it makes it difficult to disentangle and prioritize issues — which, because available means are always constrained, is a key aspect of strategy in the traditional sense. The overweening ambition of the document finds expression in the perhaps somewhat hyperbolic claims that ‘we live in times of existential crisis’ (pp. 7 and 13) and that an EU strategy must not only be ‘global’ and meet the world’s expectations of the EU being a ‘global security provider’ (p. 3), but also ‘nurture’ ‘the ambition of strategic autonomy’ (p. 4). The Strategy furthermore requires the creation of ‘full-spectrum defence capabilities’ (pp. 10–11 and 48) and repeatedly expresses a predilection for ‘comprehensive’ approaches and solutions (e.g., pp. 9, 10, 28, 29, 41). The document appears designed to make the case for the EU as the world’s 21st century ‘indispensable power’ — a sentiment which the final sentence in a speech by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, made explicit on the very same day that saw the election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency. High aspirations create high expectations and may therefore be a risky strategy for an institution that is already struggling on so many other, arguably more critical fronts.
The EUGS does enumerate a list of major threat categories and announces, perhaps more in outline than in substance, a set of priorities. The former is marked by some variation, with terrorism, hybrid threats, economic volatility, climate change and energy insecurity (pp. 9, 18–19), at times being joined by cyber security, organized crime and migration (p. 20), as well as ‘governmental, economic, societal and climate/energy fragility’ (p. 9). These may all be deemed serious threats or risks in one way or another, but from the listings neither their immediacy, nor their tractability are clearly set out. They reflect a very broad concept of security and, if set against the Strategy’s opening claim that ‘the world’ is living in times of existential crisis, they seem to suggest that it is more the aggregate number than the individual nature of each of the issues (excepting perhaps climate change) that decides the seriousness of the crisis. The 3rd chapter, according to its title, presents a set of strategic priorities, but the threats are not truly disentangled in order to reduce them to manageable chunks. The list — ‘The Security of Our Union’, ‘State and Societal Resilience to Our East and South’, ‘An Integrated Approach to Conflicts and Crises’ and ‘Cooperative Regional Orders and Global Governance for the 21st Century’ — is once more very broad and, though they suggest a concern with the ‘harder’ aspects of security, a clear set of strategic responses does not emerge. In each and every section, instead of bringing into focus the central strategic objective and indicate a set of realistic ways and means of attaining the objective, the narrative quickly slides into generalized discussions of issues and preferred solutions.
Unsurprising are the broad calls to ‘enhance our efforts on defence, cyber, counterterrorism, energy and strategic communications’ and ‘targeting the most acute cases of governmental, economic, societal and climate/energy fragility, as well as develop more effective migration policies’ (p. 9). The same is true for the most specific responses, like calls to increase spending (including through EU subsidies) on defence equipment (especially ‘full spectrum’ hardware and data collection and communications equipment) and research, to secure better digital capabilities, to improve collaborative procurement, and to improve the functioning of EU missions and intelligence gathering (or, as the document says, ‘situational awareness’) by reducing bureaucratic hurdles while strengthening coordinating and collaborative bureaucratic structures. The most substantial proposed initiative is the call to ‘expand the scope’ of the ‘comprehensive approach’ to conflicts and crises (p. 31). This is even characterized as a ‘policy innovation’ (p. 49), despite it long having been the cornerstone of the West’s strategy in Afghanistan. What may be surprising is the dated quality of the proposals. They not only reflect a concern most directly with well-established responses which may not be best matched to the various threats and risks, but they also betray a concern (not to say obsession) with bureaucratic process. What is more, in cases, they propose discredited methods. The ‘comprehensive approach’, for example, as national case study after case study now attests, has very little to show for itself after a decade of or more of engagement in Afghanistan.
In a fascinating article, the main drafter of the EUGS text, Natalie Tocci, explained that to her boss, Federica Mogherini, ‘the process [of strategic reflection] was always supposed to be as[,] if not more important than the product itself’. This suggests that — in line with so many strategy documents in government and business –– the question whether the ‘strategic’ aspirations are practically feasible is of secondary importance. The overriding purpose of the document is, as Tocci also writes, ‘to forge a common narrative’. In other words, the Strategy seeks mostly to motivate and energize the broader constituency of the EU citizenry, but also the immediate workforce of security and foreign policy professionals. As the title underlines, it is strategy as ‘shared vision’. The High Representative, however, found herself required to make proposals for implementation. In November 2016, Mogherini, joined by the head of the European Defence Agency, published an ‘Implementation Plan on Security and Defence’. It presented (in a five-page executive summary to a document of thirty pages), a hodgepodge of thirteen ‘action’ proposals under six headers — which the bureaucrats insisted represented ‘a coherent whole’ as well as a ‘more joined-up approach’. When put to the December European Council, it whittled this down significantly and invited proposals from the High Representative on five to seven (the grammar is a little unclear) areas. Notably, the Council dispensed with the ‘vision thing’ and focused on the development of capabilities and bureaucratic structures. As discussed in the next section, these probably provide a more lasting framework for future defence and security developments than the EUGS itself.
What spectrum capabilities?
As indicated, there is at present no comparably compelling logic to that which imposed itself on NATO during the Cold War. Implementation will not therefore be as straightforward as strengthening conventional defences and improving nuclear consultation to deter enemies and reassure allies in the service of an overall containment strategy. That said, developments are not entirely up for grabs. They will be framed mainly by three main factors: institutional structures, actor preferences and threat environment. Taken together these provide a logic which will steer emergent force structures.
The structures the EU has built up since its decision some fifteen years ago to move into security and defence issues do not compare in size with those possessed by NATO. However, despite the oft-repeated refrain that the EU would refrain from duplication, the basic building blocks are very similar. A politico-military hierarchy of managing bodies has been established by the 2007 Lisbon treaty (art. 38). The permanent Political and Security Committee and the EU Military Committee perform roles not dissimilar to NATO’s North Atlantic Council and Military Committee. Both are made up of the same level of personnel: respectively member state ambassadors and chiefs of staff. The committees may not have the reputation of NAC and MC and they may not be supported by an equal number of other committees and staff, and there may also not exist an equal of the NATO Secretary-General (the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for example does not chair the PSC, but a representative of the European External Action Service), but these are the same key institutions on which the ‘O’ in NATO was built. The tasks of the PSC, for example, are to ‘monitor the international situation’ and ‘contribute to the definition of policies by delivering opinions to the [European] Council at the request of the Council or of the High Representative … or on its own initiative’. That does not possess the high-level magic of the consultation process in the NAC, but one should not overlook the facts that the PSC has a right of initiative (like the NAC) and that it ‘shall exercise, under the responsibility of the Council and of the High Representative, the political control and strategic direction of the crisis management operations referred to in Article 43 [of the Lisbon Treaty].’ These ‘crisis management operations’ are defined there in rather more expansive terms than the word ‘crisis’ might suggest. Art. 43 specifies the tasks as ‘joint disarmament operations, humanitarian and rescue tasks, military advice and assistance tasks, conflict prevention and peace-keeping tasks, tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peace-making and post-conflict stabilization’. To which it is added ‘All these tasks may contribute to the fight against terrorism, including by supporting third countries in combating terrorism in their countries.’ This is a remit that potentially leaves out very little and would have covered the major military attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan over a decade ago.
One further element worth drawing attention to is that the mutual assistance guarantee which the Lisbon Treaty gives signatories is stronger than the famed Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. According to Art. 42, 7, ‘If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power’ (italics added). This lacks the proviso in the NAT that a member state, in case of ‘an armed attack against one or more of them’, only must consider ‘such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force’. EU members will likely have an interesting debate about what would constitute ‘armed aggression’ but nonetheless in contractual terms the security guarantee of the Lisbon Treaty against classic security threats as well as internal violence and terrorism can hardly be bettered.
What is missing in this emergent edifice is a permanent military infrastructure. The missions the EU has undertaken over the past decade or so have all been ad hoc and they have been supported by what were mostly ad hoc structures. Paradoxically, the one standing element the EU maintained since 2007 — the EU Battlegroups — has never seen action. However, that is no different from NATO’s experience. NATO’s international missions have also not utilized the plethora of ‘joint’ units that the alliance possesses, including the highest readiness ones. Even a major operation like ISAF in which all NATO member states participated, deployed ad hoc, essentially on the basis of bilateral accords (or if one includes the major force driving the intervention, the US, trilaterally). Ad hocery thus seems the name of the game in international missions. NATO has however at various times attempted to use something the EU to date lacks: its permanent command structures. The first instance was the deployment of elements of the Northern Army Group HQ to command the UN Protection Force in Bosnia in the early 1990s. NATO has nonetheless struggled to make effective use of this structural asset. ISAF, for example, initially rotated headquarters into theatre which were more or less taken from operational-level headquarters in which the country taking over command had a major role (e.g., the Dutch/German Corps). These officially operated under the NATO command chain via Allied Joint Force Command in Brunssum and SHAPE in Mons to the NAC and MC in Brussels. However, in-theatre there was a lack of operational continuity and from the start the operational and higher headquarters faced competition from a parallel US structure. In 2009, the US military effectively took over strategic and operational direction and relegated the higher NATO chain to busying themselves with providing logistic support.
NATO military structures have thus in practice functioned as providers of elements that are accustomed to working together in multinational outfits. They form an institutional framework, built up over 65 years, which has helped internalize a norm of defence cooperation — which the EUGS demands must also become the norm in the EU (p. 11). The EU Battlegroups can be considered to form part of a similar familiarization and service structure. Where NATO differs is that, although just like the EU it engages ad hoc and pell mell in missions, there exists a confidence that when the chips are down and a major threat materializes all the existing units and commands can jointly act and defeat the threat. The EU could not hope to do so. Given the broad ambitions set out in the EUGS which range well beyond (and below) what NATO burdened itself with, one can understand the EUGS as casting an envious eye on the Alliance. The EUGS states that ‘we must strengthen operational planning and conduct structures’ (p. 50) and, although there is emphasis on coordination with NATO (and the UN), it advocates the institution of an ‘annual coordinated review process’ of defence capabilities (p. 46) which should be ‘full-spectrum’ (pp. 10, 45).
The December European Council meeting picked up on the annual review and the operational planning and conduct capability in particular and asked for them to be given permanence. Although there are differences with NATO in that the EU is looking to involve civilian efforts as well as manage industrial policy, it is nonetheless difficult not to see them as duplicating existing processes. The NATO experience with annual reviews offers an instructional tale. The reviews were established in the 1950s as part of the process of establishing ‘an integrated defence’ which by ‘appraising defence programmes in the light of economic and political development’ minimized duplication and maximized output among allies. The subsequent history was marked by a continuous, and usually successful, struggle by national armed forces (and sometimes their governments) to see their national preferences become NATO approved commitments, irrespective of whether they truly benefited the common defence. If the EU establishes this as well, it seems hard (especially since it will be a ‘Member State-driven’ process) to avoid a situation where the sum is far less than its parts. The ambition of developing civilian capabilities and the express preference for ‘modularity’ might make the whole even more unwieldy than NATO while also offering national agencies with international ambitions new opportunities for bureaucratic growth.
The upshot seems clear: the institutionalization and bureaucratization of the EU role in security and defence will continue. The present pattern suggests this will likely be most marked in the areas of what used to be called conventional defence. One reason is that there are familiar, mostly NATO, precedents. Whether these processes will be more successful than NATO remains to be seen. As said, the very considerable structures NATO built have not all been used as planned. Nonetheless, if they have achieved considerable successes in managing major deployments and combat operations, that was arguably due to the combined effects of habituation and focus. The many years of structured collaboration in peacetime did prepare NATO forces to undertake a set of missions that were quite narrowly focused on particular types of operations. EU efforts run the danger of not possessing a comparable focus. It is something of an open question whether more elaborate permanent planning and capability review processes will actually enhance the already quite diverse mix of civil and civil-military missions that the EU has undertaken to date. Far-reaching bureaucratization and institutionalization runs the paradoxical danger of reducing flexibility and an ability to adapt to the task at hand the exact nature of which, as the Strategy does not deny, is hard to predict and define with precision.
As indicated, EU preferences are ambitious and this is probably as much the result of the ambition of the EU project as a whole and the doubts the project is encountering (as evidenced by Brexit and the rise of nationalist, protectionist parties), as due to the range of security challenges that can be discerned. Is the level of ambition and worry evinced by the EUGS also shared equally by national governments and their defence establishments? For governments across the EU, if one can generalize, there seems to exist a general acceptance that the manifold security risks are real but that they cannot be addressed purely on a national level. Effective action depends on international cooperation. The effect of this attitude is twofold. On the one hand, it devolves responsibility to the EU and strengthens it in its ambitions. But the EU in turn requires the agencies and capabilities that states control to act. Yet, these agencies labour under a lack of clear strategic direction. If the top management, nationally and internationally, cannot make up its mind and in effect comes across as confused and over-ambitious, it tends to be up to middle management to fill the vacuum. This seems to fit in with a distinct trend since the end of the Cold War which has seen responsibility for the management of insecurity devolve to lower levels. One of the striking features, for example, about the intervention of Afghanistan was that the making of strategy in the sense described earlier, rested on the shoulders of local in-theatre, mostly national contingent, commanders. This did not, on the whole lead to a happy experience. For one thing, middle-ranking officers had not been prepared to engage so closely with the reading and implementation of political objectives which moreover were grand and rather vague. Not surprisingly, these officers fell back on the preference structures with which they had been inculcated as military professionals. Although the ISAF/NATO Operational Plans dictated a comprehensive approach which should include non-military approaches and means, few found that they could work with these. Overall, the tendency –– even among nations with a proud record in peacekeeping and development aid –– was to revert to more narrow, traditional military approaches.
The implementation of the EUGS will thus likely heavily depend on national agency preferences. Their relative power as executors will allow them, if not quite a freedom of choice regarding which security issues to engage with, then at least to fashion the responses according to their understandings and preferences. There will likely be a tendency to associate the threats with familiar categories. One example of this that can be detected across Europe is the pull that the re-emergent Russian threat exercises. Even though it is categorized as a ‘hybrid threat’, which suggests novelty, the responses nonetheless have a familiar ring about it and reflect an attempt to force the threat into a mould which existing agencies feel they can work with. The clamour for resurrecting conventional force structures and forward deployment are two cases in point. The same applies to that most novel threat, cyberwar. The operative noun and the relegation of novelty to the adjective also suggests that it is but a subform of a familiar phenomenon and so belongs within the professional remit of the armed forces. If set next to the institutional contours that are emerging (and if a ‘hard’ Brexit is followed through and the new Trump administration persists in its view that NATO is obsolete and full of free-riders), all this suggests that EU security and defence will become more NATO-like and be handed an opportunity to achieve more strategic autonomy.
Whether a growing EU autonomy in security and defence matters will turn out to be a blessing in the end will depend on the nature of the threats and risks with which the EU is forced to engage. The force structure that the EU will be able to create is, as suggested, unlikely to be very fully formed, yet essentially similar to what already exists. As NATO is unlikely to disappear overnight, its structures will continue to be called upon by the EU. The hybrid force structure will thus be best geared towards traditional forms of conflict. If the EU’s opponents do not oblige by executing their threats in such a manner, the EU and its fighting agencies must hope that they will be given time to adapt. Of the three factors that I said shape force structure development, the threat environment is the joker in the pack. However, it is improbable that we will see the resurrection of a Cold War-like, bipolar struggle that will once again become the focus for security structures. The seasonal quality that threats and risks have exhibited since 1989 will likely persist. Threats will come and go. Prediction will remain hard. Comparing the list in the current EUGS with the previous 2003 strategy is instructive. Not only does the list of threats differ, but even the definition and characterization of similar items has changed. If anything, the past decade or so proves that prediction is a hazardous business. Who would have thought in 2003 that the Crimea would be taken from Ukraine in such a brazen way? Who predicted the Arab Spring or the rise of Islamic State? The failure of ISAF? Brexit and the election of Trump? A return to great power politics has long been predicted by many conservatives seems more likely with China’s and Russia’s recent expansionist policies and Trump’s election, but will the existence of nuclear weapons once again mitigate its effects? Will fears of hybrid war side-stepping all this prove equally exaggerated as the fear of brushfire wars and insurgencies proved during the Cold War?
Uncertainty will, paradoxically, feed the forces of conservatism. Despite the substantial variety of missions that NATO and EU armed forces have conducted since the end of the Cold War, all have maintained a basic structure that has not changed since well before the Second World War. The very severe budget cuts of recent decades have cut these structures to the bone, but they have not forced any fundamental adaptation. The forces of today may operate today with far smaller numbers and far less weaponry, but they are essentially the same as the armies, navies and air forces of one hundred years ago. There is no reason to expect that that will change, despite the current enthusiasm with cyberwar and special forces, just as the recent fascinations with peacekeeping and then expeditionary forces, comprehensive approaches and counter-insurgency did not effect fundamental change either. The conservative reflex to retain traditional force structures, despite their inflexibility, inefficiency and cost, may not matter greatly if it is accepted that the EUGS claim that we live in times of existential crisis is overblown.
Another effect, however, may be less desirable. Uncertainty also makes countries prone nationalize security. The increasing fear of domestic security risks, especially in the form of terrorism and cyberwar, reinforces the reflex to build perimeter defences at the point of immediate contact. However, as the EUGS rightly notes, we live in a ‘difficult, more connected, contested and complex world’ (p. 1). The strategic freedom of action that countries possess is more constrained than ever before. National defence and national security are terms that are quickly losing in meaning and value. The EUGS may not have put its finger on the central tenet of the strategy like some of the great strategy documents of the past, but its recognition together we need to find a way through must be taken very seriously.
 A first version of this paper was presented on 16 November 2016 at the annual Wissenschaftskommission beim BMLVS Symposium ‘Das Österreichische Heer als strategische Handlungsreserve der Republik’ in Vienna. The author thanks the Kommission, and especially Prof. Dr. Heinz Gärtner, for the opportunity.
 Or to give it its full title: ‘Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe, A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy’ (June 2016).
 E.g., the classic account by John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982) and Lawrence S. Kaplan, NATO Divided, NATO United: Evolution of an Alliance (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2004).
 ‘Opening Speech by High Representative/Vice President Federica Mogherini at the 2016 EDA Conference “The Industrial Evolution or Revolution in Defence”’,10 November 2016: https://eeas.europa.eu/topics/common-foreign-security-policy-cfsp/14585/opening-speech-by-high-representativevice-president-federica-mogherini-at-the-2016-eda-conference-_en
 Bernhard Chiari, ed., From Venus to Mars: Provincial Reconstruction Teams and the European Military Experience in Afghanistan, 2001–2014 (Freiburg: Rombach, 2014).
 Nathalie Tocci, ‘The Making of the EU Global Strategy’, Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 37, no. 3 (2016), pp. 463 and 465.
 Ibid., p. 465. The EUGS Acknowledgements (pp. 53–56) thank an interesting, and improbably long, list of individuals and institutions, including a select few non-EU ‘partner’ countries.
 High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission, and Head of the European Defence Agency, ‘Implementation Plan on Security and Defence’, 14392/16, Brussels, 14 November 2016, pp. 10 and 11. See also the largely overlapping Foreign Affairs Council, ‘Council Conclusions on Implementing the EU Global Strategy in the Area of Security and Defence’, 14149/16, Brussels, 14 November 2016.
 General Secretariat of the Council, ‘European Council meeting (15 December 2016) – Conclusions’, EUCO 34/16, Brussels, 15 December 2016, p. 4.
 Cf. also the list of possible civilian missions and military operations in the ‘Implementation Plan’ (pp. 16–17) and reproduced verbatim in the Foreign Affairs Council ‘Conclusions’ (pp. 15–16) which both note (and the ‘Conclusions’ underline) represents a ‘non-exhaustive list’.
 Note that Art. 42, 7 offers a more extensive guarantee than the better-known ‘solidarity clause’ (art. 222) which only requires member states to ‘act jointly in a spirit of solidarity’ against terrorism and natural or man-made disasters.
 The EUGS implicitly recognizes this when it twice notes that ‘Member States remain sovereign in their defence decisions’ (pp. 11, 45).
 For example, non-NATO member Sweden twice used the elements it had provided to the EU Northern Battlegroup as the core for their Provincial Reconstruction Team contribution to ISAF.
 NATO Facts and Figures, 11th ed. (Brussels: NATO Information Service, 1989), p. 41.
 Jan Willem Honig, Defence Policy in the North Atlantic Alliance: The Case of the Netherlands (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1993), which argues that the NATO Annual Review was always more a bottom-up than a top-down. Alliance-led process. the example of the Dutch shows that national armed forces retained very significant independence in planning force structures throughout the Cold War.
 Jan Willem Honig and Ilmari Käihkö, ‘Challenges of Command: The Rise of the “Strategic Colonel”, in Harald Haas, Franz Kernic and Andrea Plaschke, eds., Leadership in Challenging Situations (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2012), pp. 89–108.
 Jan Willem Honig and Ilmari Käihkö, ‘The Likely Lads: The Joint Swedish-Finnish Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mazar-e Sharif’, in Chiari, ed., From Venus to Mars, pp. 209–220.
 So is the flocking of 23 countries (including non-NATO Sweden and Finland) to NATO’s Multinational Corps Northeast (MNC NE) in Stettin.
 ‘A Secure Europe in a Better World: European Security Strategy’, Brussels, 12 December 2003.