|Author (Person)||Cronin, David|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.36, 4.10.01, p8|
A SINGLE chain of command should be established for the EU's rapid reaction force, says a leading member of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee.
In a study on the force's development, UK Liberal Bill Newton Dunn contends that one person should be given overall responsibility for it.
At present, foreign policy chief Javier Solana is in charge of planning for the RRF's involvement in military crises. External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten would be in charge if it was to be deployed in a non-military operation.
Newton Dunn said the need for a single command in military structures is a lesson learned from the Second World War. On D-Day, US President Eisenhower was the supreme commander of the allied forces, but in effect Operation Overlord was controlled by the heads of the ground, air and naval forces. Some of the problems during the initial stages of the landings were attributed to overlapping responsibilities.
The MEP, who is vice-chairman of the foreign affairs committee, said his call should not be construed as an attack on either Patten or Solana. "Whatever the chemistry between them, both have done a very good job," he said.
His study says that the clause in the EU's treaties exempting defence procurement from normal competition rules should be repealed. The exemption has hindered common procurement between European members of NATO, resulting in an "extraordinary duplication among the types of hardware" within the alliance. For example, European forces will soon have 13 different types of combat aircraft, whereas the US uses just two main types, the F-15 and F-16.
A single chain of command should be established for the EU's rapid reaction force, says a leading member of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee.
|Subject Categories||Security and Defence|