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Research Report

Defence cooperation models: Lessons learned and usability

Dick Zandee
Margriet Drent
Rob Hendriks
Copyright Date: Oct. 1, 2016
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 64
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Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-2)

    European defence cooperation can take many forms. It is neither new nor solely related to the European Union context. European countries cooperate bilaterally, in regional formats, sometimes in wider groups, and naturally in the EU and NATO. Operational cooperation is not limited to real-life operations. Formations like the EU Battlegroups and the NATO Response Force, including the Very High-Readiness Joint Task Force, are examples of permanent operational formations – be it that national contributions are rotating. There are many other cases of countries forming headquarters, combined land, air or naval formations together, as well as training and exercising together.


  2. (pp. 3-8)

    While multinational defence cooperation has expanded over the years, relatively few publications have been dedicated to the question ‘which are the success and fail criteria’? A list of such criteria could help countries and international organisations to streamline and focus their efforts on initiatives and proposals with the best chance of success in practice. It could prevent a waste of energy, time, money and human resources dedicated to potential failures.

    Naturally, golden rules do not exist. Multinational defence cooperation is the product of many factors of influence, some of which have a more structural character – like strategic culture and...

  3. (pp. 9-54)

    The ‘La Rochelle Report’ (1992) officially created the (then) French-German Eurocorps. The Treaty of Strasbourg14 (2004, ratified in 2009) redefined the principles concerning missions, organisational details and the working methods of the Eurocorps; it also defined the status of the headquarters of the Eurocorps.

    Bosnia-Herzegovina, May 1998 – December 1999: three successive rotations to the NATO SFOR HQ in Sarajevo (not as an integral HQ in charge, but delivering a large part of staff capacity for SFOR).

    Kosovo, April 2000 – October 2000: framework staff and the HQ for the NATO KFOR mission.

    Afghanistan, August 2004 – February 2005: framework...

  4. (pp. 55-60)

    There are many forms of defence cooperation between countries and there are different ways to categorise them. This study has categorised five different types of military operational cooperation: (i) multinational deployable headquarters; (ii) modular operational formations with countries maintaining the option to withdraw their contribution and deploy it nationally; (iii) integrated operational formations with mutual dependencies to deploy; (iv) permanent transfer of command with loss of national sovereignty; and (v) role specialisation in which countries provide non-haves with a required capability. In practice it turns out that cooperation models often have a mix of these characteristics – as shown by...