0

Debating Defense

BRUSSELS – The Haitian earthquake has made two things horrifically clear: security challenges are not only man-made, and military forces are often a vital part of humanitarian aid. This is a timely reminder, because security and defense are now the focus of a major debate within both NATO and the European Union.

Generals, it is said, always prepare to fight the last war – an old jibe, but one that contains an element of truth. Indeed, flexibility does not come naturally to armed forces, with the result that the two decades since the end of the Cold War have seen only slow adaptation to the military’s evolving roles.