EU Chiefs of Defence met in Brussels
by Roni Alasor
Brussels, 29 October 2015 - Middle East Diplomatic (MED) - The European Union Military Committee met on 28-29 October in Brussels. Chiefs of defence discussed the EU global strategy, naval operations, training and advisory missions, Ukraine and cooperation with NATO. A Kurdish military committee also visited EU officials in Brussels and Strasbourg where Kurdish military commanders asked EU effective military support.
The European Union Military Committee (EUMC) is the highest military body set up within the Council. It directs all EU military activities and provides the Political and Security Committee (PSC) with advice and recommendations on military matters.
The members of the EU Parliament stood up and applauded to show their respect for Kurdish fighters.
Just before the EU-military committee meeting, a Kurdish military delegation from Kurdistan Regional Government consisting of General Sheikh Jaafar Mustafa, the commander of the Peshmerga’s 70th Brigade, Sirwan Barzani, the Peshmerga commander of the Gwer-Makhmur front and Payta Kheder, the commander of female Yezidi Peshmerga forces had a meeting with EU and Belgian officials. During their meetings with Belgian and EU military representatives in Brussels and the hearing in the EU Parliament in Strasbourg, the Kurdish military committee asked to provide Kurdish military forces-Peshmerga with effective weapons to fight the terror organization Isis.
EU global strategy
In their 2 days meeting in Brussels, the EU Chiefs of defence were briefed by the EEAS Secretary General, Alain Le Roy, on EU Security and Defence matters. He touched upon the EU global strategy on foreign and security policy, the EEAS review. During the discussion some of the CHODs highlighted their activities within the coalition against Da`esh.
After two days meeting, the Greek General Michail KOSTARAKOS, has been appointed as new Chief of the EU Military Committee.
CSDP naval operations
The chiefs of defence discussed CSDP military operations and missions with a specific view to their planning and conduct, including force generation, capabilities, support by EDA, crisis cell. CHODs had then an overview of EU actions in the field of migration and an update on ongoing EU naval operations, most importantly EUNAVFOR Med - Operation Sophia and EUNAVFOR Operation Atalanta. They had a discussion on the evolution of both missions. The issue of force generation was addressed as well, as a force generation conference for all of our operations including operation Sophia and Atalanta.
CSDP training and advisory missions
In a joint session with chiefs of defence from partner nations contributing to EU CSDP missions, namely Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, and Serbia, CHODs had an in depth discussion on the evolution of the EU training missions and EU military advisory missions in Mali, Central African Republic and Somalia. The Commission highlighted the progress achieved with regard to capacity building for security and development. The CHODs discussed the next steps for all of those missions.
The 28 EU CHODs had also an exchange of views with General Viktor Muzhenko, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, on the current situation in the country, with a specific eye on hybrid warfare. General Muzhenko notably highlighted the reorganisation of the Ukrainian armed forces, the needs, and provided his assessment of the situation on the ground.
Chiefs of defence had an in-depth discussion on hybrid warfare. The director of the intelligence centre (INTCEN) highlighted the board range of hybrid threats focusing mainly on Da`esh, Al-Shabab, Boko-Haram and other terrorist organisations. The CHODs recognised the need for collaboration, noting that intensive work is ongoing.
The Chiefs of defence turned then to EU/NATO cooperation, including hybrid warfare, battlegroups certification, capabilities and the Single European Sky. In this context CHODs were briefed by US AFRICOM Commander, General David M. Rodriguez and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) General Sir Adrian Bradshaw.