An E.U. "rapid response force" stretches back nearly a quarter of a century. Senior European politicians were saying in the late 1990s that the old continent's failure to prevent years of bloodletting on its doorstep in the Yugoslav Wars (until the U.S. got involved) highlighted the need for an armed E.U. force.
However, Divides between member states mean that any joint E.U. action could well rely on mission-specific "coalitions of the willing" outside of the bloc's organization structure.
As well as circumventing the need for unanimity or even majority support for military action, operating outside E.U. structures would allow a role for ex-member Britain, the continent's biggest defense spender and a global leader in intelligence capabilities.
The U.K.'s involvement would be essential to any plans for European strategic autonomy.
Read the original story here.
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