European Naval Forces in the 21st Century

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, many European states downsized their naval arm along with their other military forces as their perceived major threat no longer posed a problem. However, if there is one thing that history teaches it is that a vacuum needs to be filled. The rise of non-state players, the resurgence of a Russian presence, and the increased visibility of China as a global player have all contributed to the need for re-establishing national security through the revitalization of armed forces. Into the Abyss?: European Naval Power in the Post–Cold War Era, Naval War College Review, 71(#3, Summer 2018) surveys the state of various European navies as new dangers arise. This article is based on the author’s The Decline of European Naval Forces: Challenges to  Sea Power in an Age of Fiscal Austerity and Political Uncertainty  (introduction and part of chapter one here).

Also, European naval capabilities: strengths and weaknesses on show (International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2017) is worth a read as well as European Navies Are Grappling with Aggressive Russian, Chinese Operations in Baltic, Mediterranean (USNI, 2018).


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