However, the main obstacle to effective ESDP lies with public unease in supporting deployment of forces in “far-away places with the associated risks and costs”.
“In Europe there is more or less what the Americans call a culture of ‘no war’. This is the consequence of two world wars and very bad memories in all our countries,” he says.
This problem is exacerbated when a quick victory cannot be achieved, says Gen Bentégeat, who cites Afghanistan as a prime example. “When we cannot have quick success – as we had in Chad – then public opinion usually doesn’t follow. That is a real problem, because most modern crises have very profound roots and cannot be solved in a short period of time,” he says. (photo: Council of the European Union)