Tue, Jan 26, 2021

Christen a carrier strike group: NATO 20/2020 podcast

NATO 20/2020 by Michael John Williams

Europe & Eurasia Maritime Security NATO Security & Defense United Kingdom United States and Canada

HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH ARRIVES IN GIBRALTAR FOR FIRST OVERSEAS VISIT The Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth will arrive in Gibraltar today for her first overseas port visit. The 65,000 tonne future flagship will be conducting a routine logistics stop having left her home in Portsmouth last week for helicopter trials. Images By PO PHOT Dave Jenkins

 Using the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales as its backbone, a NATO carrier strike group is an opportunity for high-end interoperability under European leadership. 

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About this episode

Long before the coronavirus battered European economies, NATO’s European allies were finding it difficult to produce the cash or the political will to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic straining government budgets, defense spending is likely to be on the chopping block. This will have serious implications for transatlantic security. Even as budgets shrink, security challenges will remain. China has shown an increasing willingness to intimidate democracies, while Russia remains a spoiler in Europe and the Middle East.

Financial calamity does not mean that European cooperation within NATO should take a step back. In fact, now is the perfect time for European militaries to work together, and no better opportunity exists than to use the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales as hubs for a NATO carrier strike group (CSG). A NATO CSG would be a powerful symbol of Alliance unity and would bolster the Alliance’s force posture and interoperability.

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Key takeaways

  • 2:11: Michael talks about why he thinks NATO needs a carrier strike group and the capabilities it would give the Alliance
  • 8:42: Michael talks about whether some allies may or may not want NATO to have a CSG
  • 11:11: Michael discusses the actual capability of carrier strike groups
  • 12:53: Michael explains which NATO countries already have aircraft carriers that NATO could use as part of its CSG
  • 18:11: Michael discusses who would have the command and control over any potential NATO CSG
  • 22:46: Michael shares his thoughts on whether the call for NATO to have a carrier strike group is largely US-driven
  • 24:04: Michael postulates on whether a NATO CSG would require new spending from NATO allies
  • 25:50: Michael explains why a NATO CSG would be a useful and flexible tool, not just for the United States or Great Britain, but for all the allies
  • 28:54: Michael shares how a NATO carrier strike group could play into the China challenge
  • 30:27: Michael assesses the respective Chinese and Russian threats and whether they would require a NATO CSG to respond effectively

Read the essay

Wed, Oct 14, 2020

Christen a carrier strike group

Using the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales as its backbone, a NATO carrier strike group is an opportunity for high-end interoperability under European leadership.

NATO 20/2020 by Michael John Williams

Europe & Eurasia Maritime Security

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NATO 20/2020 Podcast

NATO 20/2020 is a weekly podcast that explores 20 bold ideas to push NATO to be more visionary, more capable, and more self-evidently valuable to the security of more people.

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