Task force comprised of former and current senior defense and security officials from Europe and the United States recommend strengthening military mobility in Europe.

WASHINGTON, DC – April 23, 2020 – Today, the Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Security Initiative, housed within the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, launched a new task force report titled:On the Move: A Comprehensive Assessment of European Military Mobility. The task force, co-chaired by former Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Curtis Scaparrotti, USA (Ret.) and former US Ambassador to Hungary Colleen Bell, will officially launch the report on April 23 during a public event with senior US, NATO, and EU military and defense officials and experts.

The report’s findings come at a time when the military mobility effort in Europe has lost momentum in the face of other economic and political pressures and requires renewed emphasis at every level to succeed.

The Atlantic Council’s task force on military mobility, comprised of former and current senior US and European defense officials and experts, was established in April 2019 to assess the adequacy of military mobility enhancement efforts in Europe to support the rapid reinforcement of allied forces across the continent in the event of crisis or war.

Through a year-long study drawing on consultations with NATO, the EU, and national government officials, the task force developed a set of concrete recommendations which together represent a critical next step to enhancing NATO’s twenty-first-century conventional deterrence posture and military mobility throughout Europe.

“The Transatlantic security environment is dynamic and increasingly challenging. Focused and consistent investment in military mobility over the coming years is required to establish robust deterrence and defense and to ensure peace in Europe,” said the task force’s co-chair, General (ret.) Curtis Scaparrotti, former supreme allied commander Europe and former commander of US European Command. “The recommendations made in this report, when implemented, will enhance NATO, EU and the Nations’ many defense initiatives in progress, especially the NATO Readiness Initiative.”

Ambassador Colleen Bell, former US ambassador to Hungary, philanthropist, and strong proponent of a coherent and comprehensive approach to military mobility in Europe, said, “Ensuring NATO has the capabilities to deter and if necessary, defeat, any adversary is vital.  It is just as important to ensure Allies can project those capabilities where they are needed, when they are needed. Eliminating barriers to freedom of military movement is critical to NATO meeting the full spectrum of current and emerging security challenges.” 

As the director of the task force, Wayne Schroeder, a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, has led an extensive program of research on ongoing military mobility efforts and the remaining gaps and barriers. “A true transatlantic commitment and a whole-of-government approach by the nations of Europe to military mobility will be central to assuring peace, freedom, and security across the continent in the 21st century,” said Schroeder. “While Europe currently finds itself in a challenging fiscal environment, it has the resource base to provide the robust and stable funding needed to ensure the success of the project over the long-term. A sustained political commitment is essential to undergirding the success of military mobility in Europe.”

The report is available for download. For media inquiries, please contact press@atlanticcouncil.org.  Follow the conversation online using #ACDefense

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