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To Intervene or Not to Intervene?: The EU and the Military Option in the Lebanon War of 2006
Deputy Director General, Swedish Ministry of Defence.
2010 (English)In: Perspectives on European Politics and Society, ISSN 1570-5854, E-ISSN 1568-0258, Vol. 11, no 4, 408-428 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the Lebanon war in the summer of 2006, the EU made an effort to raise its profile in the Middle East, playing a political role more commensurate with European values and interests at stake in its immediate neighbourhood. The EU, already the main provider of humanitarian aid to the region, was expected to provide the bulk of forces to any successor to the UN’s ill fated peacekeeping force UNIFIL I. It was not only UN Secretary General Annan asking Europeans to assume a leading role for the force, but so did Israel, looking for a way out of a war that was not going as expected. For a couple of weeks in July, the EU internally debated the possibility of assuming command and control for the force. France, the prime contender for the role as ‘framework nation’ for the operation, in the end declined to assume the command and control of an EU-led force, instead deciding to put its forces under UN lead and fold its forces into what became UNIFIL II. While it may have been premature for the EU, who initiated its military operations only in 2003, to take on the responsibility for an operation fraught with risks, and possibly also of long duration in the Middle East, the fact that it discussed the possibility at all is indicative of the EU’s ambition in the field of military crisis management and its wish to play a role in case there would in the future be a settlement between Israel and Palestine that would require the presence of international stabilisation forces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge , 2010. Vol. 11, no 4, 408-428 p.
Keyword [en]
EU’s role in the Lebanon war of 2006, EU or UN led military forces, EU or UN led military forces, EU ambitions and limitations, immature military command and control, international institutions as shock absorbers, a military role for the EU in a future Middle East settlement
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-141759DOI: 10.1080/15705854.2010.524406OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-141759DiVA: diva2:386195
Available from: 2011-01-12 Created: 2011-01-12 Last updated: 2011-01-12Bibliographically approved

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