The Independent European Force
Costs of Independence
This report examines the costs associated with acquiring and operating two key components of an independent European force--force projection and surveillance/C2I systems. The study examines three levels of capability for these components and generates "back of the envelope" cost analyses, providing a gross estimate of the trade-offs available between capability and cost. The study finds that force projection dominates the low-capability case (around two-thirds of the cost), but in the medium- and high-capability cases, the two components contribute roughly equally to the cost for an independent European force. In terms of trade-offs, the modest systems of the low case provide some independent capability, but for many uses, they will require the aid of robust U.S. systems to minimize risk. The high case will provide more robustness, but even this will not match U.S. capabilities in force projection. Moreover, the study argues that beyond the cost considerations are the inevitable command and control problems of trying to set up and operate an independent European force.