Out of Area or Out of Reach?

European Military Support for Operations in Southwest Asia

by John E. Peters, Howard Deshong


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This report examines how Europe's military force might respond to a contingency in Southwest Asia in the next five to ten years. The examination covers the state of European forces, their preparedness for operations in a remote and demanding theater of operations, and their readiness to join a "coalition of the willing" out-of-area mission to Southwest Asia. It also considers how regional actors might respond to an incursion from the West: how and with what means they might resist and what strategy they might employ. Recommendations are given for paths the Europeans could pursue to improve their ability for expeditionary operations. The report should be helpful to those interested in defense policy, Alliance planning, military strategy, and force development, especially U.S.-European cooperation for out-of-area missions.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    European Forces in Desert Storm

  • Chapter Three

    Future Military Dimensions of Southwest Asia

  • Chapter Four

    European Military Cooperation

  • Chapter Five

    National Capabilities

  • Chapter Six

    Multinational Formations

  • Chapter Seven


  • Bibliography

    Selected Bibliography

This report was undertaken as part of a project for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy entitled "West European Military Contributions to Persian Gulf Security and Related Missions." Research was conducted in the International Security and Defense Policy Center within RAND's National Defense Research Institute (NDRI). NDRI is a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and the defense agencies.

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