Carry That Weight

Improving European Strategic Airlift Capabilities

by Katia Vlachos-Dengler

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This dissertation addresses the problem of the shortfall between the strategic airlift capabilities which European Union requires if it is to fulfill the ambition to be a credible security actor and the capabilities available to the major European nations individually and collectively. It does so by identifying and describing the key factors that influence decision-making on strategic airlift capabilities, in the context of various policy options for doing so, as well as the barriers to the implementation of the most cost-effective among the various options available. A key assertion of this dissertation is that pooling of resources is the most cost-effective way to address airlift capability shortfalls in a restrictive budgetary environment, but also the most politically challenging to implement. Improving European strategic airlift capabilities has received significant attention in recent years in the context of NATO and the European Union. This research aims at contributing to the debate and should be of interest to policymakers concerned with improving European defense capabilities, as well as to academics and researchers addressing that issue.

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This document was submitted as a dissertation in March 2007 in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the doctoral degree in public policy analysis at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. The faculty committee that supervised and approved the dissertation consisted of Stuart Johnson (Chair), Mark Lorell, and Greg Treverton.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation dissertation series. Pardee RAND dissertations are produced by graduate fellows of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world's leading producer of Ph.D.'s in policy analysis. The dissertations are supervised, reviewed, and approved by a Pardee RAND faculty committee overseeing each dissertation.

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