The topic of radicalisation is strictly linked to terrorism since, usually, the former leads to the latter. However, they are not synonyms, and the processes behind each are very different and complex to analyse. The radicalisation topic dominated public opinion following the surge of terrorist attacks in Europe by ISIS militants starting in 2015. These events led national and local institutions to commission projects and programs to tackle radicalisation by raising awareness on the topic in civil society. This paper aims to investigate radicalisation in European militaries to create a European framework in which armed forces and civil society can join to fight radicalisation processes related to armies. To do so, this analysis will focus on radicalisation processes within the military and amongst individuals who have left the armed forces.
Estonia took another step on January 14 to bolster its defence as the nation’s Ministry of Defence announced the signing of a new €36 million contract to procure twelve K9 Thunder Self-Propelled Howitzers (Ministry of Defence Estonia, 2023). The deal, signed with the company Hanwha Defence, is a result of what Defence Minister Hanno Peukur referred to as “lessons learned from the war in Ukraine” (as cited in Estonian World, 2023). The 47-ton, 155 mm howitzers manufactured in South Korea feature a maximum firing range of 40 kilometres and can reach a top speed of 67 kilometres per hour (European Defence Review, 2022).
Following the Russian aggression against Ukraine in February 2022, Kyiv’s Government received unprecedented military support from NATO members. The military cooperation between Ukraine and the Atlantic Alliance goes back to the early nineties, and it underwent an intensification process after the Crimea in 2014. The Western support during the 2022 conflict took the form of economic assistance, weapons supply, and training of troops. Despite NATO’s military aid certainly played a role in Ukraine being able to resist Moscow’s aggression, problems on and off the battlefield raised concerns about the Alliance’s interoperability capacity, not only with respect to its partners but also between its Member States. Therefore, NATO Chiefs of Staff need to identify and address these issues to steer the conflict in Kyiv’s favour and to avoid the re-emergence of these issues in the future.
Ukraine hunts for Ukrainian Gepards Switzerland’s long-standing condition of neutrality is globally well-known. This status has been enforced since the Treaty of Paris in 1815, but many scholars date the origins of Switzerland’s neutrality back to 1515 when 10,000 Swiss soldiers lost their lives in the 16-hour Battle of Marignano and the government afterwards decided to stay neutral in European conflicts, avoiding the risks of being on the losing side in any war (Cafiero, 2022).
Since the creation of the European Union’s (EU) Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP), the Union has launched three naval operations under this framework. The inclusion of maritime security and anti-piracy operations increasingly shows that EU security and defence cooperation has acquired a naval dimension (Nováky, 2022, pp. 56-57). The three designated naval operations undertaken through CSDP measures are Operation Atlanta (EU NAVFOR), a counter-piracy operation to protect maritime traffic off the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean; Operation Sophia (EU NAVFOR Med), which sought to combat the network of human smugglers and traffickers in the Central Mediterranean from 2015 to 2020; and Operation IRINI (EUNAVFOR MED IRINI), which is focused on the enforcement of the United Nation’s arms embargos against Libya since 2020 (Nováky, 2022, p. 57).