The European Union’s foreign policy affairs and security and defence matters have always been the areas in which progressing and ad- vancing has proved to be a challenging task. Despite the integration achievements accom- plished in other EU fields, such as the Sin- gle Market, the European Monetary Union, or the Common Agriculture Policy; the cul- tural, identity, historical, and geographical differences between the MS have prevented the consolidation of a common strategic cul- ture. In this context, as the main international events of the last years have proved, the EU is still unable to carry out military operations outside its borders, not even when the stabili- ty of the European project itself is being called into question and challenged.
Over the centuries, the use of snipers in com- bat has evolved from a peripheral practice to a widespread feature of modern warfare. Rifle and optical technology have undergone huge advancements that have helped marksmen emerge as integral parts of offensive and de- fensive strategies. Today, snipers continue to impact combat in ways that far eclipse the sum of casualties caused. A powerful tool in stifling enemy morale, snipers are best de- scribed as specialists in precision shooting and as resilient, highly skilled masters of stealth.
From a geopolitical perspective, the major actor crowding EU policymakers’ minds is Russia, as the EU imports around 30% of its oil and 40% of its gas from there. This de- pendence, however, is not distributed evenly. Certain member states (MS) import almost all their energy from Russia, especially in Eastern Europe, while others are exporters themselves.
Targeted interoperability may be understood through the ongoing development of NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force. This brigade-size rapid response force is designed to deploy its lead elements within 48 hours, ensuring prompt response to conflict. This multinational unit is unique in its very tight deployment timeline, which implies functional interoperability between several alliance members to a degree so far unseen within NATO.
Following the wave of terrorist attacks that shook Europe in 2015, policymakers in the EU realised the necessity to outline a comprehensive strategy to trace the path to fight against political extremism. Whether fuelled by ethnonationalism, religious, or ideological reasons, everyone wants to avoid the hundreds of deaths that plagued that year, and the following ones.