Lebanon’s Crippling Crisis: Prospects for a Further EU Involvement in the Country’s Stability

The Mediterranean region and the European continent are inextricably linked from a geographical, historical, and strategic point of view. For this simple reason, it is impossible for the countries that lie on the two shores of this almost-closed sea to ignore each other for a long time. Consequently, international cooperation between them has always been intense, being reinforced by strong cultural and economic ties. Nevertheless, due to the high degree of instability that traditionally affects this area, the EU’s foreign policy towards many of its southern neighbours has usually been dominated by the theme of the security–development nexus. Lebanon is no exception. Having its modern history characterized by recurring social unrest, economic crises and civil wars, this small country has often drawn the attention of European policymakers. In 2019 the nation that was once called “the Switzerland of Middle East” has fallen again into a severe political paralysis and started to experience a deep economic downturn, which undermines inter alia the normal implementation of cooperation programmes with the EU (World Bank, 2021) The general election held in May 2022 was intended to put an end to this situation, but it didn’t. For as long as the crisis perseveres, risk Lebanon risks falling into another devastating civil war is becoming feasible. Therefore, stronger European engagement to maintain the country’s stability seems to be a matter of necessity, and it could be one of the last opportunities to save Lebanon from sinking.

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The Evolution of the Augmented Soldier 

The history of the augmented soldier dates back to antiquity and the founding of the con- ventional military structure of people groups. These examples persist throughout histori- cal development and contribute towards the comprehension and intersplicing of military doctrine with the training of the rank-and-file soldier. These examples, when analysed, aid in developing a comprehensive overview of the evolutionary integration and development of the contemporary conventional land forces soldier. From ancient Sparta to Rome, aug- mentation of combat-ready troops has been progressively developed, along with equip- ment and biological aids used to further this military mandate aim.

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European Defence Fund: Time to Shine

In the wake of the European Council's discussion on the 26th of February regarding the future of EU security and defence, a decisive juncture to assess the stature of EU defence cooperation lies ahead. The EU pledges to deliver a collective answer to a fast-changing strategic environment and maintain momentum on its defence initiatives. Among its initiatives, the European Defence Fund (EDF) aims to boost joint research and innovation in defence and stimulate Member States industrial bases to develop common military capabilities. The EDF has officially come into effect with the new Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) 2021-2027, empowered with a total budget of € 8 billion; thus, it is time to demonstrate its potential.

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