The Decline of European Naval Forces

Challenges to Sea Power in an Age of Fiscal Austerity and Political Uncertainty
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Published:April 15, 2018

The Decline of European Naval Forces aims to provide insight into the evolution of Europe’s naval forces since the end of the Cold War. To illuminate the drastic changes many European navies have undergone over the last twenty-five years, Jeremy Stöhs analyzes the defense policies and naval strategies of eleven European states as well as the evolution, deployment, and capabilities of their respective naval forces.

In these case studies, the development of Europe’s most important naval forces is assessed per the respective strategic framework in which they have operated over the past two decades. Stöhs describes not only the general composition of each force but also the range of their capabilities and their important technical features. His study shows that since the end of the Cold War, all but a few European navies have significantly decreased in size and, thus, have ceded important capabilities along the way.

Based on the understanding of sea power as a prerequisite for political influence and economic health, the consequences of the geopolitical shift toward the Asian-Pacific region, and most importantly the general decline of Europe’s traditional naval capabilities, the author concludes that the ability of European states to influence events near and abroad by means of their naval forces has atrophied and will continue to be called into question in the future

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Product Details
  • Subject: Military History
  • Hardback : 312 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1682473082
  • ISBN-13: 9781682473085
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 21.92 oz
  • Anyone proclaiming that Europe has to share more of a burden in transatlantic affairs will come away sober after reading Jeremy Stöhs’ introduction to post-Cold War European naval forces. This book is a warning call for policy-makers to get to work now on revitalizing maritime strategic thinking and procurement. —Sebastian Bruns, author of US Naval Strategy and National Security; Director, Kiel Seapower Series; Head of Center for Maritime Strategy & Security, Institute for Security Policy University of Kiel (ISPK)
  • "Jeremy Stohs and the Kiel University Institute for Security Policy have done the NATO alliance and European-American relations a great service by echoing the words of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902, “A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guarantee of peace”. This outstanding analysis shows in fine detail not just the current and planned status of Europe’s navies, but very succinctly why collective increased maritime power is quintessential for maintaining global peace and the vital national interests of these countries." — Dr. Anthony Wells, author of A Tale of Two Navies, Geopolitics, Technology, and Strategy in the United States Navy and the Royal Navy, 1960-2015
  • "This book fills a critical gap in the discussion of modern seapower. By examining the state of European navies through the prism of strategy, technology, and operations, Jeremy Stöhs is able to escape the confines of the largely theoretical debate about the value of naval power and illuminates the critical decisions and tradeoffs European nations face in their effort to 'provide the European populace with both security and access to the amenities of the global market.'"—Eric V. Thompson, Vice President and Director of Strategic Studies, Center for Naval Analyses
  • "Jeremy Stöhs' book is an urgent and persuasive reminder of how European politicians have neglected to remain strong at sea at a time when the international maritime system - the watery world-wide web - is coming under increasing pressure. The United States Navy cannot be everywhere at once and European navies will have to demonstrate tangible war-fighting capability and technological agility, as well as the ability and willingness to go in harm's way, if they are to help maintain order at sea, deter aggression and resist coercion." —Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE PhD, Churchill College, Cambridge and author of 'Super Highway, Sea Power in the 21st Century

Jeremy Stöhs is an Austrian-American defense analyst at the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK) and its adjunct Center for Maritime Strategy & Security. He is also a non-resident fellow of the Austrian Center for Intelligence, Propaganda & Security Studies (ACIPSS).

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