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E.U. member states launched the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) in 1998. The aim of the policy instrument referred at the time as the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) was to develop military crisis management capacity. Beyond acting as a unitary global actor, the E.U. needed the mandate, operational capacity, and infrastructure to work alone or with partners in its periphery, be it the Mediterranean, the Baltics, and the Black Sea. This decision took form in the Helsinki Headline Goal of 1999 and the Headline Goal 2010 of 2004. To date, this mandate has been partially developed. That is significant as we fail to optimize the allocation of limited defense resources and our inability to address a variety of increasingly acute crisis scenarios, undermining the E.U.’s legitimacy and international role.

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