Center for Strategic Decision Research


Opening Remarks

Mr. Rainer Hertrich
Co-Chief Executive Officer,
European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS)
Workshop Honorary General Chairman


September 11 and its consequences have turned the global political agenda upside down. That fateful day was not just an attack on the free world and open societies but an attack on the aviation industry, the very heart of our mobile world. Our emotions as well as our industry's economy were particularly hard hit by these attacks. We are still experiencing their effects to this day. 

These terrible acts of terrorism have shone a light on the new arena of global conflict. Many of us were aware of the problems involved, but the attacks created a new consciousness among a wider public. 

New demands have now been placed on security policy and defense strategy. We have already had to prepare ourselves for more attacks and for a range of attacks, from single terrorist actions to massive strikes with ballistic missiles. This new type of threat-known as asymmetric-demands a broad new spectrum of military capabilities, including those for prevention, reaction, and intervention. However, though the types of threats have changed, our main objective remains the same: to avoid losses among innocent third parties as a result of collateral damage, and to avoid losses among friendly security and armed forces as a result of stand-off capabilities. The integrity of human life is still paramount. 


I believe that the new conflict scenarios require five military capabilities: 

1. We require modern reconnaissance and monitoring technologies and appropriate evaluation capabilities. 

2. Our armed forces must be able to rely on integrated command and communication resources

3. We must have air superiority to achieve a successful conflict outcome. This superiority must be guaranteed in our own airspace (homeland defense) and in potential areas of military deployment (theater missile defense). 

4. If a particular conflict requires troops, mobility must be guaranteed for all operational units. Logistics must be in place for supplying deployed personnel over the medium and long terms. 

5. All of the capabilities must be delivered through multilateral alliances. Interoperability is the key criterion for troops in the field. 

The aerospace industry possesses the decisive core competencies for all of these areas. We will be a reliable and competent partner for foreign and security policy. However, we will not be able to fully meet the new challenges using technology from the 1960s. And the modernization required cannot be carried out in a short amount of time. 


The Financial Divide between American and European R&D Budgets. Germany's R&D budget reached a new low in 2001 of 1.1 billion Euros. France spends three times as much on research and development (3.6 billion Euros), and Great Britain spends nearly six times as much (6.4 billion Euros). All European R&D budgets put together amount to 12 billion Euros, which is still only a quarter of what the U.S. spends (46 billion Euros). This financial divide will inevitably produce a technology gap in Europe. 

Despite such a gap, it would be disastrous if European governments simply bought American products off the shelf. That would destroy the excellent prospects for transatlantic joint ventures. Turning Europe into only a good customer of America would not be in our best interests. Europe needs genuine, sustainable partnerships with America on both the political and industrial levels. 

The five central challenges I outlined form the basis for planning European individual armed forces. But in order for those forces to be able to cooperate successfully, we must focus on harmonizing our diverse technology capabilities, both within Europe and between Europe and the U.S. 

Unfortunately, Europe cannot assert that we have moved so much as a centimeter toward closing the technology gap with the U.S. The attacks on September 11 and their consequences have pointed out our inadequate military capabilities. But just as in the Gulf War, looking away is not an option. 

There is yet to be an appropriate reaction in Europe; the pressure is there, but we are ignoring the pain. In the Balkans, the Europeans lagged well behind their American Alliance partners in the key command functions for armed forces, reconnaissance and communication. Without these competencies it is impossible to talk about an independent capability for assessing a situation. The Europeans must have felt downgraded because of the inadequacies they had caused. Complaints about the supposedly restrictive information policy pursued by the U.S. essentially do little to justify the situation. 

Pooling European Resources. The heavily fragmented European defense market is a key reason for Europe's lack of capabilities. Another reason is the fact that research and development efforts are primarily focused at the national level. If each nation does its own thing, developments will be replicated three times over. Unnecessary funds will also be spent on producing the same thing. 

We simply can't go on like this. We must pool our research and development forces and harmonize the framework. The concept of a "union of centers" represents a decisive step forward in the civilian sector in this respect. 

Following this "centers of competence" concept, each technology will no longer be based in each/every country. Every organization will concentrate on what it does best. Though this idea horrifies many Europeans, my assessment is different. I believe we can only deploy our scarce research resources by creating core competencies. This is the only way in which we can retain capabilities in Europe, even if not within each country. This holds true both for the civilian and the military sectors. 

If we fail to turn things around, and if the European countries no longer invest in joint research and development, the armed forces' high-tech "equipment gap" may be transformed into an industry-wide "technology gap." 


For some time now, we have been talking about a joint European Security and Defense Identity. We have been discussing Rapid Reaction Forces and inter-operability. All are ambitious goals, and they are too important for us to simply pay them lip service. 

Europe needs to intensify its cooperation on defense. We need as many partners as possible with common standards and who will join forces to uphold those standards. We can no longer afford to squander scarce defense resources in Europe, as we are still doing, for example, by having three different fighter aircraft on the market. 

Establishing the OCCAR procurement agency was a first step in achieving convergence within Europe. The task now is to breathe life into this new structure, with a joint European procurement program such as the A400M. European and transatlantic joint ventures must go hand in hand. There should also be increasing numbers of transcontinental ventures, such as those with our Russian neighbors. Old enemies are becoming partners, as they are in the Partnership for Peace program, so that they can face up to the big challenges. 


September 11 propelled security scenarios such as homeland missile defense and theater missile defense to the top of the international agenda. It also resulted in the U.S. and Russia moving closer together, a positive consequence. The U.S., Europe, and Russia, the power centers, are now joined in an alliance against terror for the protection of all the partners. This alliance must include a military commitment as well as humanitarian and economic components. 

The key lesson we have learned from the recent past is that nobody is immune to the new kinds of threats-everyone is affected by them. In the future, we will need to take on more joint responsibility and underpin this responsibility with commitment. The 19th International Workshop represents an important platform and a good milestone on the way forward. The high-caliber program will provide you with a series of very interesting presentations, I am certain. During the workshop, I wish you exciting discussion sessions. I also hope that this conference not only leads to increased mutual understanding but also generates initiatives for solving the security policy challenges we face today. 


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