Personal views from University of Bath researchers on the news of the day

Posts By: David Galbreath

Is the EU anywhere near getting its own army?

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📥  EU Referendum, Heath Science & Technology

David J Galbreath, University of Bath and Simon J Smith, Staffordshire University

As part of a warning by a group of former military officers that the European Union undermines the UK’s military effectiveness, former General Sir Michael Rose expressed concern at the EU’s plan to set up its own army.

But in a speech on May 9 outlining why the UK would be more secure if it remained in the EU, Prime Minister David Cameron said suggestions of an EU army were “fanciful” and that the UK would veto any suggestion of it.

As Cameron pointed out, there is a significant gap between the rhetoric and reality of the establishment of a fully functional European army.

The creation of a European army is a long way off and by no means inevitable. Even the most supportive nations, such as Germany, would acknowledge this reality.

As defence falls within the intergovernmental sphere of EU law, any single member state can veto its creation ensuring that the prospect of the UK getting dragged into an EU army against its will is zero. In fact, one could argue that the UK remaining inside the EU would do more to prevent an EU army than a Brexit would.



How technology can create conflict

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📥  Heath Science & Technology, Public Policy

David Galbreath, Professor International Security within the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, will today give evidence to the House of Commons All Parliamentary Group on ‘Global Uncertainties’.

The purpose of the All Parliamentary Group is to inform parliamentarians of the activities of the UK Research Councils in response to global security challenges which help governments, businesses and societies to better predict, detect, prevent and mitigate threats to security.

Professor Galbreath will today give evidence to the House of Commons All Parliamentary Group on ‘Global Uncertainties’.

Professor Galbreath will today give evidence to the House of Commons All Parliamentary Group on ‘Global Uncertainties’.

The nature of conflict has always been connected to the application of technologies. In fact, nearly all social behaviour is. We can understand technology in a broader sense than that of the modern sense of communication or kinetic power. Technology should be understood both in its conceptual forms as well as applied forms. Let us think of the relationship between the way we may seek to broaden horizons on the battlefield and the technologies the give us situational awareness through visual and aural technologies.

The conceptual and applied forms of technologies are non-linear and complex. The reason why it is important to understand the nature of technologies is because the non-linear and complex relationship between concepts and applications has a defining result for conflict whether at the individual or group level. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and the ways militaries have sought to detect and destroy them are such examples of how the convergence of science and technologies has a direct impact on a conflict. Techno-science examines this relationship between science and technology and our social behaviour.



How the Ukraine crisis brought European security back from the dead

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📥  The Conversation

Anti-European demonstration statement in Mariupol

Demonstrators demanding separation and federalization of Donetsk Region
occupied city council of Mariupol.

A fragile peace agreement is in place in Ukraine – but the task of determining whether or not it is holding is proving to be a fraught one indeed.

As Kiev and the pro-Russian rebels fight a war of words over who is slowing down the enforcement of the Minsk II agreement, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is doing its best to provide accurate picture of what’s really happening on the ground.

Once thought to have passed its use-by date, the OSCE has drawn new life from the conflict. It is once again seen as a vital agent of European peace and security – and as the only European security organisation that boasts both the Russia the US as participants, it’s been able to rise to the challenge for the very same reasons that many observers previously nearly wrote it off.