Belgian Strategic Defence Committee releases first two reports

At the end of 2020, Belgian Minister of Defence Ludivine Dedonder mandated two coordinators to form a Strategic Committee with 10 experts with a view to updating the role and priorities of the Belgian military in the 21st century. BSoG Vice-Dean for Research Alexander Mattelaer and fellow VUB professor Jonathan Holslag were among the members appointed to the new Belgian strategic defence committee.

On 22 June 2021, the Strategic Committee issued its first two reports, containing a new analysis of the security environment as well as a number of recommendations on how the Belgian military should prepare for current and future threats. The recommendations included the following:

- Belgian Defence needs to develop a more proactive and anticipatory strategic culture as a result of increasing uncertainties and geopolitical changes.

- Belgian Defence needs to be able to fulfil its five missions – national readiness and resilience, collective defence, projecting forces abroad contributing to collective security, defence diplomacy and aid to Belgian society – which are interconnected with Belgium’s vital and strategic interests.

- Belgium cannot further reduce its range of capabilities.

- To meet the requirements for missions and capabilities, there is an urgent need of recapitalisation in personnel.

- Belgium has to demonstrate to its partners (NATO, other EU countries, etc.) that it will take its share of the burden and accept collective risks