The influence of demography on European and future Armed Forces
Looney, Robert E.
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Such demographic factors in Europe as low fertility rates, high life expectancy, and the restricted immigration policy have caused European societies to age rapidly and the population of Europe will dramatically decline over the next thirty years. In comparison to Europe, the trend of aging in developing counties, for example in the Middle East and Northern Africa, presents a stark contrast. Taking into account demographic trends like aging, global distribution of the population, and migration, Europe faces increasing geopolitical challenges in the future, based on the cleavages "north versus south," "rich versus poor," and "old versus young." From a domestic point of view of Continental Europe, the demographic factors are responsible not only for a declining workforce but also for increasing retirement rates. The consequences are a decreasing GDP and increasing social welfare costs. So, further development of European armed forces in an uncertain world has to take place in this tense financial situation. Taking the goals of the European Security Strategy into account and considering the necessity that the military capabilities have to be adapted to meet a new threat scenario, this thesis tries to illustrate why Europe has to intensify its efforts of European military integration, mindful of the limitation of demography and politics.
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