Old troubles, new command

The European Union (EU) hopes to have made important enhancements to the command of its military operations by the end of the year, EU sources have informed armadainternational.com

These enhancements are expected to take for forms of the activation of a new military headquarters known as the Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC). The MPCC will command the EU’s non-executive military missions, namely the ongoing EU Training Mission (EUTM) Mali, EUTM CAR (Central African Republic) and EUTM Somalia.

The creation of MPCC within the EUMS (EU Military Staff) should solve one of EU military missions’ crucial problems; the absence of a proper strategic level of command. So far, the EU mission commander in the field has been only in charge of operational and tactical matters, while the responsibility for the strategic direction and political control of the mission was assigned to the Political and Security Committee (PSC); the part of the EU which drafts and administers the Union’s crisis management.

Lt. Gen. Esa Pulkkinen is expected to become ‘dual hatted’ as the MPCC director in the near future. (Wikimedia Commons)

If a decision concerning operational matters beyond the scope of the mission’s mandate or politically sensitive had to be taken, the mission commander would have to discuss it with the PSC in Brussels. Such requirements caused dangerous delays in the implementation of decisions concerning a specific mission. When the MPCC will be activated, the current EUMS director general, Lieutenant General Esa Pulkkinen will become ‘dual hatted’ as the MPCC director, responsible for operational planning and conduct at the strategic level. Hence, the mission force commander in the field will act under MPCC’s director’s command. The MPCC’s director will report to the PSC and be based in Brussels.