An unending stream of North African refugees continue to land on southern European shores (or need rescue on the open sea). Large, recently discovered natural gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean require maritime security. A resurgent Russia is encroaching on the territorial waters of the Baltic states. The growing prospect of ISIS-held seaports on the Syrian and Libyan coasts threatens further instability. And, given the diminishing presence of an overstretched and budget-constrained U.S. Navy, responsibility for these problems (and many other besides) is falling more and more heavily on European naval forces – which must also contend with dwindling procurement and manpower resources of their own.
On July 27, the Hudson Center for American Seapower hosted Rear Admiral Chris Parry for a conversation about contemporary European maritime-security issues. Rear Admiral Parry spent more than three decades in the British Royal Navy as an aviator and warfare officer and is an internationally recognized authority on existing and emerging aspects of the marine and maritime warfare environment. Hudson Senior Fellow Seth Cropsey moderated the discussion.