The Council of Ministers yesterday approved the extension of peacekeeping operations abroad until 2022, with a maximum of 3,000 military personnel deployed and in line with the missions in which the Armed Forces are already participating.
The government assures that the action of the Armed Forces “in favour of security, stability and support for the most fragile and vulnerable societies is more necessary than ever” due to an increase in instability caused by factors such as Covid, climate change or “the resurgence of geopolitical tensions between great powers”.
Within the framework of the European Union, Spain continues to participate in military missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa, Somalia, Mali and the Central African Republic, in addition to troops assigned to the European Union’s EU Battle Group Package Rapid Response Force.
The Armed Forces also operate from Senegal, providing air support to French operations in the Sahel to combat jihadist terrorism. This is the Marfil Detachment, which the Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles, visited last week near Dakar.
Within the UN, Spanish military personnel are part of the mission in Lebanon and act as observers in Colombia. By 2022, it will also continue to participate in the mission to support Iraq, contributing troops to the International Coalition against Daesh and to NATO’s NMI mission.
Within this framework of the Atlantic Alliance, the Armed Forces also contribute to the missions for deterrence and defence of the Euro-Atlantic area, to the reinforced forward presence in Latvia, to the air police missions in the Baltic and Romania, and to the anti-missile and anti-aircraft protection operation for the population of Turkey.
In addition, navy units are integrated into the standing naval forces in the Mediterranean and North Atlantic.
The agreement approved yesterday envisages that by 2022 the maximum number of simultaneously deployed troops will be around 3,000, which is very similar to this year’s figure.
Currently, 2,470 military personnel are deployed in 17 international operations. The largest contingents are in Lebanon, with some 600 blue helmets, and Mali, with around 500 troops.