EU Member States have taken part in military missions with energy security components for many years, though NATO, in support of US-led actions and independently. EU militaries contributed to US interventions Operation Earnest Will at the tail-end of the Iran-Iraq war and the 1991 and 2003 Gulf Wars. Britain, the EU’s largest military power, has recently used its navy to defend energy infrastructure in the Middle East and to train the Nigerian military to protect oil production and exports. Both Britain and France are seeking to enhance their expeditionary military capabilities, in part to protect the supply of key strategic resources such as oil. NATO, an institution which overlaps with the EU, has been promoting its potential role in coordinating military responses to energy security problems over recent years. the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) has not yet articulated a clear position on this issue. However, the EU’s first naval mission, Operation Atalanta, is already performing an energy security role by combating Somali pirates who have hijacked a number of giant oil tankers since 2008.

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