The Russian invasion of Ukraine shows us once more that we should not take security and stability in our region for granted. In this current context of growing internal and external threats, the importance of a rapidly deployable reserve force has therefore become a hot topic again. When the active units are deployed in case of a terrorist threat or during an operation conducted under article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, local and federal police forces need to be reinforced by rapidly available Defence reserve units if security missions within our borders are to be conducted successfully. The past fifteen years, however, the number of staff members and means of the Belgian Defence have decreased drastically, thereby making it extremely difficult to secure sensitive and critical points in our country, even outside wartime. Consequently, the Reserve force needs to be reformed. This Focus Paper Special Issue analyses the possibility of creating a Belgian home guard, by analogy with the home guards in the Scandinavian countries, and elaborates on the structure, equipment, training, location and financial needs of such a territorial reserve contributing to our national readiness and resilience.

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(Only available in Dutch)

Research line: Belgium

Source photos: Belgian Defence

Focus Paper themanummer

Hervorming van de Reserve:
naar een Belgische territoriale home guard?