In 2003, the European Union launched "Artemis", its first autonomous military operation, to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the Eastern Congo. On a similar occasion in 2008 however, Europeans refused to send in their troops. Between 2003 and 2010, the EU has deployed no less than six military operations under the umbrella of its European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). This book explores the black box of military decision-making processes in Brussels. It addresses crucial questions: what determines the launch of military ESDP operations? Which are the key driving factors in processes leading to their initiation? And: what are the underlying motives and aims of those actors involved? Are they in line with self-declared goals or do we encounter major inconsistencies? Starting from an in-depth institutional analysis of decision-making processes within the European Union, subsequent chapters address the key member states in the process: France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Also, the relationships between the EU and the UN and NATO respectively are under scrutiny. Finally, the decision-making processes towards the Congo are reconstructed in two meticulous case studies.