63rd ATA General Assembly and European Defense Industry Summit, Brussels, Palais d'Egmont, 3-4 December, 2017
PUBLISHED: December 7, 2017
Europe and its strategic partners face growing security challenges, ranging in scale and intensity. These challenges require innovative responses, leading to a growing need for cutting edge capabilities, as well as a tighter connection between the defence industry sectors of both sides of the Atlantic. The ATA General Assembly and the European Defense Industry Summit, together have significant implications for the security of the Euro-Atlantic Community. For 70 years, the Transatlantic Bond has allowed us to maintain a qualitative and technological edge over those that seek to undermine our unity and democracy. As Europe and its transatlantic Allies face the same global threats, the opportunity for fostering a tighter relation between defence technology and our industrial bases is essential. To this end, this Summit allow us to exchange knowledge, promote technological innovations, and deepen the manufacturing of our joint systems. In fact, a strong Euro-Atlantic strategic partnership relies on the capabilities of its members. With economic growth on the rise - for the first time since the financial-crisis - the new complex set of security threats can be finally addressed with the horizon of the 2% rule. To this end, ATA is strongly supporting the strategic partnership and cooperation between NATO and EU by developing concrete initiatives, in Brussels and all over the Euro-Atlantic area. In particular, ATA has focused its activities on counter-terrorism, hybrid warfare and the cyber domain. Our action is also devoted on the engagement of SMEs in the defense sector, particularly in areas of knowledge sharing, technical assistance, early warning systems, and cyber security. Currently, there are more than 1300 European SMEs that contribute to the defence supply chain with highly efficient niche goods and services. This has been a key area of work for ATA, that has initiated the foundation of the first “Small-Medium Enterprise Advisory Group”, which lead us to focus, on a daily basis, with implementing policies and strategies aimed at developing new and cutting-edge technologies. As we all are aware, technology is always evolving. However, sometimes not to our benefit. The cyber domain and the progress of Artificial Intelligence, represent new challenges as well as an opportunity for development. Creating innovative technologies is essential to effectively cope with the security concerns of tomorrow. Finally, the role of academia constitutes a critical asset for ATA. Scientific research needs to work alongside with industry innovation to beneficing the defense sector of the Euro Atlantic Area. Since more than 60 years, ATA represents a unique platform able to connect selected defense industries with the academic and scientific dimension, the political elites, military departments, decision makers, specialized media and the successor generations, in order to exchange best practices and explore new opportunities to stimulate innovation and maximize the efficiency of Euro-Atlantic defense spending. By promoting, coordinating and organizing an average of 500 initiatives per year, ATA and its 38 national associations, will continue to serve, alongside our NATO, EU and industry partners, to ensure that our technologies and capabilities remain at the cutting edge and will keep our transatlantic community free, whole and at peace.
By: Admin
ATA Secretary General Remarks | Strengthening Security & Stability In The Mediterranean
PUBLISHED: January 11, 2017
MODERATOR REMARKS By ATA Secretary General During the Conference "Strengthening Security & Stability In The Mediterranean – The Role Of Morocco" at the European Parliament in Brussels. 7 September 2016 Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Guests, Esteemed Organizers, Dear Friends, I would like to start by first thanking our organizers and hosts for arranging this engagement and constructing this panel with such esteemed speakers and distinguished guests. I would like to provide a special thanks to Miss Reese for her role in bringing us together along with a special recognition to our distinguished guests from both France and Belgium joining us in the audience here today, many of which share a close experience and insight on these issues.   Introduction The Euro-Atlantic and MENA region find themselves in an increasing threat environment due to the ongoing challenge of radical jihadi terrorism and the spread of ISIS combined with a continuing migration crisis largely fueled by the war in Syria. Since the declaration of the Caliphate in June 2014, ISIS or individuals inspired by Daesh have carried out over 95 terrorist attacks in 21 separate countries, claiming the lives of over 1,500 people. The targets are wide ranging and include: Belgium, France, Indonesia, Russia, Bangladesh, Australia, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia and the United States. Following the recent attacks in Paris, Nice and Brussels while taking into account that France today is Europe’s leading exporter of Foreign Fighters to Syria with Belgium being the biggest proportional exporter, we have an emerging trend to recognize that the Francophone world is suffering the highest threat level from jihadi terrorism in Europe with Belgium having become a front line state. Looking to our Mediterranean Partners, Morocco has been a key ally, working closely with their French, Belgian, Spanish, Portuguese and American partners to counter the terrorist threat Morocco faces not only from ISIS and Middle East jihadist groups such as al-Nusra, but also the wider Sahel region and Maghreb groups operating out of Mali, Mauritania and Niger, along with global jihadist organizations including AQ and AQIM. After suffering its own tragic attacks in Casablanca and Marrakesh several years ago, the threat continues both at home and abroad as an estimated 1600- 2000 persons who have gone to Syria, making Morocco the 3rd largest provider of jihadists to Syria. This is why we are fortunate to have Minister Hassad here with us today. Having taken a proactive approach in countering terrorism and radicalization, Morocco has made notable contributions and efforts that are necessary to briefly mention before opening up to the panelists here tonight. I will stress 4 key points that I will divide them into two categories, short term and long-term: SHORT TERM: 1.Since 9/11 over 120 terrorist organizations have been dismantled by Moroccan authorities that were operating inside the country. According to France 24’s recent report, over 20 terrorist cells were dismantled in Morocco this year. Many of the thwarted attacks were targeting high value civilian and national security posts such as: Non-Muslim places of worship At least 116 plots against national security targets Including the famous case of a Saudi sleep cell that was targeting a NATO fleet in Gibraltar While also stopping at least 108 targeted assassinations against national security services personnel 2.Due to the threat of ISIS, Morocco has revised its CT laws and created a new elite CT force in 2015 In addition, membership to ISIS has been made illegal and any returning FF’s have been quickly detained 3.Earlier in 2016, Morocco joined NATO’s Interoperability Platform and stepped up military cooperation with special forces training with Egypt, Tunisia and Mauritania They are currently working with their Spanish, French and Portuguese allies to train Moroccan police in document fraud 4.While when we look to migration concerns, Morocco has taken measures to stem the flows to Europe: In 2014, Morocco launched a special regularization program of 20 000 irregular migrants in Morocco while integrating a control system and coastal lock while upgrading its border posts Key outcomes can be seen if you look at the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla as well as the Canary Islands numbers of migrants have been significantly reduced. LONG TERM: In the Long Term Moroccan authorities: 1.In the domestic and political field, Morocco took a proactive approach by moderating the Malikiti ideology by deploying imams to more than 50,000 mosques in Morocco to counter extremist propaganda; 2.Has monitored and taken action against the spread of Sha Islam from Iranian agents in the Sahel area; 3.Looking to Libya, Moroccan authorities have taken many meetings and significant efforts at the highest levels in an effort to assist unification and governance efforts in Libya; Looking to its wider neighbourhood: Moroccan authorities have sought to maintain political stability and assist local and national security services through a permanent and active involvement in CT and countering drug trafficking, not only through intelligence integration, financial cooperation and tactical support, but also with social and educational programs for healthcare and education; A good example of this is that following the 2013 Mali elections, Morocco expanded its coop and visited 4 african countries and signed 92 economic partnership conventions with economic and social support programs for Mali, Coite de voire, gabon, equatorial guinea This includes restructuring in religious teachings that has so far brough over 500 malian imams to Morocco for religious training while also the Ivory coast, Niger, Libya and Tunisia have sent imams to be trained in morocco Morocco has increased its already close ties with the EU through an Advanced Status Road Map Finally, recognizing the links between radicalization, migration, food security and climate change, Morocco will host the next climate Change Summit in November to help bring into force the Paris Agreement So once again we are very fortunate to be joined by our esteemed speakers and distinguished guests to provide insight into these issues.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
NATO Assistant Secretary General PDD Speech to ATA Conference, Brussels
PUBLISHED: November 30, 2016
Key Note Address  by H.E. Amb. Tacan ILDEM, Assistant Secretary General, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO, During the ATA Conference "NATO-EU Cooperation after the Warsaw Summit: Countering Hybrid Warfare Subject: Cooperative Security Strategy for NATO-EU relations following the Warsaw Summit Introduction Thank you, President Luciolli. I am pleased to be here with you this afternoon. Thank you as well to Jason and his team at Atlantic Treaty Association for organizing this event on a subject that is both timely and important. Today, the Euro-Atlantic community faces enormous challenges. We live in the most demanding security environment we have seen in many years – confronted by serious threats from both the South and the East, as well as unprecedented hybrid challenges. Given the challenges we face, the relationship between the EU and NATO has never been so important. Fortunately, this relationship has never been so strong as it is today. Cooperative security NATO has long recognized the importance of partnership and cooperative security. We formally began working with partners over 25 years ago as the Cold War ended and the vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace gained new momentum. Working with individual partner countries, we fostered new and closer relationships. And working with international institutions, we began to understand how the unique strengths and capacities of organizations like NATO, the UN, OSCE, and the European Union, could best be brought to bear on the key challenges of the day through a comprehensive approach. In 2010 at NATO’s Summit in Lisbon, we formally adopted cooperative security as a core task – alongside collective defence and crisis management. By recognizing the value of our partnerships and prioritizing this work, we took a more proactive stand towards: achieving international harmony and cooperation; synchronizing efforts to deal with new multidimensional threats; and to providing a better understanding of common problems. I would like to underline that third element related to common problems. We know that our challenges are many – and that they are shared. We see increasing demands on limited resources and rapidly evolving challenges that sometimes test our understanding and our capacities. But we also know that we have much to offer and much to gain – and that we will be best equipped to enhance Euro-Atlantic security when we work together. EU, NATO common interests NATO and the EU are unique and essential partners. We aspire to the security and prosperity of all of our members – many of which we also share. 90 percent of all EU citizens live in a NATO member state – so there is substantial overlap simply in terms of the people we exist to serve. Yet we are linked by far more than territory and population. Our deeply-held values are the ties that bind. NATO and the EU work hand-in-hand to increase European security because we believe in peace, security, and prosperity. And because we believe that the international rules-based order on which these depend is worth defending. Evolution of NATO-EU cooperation For many years, NATO and the EU have worked together, whether through staff-level cooperation or the attendance of our highest officials at each other’s formal meetings. In July of this year, however, we underscored the importance of doing more to advance the relationship between NATO and the EU. In Warsaw for the NATO Summit, Secretary General Stoltenberg signed a Joint Declaration with Presidents Juncker and Tusk. This set out our joint plans to work more closely in several areas – including countering hybrid threats, enhancing resilience, building defence capacity, improving cyber defence, and advancing our cooperation in relation to maritime security and exercises. This is crucial progress. And I’d like to make clear that this enhanced cooperation has every day consequences for how we work together and what we can achieve. Our cooperation in the Aegean Sea is one example. Thanks to our joint efforts, together with Greece and Turkey, the flow of migrants has decreased substantially. Of course the situation in the Mediterranean remains extremely serious and we continue to see illegal human trafficking and tragic loss of life. This is why Allies decided that NATO’s new Operation Sea Guardian will support the EU’s Operation Sophia. We can tackle this challenge best by working together. This is an example of how we can do more together in the field – but there’s also much we can do together here in Brussels. For example, NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division is implementing the Joint Declaration by broadening the areas in which we coordinate – not focusing only on immediate and practical issues but approaching our common challenges early and from a strategic perspective. We coordinate on best practices, share information, and exchange views. This experience solidifies unity of approach and shared narrative of the two institutions in relation to Russia as well as in other areas of mutual interest. And across NATO’s many Divisions – and across the EU – similar deliberate, structured, and strategic efforts are being made. Successfully countering hybrid warfare demands the contributions of a wide range of actors from across the EU, NATO, and beyond. The development of joint “playbooks” should allow us to identify ways in which we can support one another in hybrid situations and should our member nations come under attack. A stronger European defence While NATO and the EU are doing more to ensure that we can draw on our unique and complementary strengths to address common challenges, the EU is also considering options for strengthening European defence. I know that this has long been seen as a divisive issue – dating back decades to discussions about potential duplication, de-linking, or discrimination. And while that famous debate is revived and rehashed across this town and beyond, the reality is that a strong Europe and a strong NATO are mutually reinforcing. Of course it is important that NATO-EU defence efforts be complementary, transparent, and mutually supportive, avoiding duplication. But it is also important to recognize that increased defence spending and enhanced capabilities among European Allies is a good thing. Furthermore, a strong EU and a strong NATO reinforces the transatlantic bond. With a new administration soon to arrive in Washington, this is an important time to note that the partnership between Europe and the United States has been rock-solid for almost seventy years. There is no doubt that a strong NATO is good for both the United States and for Europe. Conclusion So where do we go from here? As we face the greatest security challenges in a generation, cooperation has never been more key. We have increased cooperation between NATO and the EU, yet more can and must be done to strengthen this relationship. As we work through this afternoon and this evening’s proceedings, I urge participants to consider how they can strengthen the EU-NATO relationship. We are united in our values and our belief in the international rules-based system. Yet that system is being challenged. Now is the time to ensure that we are doing our best to guarantee the peace, security and prosperity that we all have the privilege to enjoy. We can do this best together. Thank you.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Global Cyber Security Center Operations Planning Manager Speech to ATA Conference, Brussels
PUBLISHED: November 30, 2016
Speech by Mr. Massimo CAPPELLI, Operations Planning Manager Global Cyber Security Center During the ATA Conference “NATO-EU Cooperation after the Warsaw Summit: Countering Hybrid Warfare The political concept of territory has been broken by the technological evolution. The statement “We are anonymous” represents people of several countries, several cultures, several ages, joining common ideas of hacktivism and supporting campaigns. The distances are irrelevant. Be an “Isle” in cyber security is not a wise approach and cooperation is essential. NATO Member States have recognized the importance of resilience and the cyberspace as a domain of operations in Warsaw Meeting. The cyberspace is the domain in which the private operators have a relevant defense role and a potential attack one, as seen in the last attack by IoT in US in October. They are the backbone of societal resilience. Internet has no owners but it is also truth that a lot of companies struggle everyday in order to prevail on the others for what is concerning the “Hegemony on Internet”. IT devices and applications could be transformed in attack tools and Countries could oblige private industries to support the conflict through National mobilization laws. Together NATO and EU include 34 countries. Most of them are in both the organizations. In terms of R&D, know-how and capability there is a huge capital to exploit, but should be addressed. The expression of cooperation between NATO and EU is not sufficient. Both the Organizations should establish together a concrete operational plan, address investment on an integrated way and be more effective. The trust will be the main pillar of this collaboration.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
NATO Head of Operational Preparedness Section Speech to ATA Conference, Brussels
PUBLISHED: November 30, 2016
Speech by Mrs. Sarah TARRY, Head of Operational Preparedness Section, NATO During the ATA Conference “NATO-EU Cooperation after the Warsaw Summit: Countering Hybrid Warfare Hybrid warfare is a nebulous concept, which has evolved over time. For NATO, it has come to be associated with state and non-state actors using a complex strategy of conventional and unconventional means to achieve their strategic objectives.  The measures taken are designed to target nations’ vulnerabilities and impede decision-making, often taking advantage of technological advances, especially those in cyber space and communications in general. NATO’s strategy to counter hybrid warfare, which was agreed in December 2015, outlines three interrelated functions to counter hybrid threats: prepare, deter, and defend. The focus of this presentation was on the “prepare” aspect of the strategy, which is also where there is the most scope for NATO-EU cooperation. Specifically, NATO’s strategy calls for adaptation in three areas under this pillar: recognizing and attributing hybrid actions; supporting rapid assessment and effective decision-making, and building resilience.  In terms of the first area, NATO is focusing in particular on improving early warning and situational awareness, which will be enhanced by the establishment of a new Intelligence and Security Division.  Second, NATO has introduced a concept of accelerated decision-making and is in the process of adapting and reinforcing our standing plans and procedures to ensure they are fully tailored to this strategic environment.  Third, NATO is supporting Allies in their efforts to build their resilience and resistance to hybrid threats, including against their critical infrastructure and other essential functions and services. In terms of NATO-EU cooperation in this area, the two organizations are currently developing proposals at the staff level to implement the Joint Declaration made at the Warsaw Summit.  A wide range of valuable contacts have already been established in the areas of resilience, early warning, information sharing, strategic communications, cyber, exercises, and capability development.  All these contacts, as well as the additional proposals currently under development, will improve the ability of the two organizations to cooperate in a hybrid crisis.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Member of the European Parliament Welcome Remarks to ATA Conference, Brussels
PUBLISHED: November 30, 2016
Speech by Mr. Michael GAHLER, MEP, Group of the European People’s Party, Federal Republic of Germany, Member of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence During the ATA Conference “NATO-EU Cooperation after the Warsaw Summit: Countering Hybrid Warfare Hybrid warfare is threatening the transatlantic community at an unprecedented speed. The fight against terror, guaranteeing energy security and managing the refugee crisis require strong multilateral cooperation. At a conference on how to advance EU-NATO cooperation on hybrid warfare, Michael Gahler, Member of European Parliament and spokesperson on security on defence of the EPP Group, called on all member states to work together: "I deeply hope that this time member states will convince us that they are able and willing to overcoming roadblocks of EU - NATO cooperation and implement existing decisions and keep their promises."
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Opening Address Fabrizio W. Luciolli President Atlantic Treaty Association
PUBLISHED: November 17, 2016
Opening Address  by Fabrizio W. LUCIOLLI, President of the Atlantic Treaty Association and Italian Atlantic Committee during the ATA Conference “NATO-EU Cooperation after the Warsaw Summit: Countering Hybrid Warfare" at the European Parliament, Burssels 16 November 2016 As President of the Atlantic Treaty Association it is for me a great honor to introduce this relevant initiative that brings together NATO and EU with the aim to foster the cooperation in countering Hybrid Warfare.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
ATA Senior Program Officer Remarks | NATO - EU Cooperation, 7 November 2016
PUBLISHED: November 16, 2016
Moderator Remarks by Alessandro Niglia, ATA Senior Program Officer, during the Norwegian Armed Force Delegation Visit to ATA HQ Honorable Speakers Distinguished Guests, Good Morning, welcome to the Atlantic Treaty Association. I am Alessandro Niglia, Senior Program Officer.  I want to build on what have been already said by the ATA Secretary General. The opportunity to host you today here at our HQ is indeed a great honor for us and this comes in a moment when the necessity for greater security in our society is more relevant than ever since the end of cold war. With that, I am very confident We are going to have a stimulating discussion on NATO-EU cooperation with two preeminent speakers: Dr. Arnold Kamel and Mr Gabriele Cascone. I will introduce both of them in more details in just a moment. Before that, I will take few moments for some remarks on the importance of the cooperation between NATO and EU. Just a statistic that gives the sense of this new way of cooperation between NATO and EU. In the last 9 months more formal arrangements have been signed than in the previous 13 years when the cooperation started. This clearly shows that progress has been made NATO Sec Gen Stoltenberg few days ago, during the Defence Ministerial Meeting clearly stated that A stronger EU means a Stronger NATO. It is evident that the cooperation between NATO and the European Union is essential and strategic. It is indeed essential because we cannot forget that 22 EU members are also NATO members sharing comparable principles and values. As a result, NATO and EU have to cope with common challenges from a complex security environment on the Southern and the Eastern flank. Furthermore, cooperation becomes necessary to avoid overstretching and duplication of efforts in a time when operational and financial resources are scarce or at least less accessible than the cold war period. From a strategic point of view NATO and EU are supposed to look at each other in a complementary way and make up for shortcomings. The last NATO Summit in Warsaw demonstrated that this cooperation is feasible. Both NATO Sec Gen Stoltenberg and HR Mogherini have been working very closely in the last 2 years and now NATO and EU have never been so close. In this sense, the extent of political consultation is remarkable and official meetings have outlined the positive spirit. I hope this lays a useful groundwork for today’s discussion and without further hesitations please allow me to kick off this panel. Concluding Remarks We all see the multitude of crisis at our doorstep and in our backyard. NATO and EU face the same threats today, and it is essential strengthening information sharing, intensifying interaction and enhance the commitment on defence spending wisely. But let me also say that NATO and EU are bound by much more than only common threats.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Opening: Security & Cultural Understanding MA | 26 October 2016, Oslo
PUBLISHED: October 26, 2016
The ATA Secretary General, Jason Wiseman, opened a new MA Course at the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo on Monday September 26th. In cooperation with The Norwegian Armed Forces (Forsvaret), BI Norwegian Business School developed the Executive Master of Management with a specialisation in security and cultural understanding. ATA Secretary General delivered an opening address at the Norwegian Business School in Oslo. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noZKSTMViu4&t=2s[/embed] The Presentation was titled “Norway in a Changing Security Environment” and focused on the biggest security concerns facing this country and its NATO Allies and Partners. He stressed three biggest challenges: an aggressive Russia, collapsing Middle East, and insufficient financial and operational resources to address these challenges.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
ATA SG Presentation | NATO Days, Czech Republic
PUBLISHED: September 20, 2016
SPEECH by ATA Secretary General during the NATO Days in Ostrava, Czech Republic in the Panel Discussion "Increasing Resilience – Following NATO Summit’s Recommendation To Countering Hybrid Threats". Presentation titled "Resilience As A Key Emerging Concept In NATO: Experience And Outlooks", 16 September 2016. Mr. Dancak, Distinguished Guests, Esteemed Organizers, Dobre Rano, it is both an honour and a pleasure to be here (to je jak ctí a potěšením být tady). First, I would like to express my gratitude to Zbynek Pavlacik and Petr Zlatohlavek for extending the warm invitation. I would like to arrive at the Q+A as quickly as possible, so I will make my remarks as brief as possible. My speech today will concentrate on four aspects: defining resilience, explaining its importance, NATO’s position on resilience, and why it is of growing relevance to Europe and the Czech Republic. What Is Resilience? Simply put, resilience is the ability to resist attacks and recover from attacks quickly. How Does NATO Define Resilience & Why Is It Important? Put in NATO terms, resilience is defined as the government’s ability to function no matter the circumstances. It is important because of the rise in hybrid warfare over the last several years. As the concept of resilience was engrained in the strategy of the Cold War, it was always part of the responsibility of an Allied nation to ensure that it was able to function regardless of whether it found itself under a nuclear attack, military invasion or natural disaster. What’s important to note is that resilience is nothing new, what’s new is that we are not prepared for it anymore. As a result, NATO uses what’s called the Civil Emergency Planning Committee which has created seven levels by which resilience preparedness can be measured. Those being: Continuity of Government – Can the people in power continue to project authority and rule of law even while under attack? Energy Supply – Can the country avoid falling under an unbearable economic and financial pressure? Ability to Handle Population Movement – Can a country maintain support, humanitarian supplies and continuity to its nationals, migrants or refugees if circumstances drive peoples from their homes? Water and Food Resources – Can a country provide safe drinking water and enough food to its people in a time of crisis? Ability to Deal With Mass Casualties – How long can a country keep up its fight before casualties mount to an intolerable level? Civil Transportation Systems – Are things such as airports, seaports, bridges, road systems able to sustain themselves long enough for reinforcements to arrive? Resilience to Civil Communications Systems – Can people maintain their communication lines and stay in contact with each other in order to ensure all of the above? Now, a certain grading in each of these 7 points were a pre-requisite for joining NATO during the Cold War, however after the Cold War, the resilience of all NATO countries started to decline, while at the same time, the threat of hybrid warfare became more advanced. Meaning, we got spoiled by peace and became more vulnerable while the enemies of democracy became stronger and more persistent. As a result, this summer’s Warsaw Summit brought resilience into the fore front, calling on governments to prepare, deter, and defend against hybrid warfare threats. What Is NATO Doing About It? NATO is now beginning to plan how to strengthen and implement resilience. Under the Washington Treaty, Article 3 states that each member must create arrangements, policies, legislation, procedures, and collect resources to become resilient. As every state is responsible for their own military and civilian infrastructure, a joint effort between the EU and NATO could make better measures to strengthen resilience. This is done by providing nations with a minimum standard of resilience and guidelines through which to achieve them, putting a performance ranking value on the seven levels of resilience preparedness. So what was the impact of the Warsaw Summit declarations on this. Simply put, Warsaw put the civilian aspect front and center for the first time in history and encouraged investment in this area while making resilience a key component of defense planning. To do so, NATO’s Civil Emergency Planning Committee is currently in talks with creating a deployable expert team that will be made up of joint NATO & EU experts that will go to each NATO member country to provide this evaluation and consultation on the seven key points of resilience I mentioned earlier and develop best practices. NATO will provide a full assessment of where each nation stands which will be completed and distributed among the nations in 2018. How Is This Relevant To The Czechs? The Czech Republic has a strong connection between national and civil communication already, serving as a good example of a country that can more easily adopt resilience measures. In order to get a stronger understanding of why resilience building is important to the Czech Republic, I will compare the Czech Republic with its immediate V4 neighbours (Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland). Within the comparison, I will explain the vulnerabilities and strengths of the Czech Republic. Some of the fundamental concepts from the seven levels of preparedness and nation-specific concerns include economic growth, cyber vulnerability, vulnerability to terrorism, military strength, energy dependence on Russia and vulnerability to foreign intelligence gathering. Regarding Economic Growth To begin, in the second quarter of 2016, all Visegrad countries except for Hungary had a growth by .90%, a rise from 2014, but fall from 2015. For Czech Republic they are expected to grow their economy by 2.5% this year. This means greater potential for foreign direct investment, which can attract and amplify the existing threat of economic infiltration from both China and Russia in terms of sector dominance through purchasing majority stakes in key infrastructures and resources thus creating dependence on non-democratic economic players. Cyber Vulnerability Looking to cyber and infiltrated use of propaganda from foreign agencies, all V4 countries are at risk. In 2015, 79.7% of Czech Republic’s population were internet users, compared to 76.1% in Hungary, 67.5% in Poland, and 83.1% in Slovakia. A high population of internet users exposes the country more to potential information leaks and hybrid activities. We saw how devastating this could be when we witnessed the cyber-attacks against Estonia a few years ago. According to a study conducted by the Prague Security Studies Institute, Austria, Hungary, Germany, and the Czech Republic are the most susceptible to intelligence infiltration by Russia. Vulnerability to Terrorism Due to its location and politics, the Czech Republic has a medium exposure to a terrorist attack. Whereas, Slovenia and Poland have a lower exposure rank. Military Strength Although the Czech Republic ranked #30 in the top 35 most powerful militaries in the world in 2014, it remains one of the lower spenders within the Alliance at 1% of its GDP. However its engagements and training operations are increasing with Czech Republic recently hosting the NATO training exercise for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers or JTACs, consisting of highly trained service members who direct combat aircraft and call in air support when needed. Energy Dependence on Russia Despite the European Union’s sanctions on Russia, V4 countries are largely dependent upon Russian energy. Russia exports a large quantity of energy to Visegrad countries. With the most recent statistics I was able to validate, which are from 2014, Poland receives approximately 91% of its foreign energy imports from Russia, Slovakia 98%, Hungary 86%, and the Czech Republic 73%. Given Russia’s obvious influence in the energy sector and continued pattern of blackmailing countries through its energy supply, this is undoubtedly the region’s biggest vulnerability if Russia decides to turn off the gas. And Finally, Vulnerability to Foreign Intelligence Gathering and Propaganda A recent study by the Security Information Service (BIS), Czech Republic’s domestic intelligence agency found that Russian intelligence services were the most active foreign agency within this country with China being second. It said that, last year, Russia concentrated on “information operations” with six goals. The first was “weakening the strength of Czech media”. This consisted of covert infiltration of Czech media and the internet, massive production of Russian propaganda and disinformation controlled by the state. Second, “strengthening the information resistance of the Russian audience which consisted of promoting prefabricated disinformation from Czech sources for the Russian audience”. Third, “exerting influence on the perceptions and thoughts of the Czech audience, weakening society’s will for resistance or confrontation. This was done by an information and disinformation overload of the audience, relativisation of truth and objectivity and promoting the motto ‘everyone is lying’. Fourth, “creating or promoting inter-societal and inter-political tensions in the Czech Republic. This was done by the foundation of puppet organisations, covert and open support of populist or extremist subjects”. Fifth, was “disrupting the coherence and readiness of NATO and the EU through attempts to disrupt Czech-Polish relations, disinformation and alarming rumours defaming the US and NATO, disinformation creating a virtual threat of a war with Russia”. Finally, “damaging the reputation of Ukraine and isolating the country internationally. This was done by involving Czech citizens and organisations in influence operations covertly led in Ukraine or against it by Russia”. The BIS also warned that, while Russia’s current operations centre around the Ukraine and Syria conflicts, “the infrastructure created for achieving these goals” is now a permanent feature in Czech life. It said boldly that “these activities pose a threat to the Czech Republic, EU and Nato” and that the “infrastructure” can be “used to destabilise or manipulate Czech society or its political environment at any time, if Russia wishes to do so”. This activity shows Russia’s ability to enter Czech Republic’s information centres and produce disinformation within the state and exert adverse influence. As a result, the Czech Republic is considered highly vulnerable to Russian propaganda and outside influence on the information infrastructure. So What Does This All Mean For The Future…. In order to be resilient enough to cope with the threats of today and tomorrow, we must pull up our boot straps and be honest with ourselves that we got soft, that we have key weaknesses and vulnerabilities that must be addressed through more investment of financial and political capital, civil society engagement and a stronger alignment with NATO and EU solidarity. The reasons why are simple: We cannot withstand hybrid attacks if we don’t repair our civilian infrastructures and this will require more money. We cannot confront disinformation and propaganda without engaging directly with our civil society so this will require talking more with our citizens to increase our promotion of transatlantic values. We cannot project power and influence that pushes back foreign interference without engaging more on the international stage in a coordinated effort of Allied solidarity. Only by taking these steps can we enhance our resilience. Thank you.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Senior Program Officer Speech | Denmark Delegation Visit, 15 September 2016
PUBLISHED: September 16, 2016
Speech by Alessandro Niglia, ATA Senior Program Officer, during the Denmark Student Delegation Visit to ATA HQ Good Morning Everyone, I am also delighted to welcome here at ATA. It is indeed our pleasure to continue this tradition in hosting student delegations every year. I truly hope you will find this meeting very interesting for your studies. Within my role at the ATA I am leading NATO Project in the framework of the Science and Security Program from NATO. In particular, I am responsible for coordinating diplomatic and scientific programs with the aim of strengthening the cooperation among the Allies. This entails organizing Workshop, Training Courses and Multiyear Research Project. Just to give some example, with the support of the ATA staff and our Members we were able to deliver ambitious programs in Georgia and Sweden focusing on Critical Infrastructure Protection. However, today I would like to present the results of a short research on the use of social media as a tool to build resilience after a terrorist attack. As we know the last 2 years in this part of Europe and I refer to France and Belgium which have been affected by tragic terrorist attacks developed by both radicalized Muslims groups and individuals. The frequency and the impact of these attacks have triggered a strong reaction from the civil society. This was evident on social media like Facebook and Twitter. In fact, social media are now a powerful instrument that can be also used to build up an innovative resilience process in terms of communication and information sharing through open sources. The example I want to bring your attention is the terrorist attacks that occurred on November 2015. This prompted a wide social media response. Indeed, millions of tweets were written in reaction to these events hours after and during the coming days. Facebook and Twitter were the most used platform to communicate about the terrorist attacks. Regarding Facebook for the first time the Safety Check was used. This mechanism allows people who are in the vicinity of the attack or the natural disaster to inform relatives and friends that are not in danger. With regard to Twitter, it is remarkable the research led by the Qatar Computing Research Institute and the University of Washington. These 2 institutions compiled the vast tweets created in the aftermath of the attack, so as to quantify the public response towards Islam. This research took in consideration the tweets done between 7 and 50 hours following the Paris attacks. 36 millions of tweets were collected in various languages A subset of 900.000 tweets related to Islam was created. The subset was divided in 3 categories: Tweets Defending Islam or Muslims Tweets Attacking Islam or Muslims Tweets that are Neutral with no visible affiliation. Just to give you some example of defending and attacking tweets. In the first category we have tweets with #MuslimsAreNotTerrorist, #MuslimStandWithParis, #ThisIsNotIsslam. In the second category we have tweets with #Islamistheproblem, #StopIslam, #Islamttackparis. These are just the some of the top hashtag referring to the positive and negative attitudes towards Muslims. The main takeaway from this analysis is the location and popularity when comparing the defending and attacking categories. Over half of the 900.000 tweets were in defence of Islam and against associating the attacks to Muslims. Less than ¼ of the tweets were in attack of Muslims. The majority located in Western countries This research is particularly useful when it comes to find proper demographics and opinion across countries and the different perception of the events in different regions/continents. Social Media are not only platforms to express personal opinions, report facts and events but on psychological level social media has created a different spectrum to display human emotions and this creates a much faster and deeper connection than ever. Because of this, Terrorist organization are taking advantage of a more and exposed community to recruit potential fighters for terrorism. Just to mention what Dr Pamela Rutledge said: “Social media’s is the terrorist’s best and worst friend”. Through social media we are hardwired to what happens in real time and to what is threatening our environment. Social media has the power to create empathy, which is the precursor to action. Empathy and emotions like celebration after a terrorist attack are the elements that terrorist groups exploit to recruit allies in this war. In this regard Governments are now required to counter this phenomenon and for doing so a strong social media communication strategy is needed more than ever. Communication strategy is relevant for achieving 2 main objectives: As I said this is instrumental to counter terrorist groups recruitment and new potential affiliations Help society becoming resilience to these events. This means public needs to be educated on how to se social media and the most cost-effective way to educate society is indeed through a social media campaign. To this end, 2 elements are necessary: Transparency and trust. As a result, this will create a strong process of empathy between citizens and governments. To conclude, Social Media, with the correct insights, strategy and implementation, can become a non-governmental tool to build resilience and fight against terrorism on a worldwide scale.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
ATA Secretary General Remarks | TO BE SECURE FORUM (2BS) 2016, Montenegro
PUBLISHED: May 30, 2016
MODERATOR REMARKS By ATA Secretary General During The TO BE SECURE FORUM (2BS) GLOBAL SECURITY AT STAKE – CHALLENGES AND RESPONSES ‘Panel V – Confronting Isil – One Of The Biggest Challenges’ 7 May 2016 Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Guests, Esteemed Organizers, Dear Friends, I would like to start by first thanking the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, its President Dr. Savo Kentera, Ms. Azra Karastanovich and the team of YATA Montenegro for organizing this incredible Forum and constructing this panel with such esteemed speakers. My name is Jason Wiseman, I am the Secretary General of the Atlantic Treaty Association and it is indeed an honor to be here today to moderate this discussion. I would like to arrive at the Q+A as quickly as possible so I will begin with briefly introducing the topic and the esteemed speakers here today. I will ask the first question to each speaker who will have 2-3 minutes for their response before opening up the panel to the audience. Introduction The population of Syria when this armed conflict started in 2011 was roughly that of Yugoslavia when its wars began in 1991: some 23 million. Over the subsequent decade of the Yugoslav wars, more than 140 000 people died and some 4 million were displaced. In took Syria only three years to overcome these same levels of death, displacement and destruction that this region was all too familiar with. We are now 5 years into the Syrian conflict and we have seen the emergence of something unprecedented, we have seen the emergence of a highly motivated and operationally sophisticated non-state actor that is financially self sustainable, media savy and able to recruit foreign fighters from around the world. With an estimated strength of at least 80 000 fighters in Syria and Iraq, with thousands more pledging allegiance around the globe, the threat of ISIL continues to grow in size, scope and sophistication. Since the declaration of the Caliphate in June 2014, ISIL or individuals inspired by ISIL have carried out over 90 terrorist attacks in 21 separate countries, claiming the lives of nearly 1,400 people. The targets are wide ranging and include: Australia, Belgium, France, Indonesia, Russia, Bangladesh, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia and the United States. So what does this all mean for the Balkans, well countries in this neighbourhood now sit at the gates of an active warzone and have become a key transit route where jihadists can rely upon a supporting network that supplies them with financial, operational and logistical support to and from Syria and Iraq.  
By: Atlantic Treaty Association

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The Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) is an organization of 38 national chapters that, since 1954 has been conducting analyses, training, education, and information activities on foreign affairs and security issues relevant to the Atlantic Alliance. ATA draws together political leaders, diplomats, civilian and military officers, academics, economic actors as well as young professionals and students in an effort to further the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty.