NATO Summit Publication
PUBLISHED: July 10, 2018
Among the wide range of communication activities, a traditional commitment is the present ATA official publication accompanying and outlining the agenda of the NATO Summits. In this respect, the 2018 edition assumes a special relevance as the Brussels Summit represents another milestone in the NATO’s continuous adaptation to the evolving security environment.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
ATA and the NATO Brussels Summit
PUBLISHED: July 10, 2018
by President Fabrizio W. Luciolli  While Collective Defense, Crisis Management and Cooperative Security remain the NATO’s core tasks, as stated by the 2010 NATO Strategic Concept, in recent years the European security landscape has dramatically changed. The 2011 Arab uprisings and the 2014 Russian illegal annexation of the Ukraine’s peninsula of Crimea, obliged NATO to cope with all tasks simultaneously, and to adopt a 360° approach able to Deter and Defend the Alliance in the East while Projecting Stability to the South. Moreover, the Russian nuclear posture, the Skripal case and the risk of CBNR proliferation, together with the potential threat of new forms of terrorism, are also of major concern. In addition, the new cyber operational domain, energy security, climate change and migrations, are testifying the different nature of the today threats and challenges, often originating with unprecedented speed, thus challenging the decision-making process of the Alliance. Likewise, a new Hybrid Warfare is eluding the application of Art. 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty whilst the vicious use of disinformation and false news attempts to weaken the cohesion of the Western societies and their free democratic processes. In this context, NATO’s political consultation is essential to maintain the Atlantic solidarity, which could be affected by different security perceptions among NATO member States and across the Atlantic, as the Alliance is called to act in three different continents, from the Baltic to Iraq and to Afghanistan. Therefore, Allied solidarity and the Transatlantic Bond need to be strengthened by a fairer burden sharing in line with the commitment adopted by the NATO Heads of State and Government participating in the 2014 Wales Summit, which requires to devote the 2% of the GDP to defense expenditures, with a significant portion on major new equipment and related Research and Development. In this framework, the strategic partnership with the European Union acquires paramount relevance to assure a coherent development of military capabilities and cutting-edge technologies as well as the military mobility of NATO forces across Europe. In fact, in the present insecurity environment Readiness is key to deter as well as to prevent a crisis. The Brussels Summit Initiative on the so called Four Thirties recalls the number of the mechanised battalions, air squadrons and combat vessels that must be deployable within thirty days to respond or to anticipate a crisis. To this end, NATO is adapting its Command Structure by establishing two new Commands which will ensure that the NATO forces can move quickly across the Atlantic and within Europe. Furthermore, thirty also represents the number of the future members of the Alliance, as the historic agreement between Athens and Skopje on the name issue paves the way for an invitation to the Government in Skopje to begin accession talks. Notwithstanding the transatlantic debate between Allied Democracies and the competition of their free markets, the agenda of the Brussels Summit testifies the enduring Unity and Resolve of NATO members in addressing the wider challenges of the present complex insecurity environment by a 360° approach. Unity and Resolve is essential to steadily improve the NATO dual-track approach towards the Russian new assertiveness, open to a meaningful dialogue and based on a strong deterrence and defence posture. Likewise, Allied solidarity is also key to project stability and to tackle in a more ambitious way the security challenges originating from the Mediterranean which will be addressed by the new NATO Strategic Direction South Hub. Looking at the incoming 70th anniversary of the Atlantic Alliance, ATA is ready to complement the NATO 360° approach by adding a further degree of action aimed at communicating to the public opinions and the successor generations the enduring NATO’s values and role. This represents a natural task for ATA and its youth component (YATA), which will strengthen the vital linkage between the Alliance and the civil societies of the member countries, promoting a dialogue as transparent as the new crystal NATO headquarters hosting the Brussels Summit.
By: Admin
Developing Modern Defence Capabilities: NATO Air Power
PUBLISHED: April 25, 2018
Alan Dron assesses the growing air power capabilities that NATO Member States are introducing – from fifth-generation fast jets and their precision-guided munitions to state-of-the-art maritime patrol platforms After years in the doldrums, defence budgets among NATO nations are showing signs of inching upwards again, and major new weapons systems that will improve the Alliance’s capabilities are on the verge of entering service. In terms of air power, among the most significant of these capabilities is the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II combat aircraft, initial examples of which are undergoing operational testing in Italy and the United Kingdom. So far, the aircraft has been chosen by no fewer than seven NATO Member States – Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and the UK – and it looks set to become the mainstay of NATO air forces in the same way that the F-16 Fighting Falcon did during the 1970s and 80s. There is no denying that the F-35 has had a long, expensive and troubled gestation. However, as the first examples start to reach Alliance nations, the pilots who fly them are starting to experience their remarkable sensor fusion capabilities and the advantage this gives them over opponents. Pilots are discovering what amounts to a quantum leap over previous generations of fighters. Additionally, an increasing number of weapons are being developed for the aircraft. Norway, for example, is helping to fund an adaptation of its Naval Strike Missile, a long-range cruise missile. The US Marine Corps announced the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) for the F-35B carrier-borne jump-jet variant of the Lightning II as far back as July 2015. This was followed by the US Air Force, which declared the F-35A to have achieved IOC in August 2016, with the head of the F-35 programme, General Chris Bogdan, declaring that the aircraft “will form the backbone of air combat superiority for decades and enable war fighters to see adversaries first and take decisive action”. In April 2017, the type made its first operational deployment in continental Europe when two US Air Force F-35As arrived at Amari airbase in Estonia to take part in exercises. The F-35 is due to hit full production rate in 2019. A further advance in NATO capabilities will come with the introduction of the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system, which will give commanders a comprehensive picture of the situation on the ground. A group of 15 NATO nations is acquiring five Northrop Grumman RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 40 unmanned aerial systems and their associated ground command and control stations. Once acquired, NATO will operate and maintain them on behalf of all 29 member countries. The aircraft will become available to the Alliance in the 2017-18 timeframe. They will be equipped with a multiplatform radar technology insertion programme (MP-RTIP) ground surveillance radar sensor, as well as a comprehensive suite of line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight, long-range, wideband data links. GLOBAL HAWK The Global Hawk is one of the largest unmanned aerial systems in existence, with a wingspan of 130ft (40m). Designed for high-altitude, long endurance sorties, its on-board sensors can cover huge swathes of territory from altitudes of 60,000ft. Once fully operational, the AGS will be capable of providing support for a wide range of missions covering both land and sea, such as border control and maritime patrol, surveillance of enemy ground forces and anti-terrorism missions, as well as crisis management following natural disasters. The AGS Main Operating Base (MOB) will be located at Sigonella, Italy. AIR-TO-GROUND MISSILES December 2016 saw the NATO Support and Procurement Agency sign an agreement with the US to acquire Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs), such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition, on behalf of a multinational cooperation framework that brings together eight NATO nations – Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Spain. With the initial batch of missiles arriving this year, this multinational project will allow participants engaged in operations to be loaned PGMs from the stocks of fellow nations that have a less urgent need for them. Such cooperative programmes help NATO nations pool resources and make the most of still limited national defence budgets. One area in which more needs to be done is the provision of maritime surveillance solutions. The number of maritime patrol aircraft has dropped sharply since the end of the Cold War, but the need for them has escalated in recent years as the Russian navy – particularly its sub-surface component – has benefitted from substantial modernisation. Some new maritime patrol assets are in the pipeline, notably the nine Boeing P-8A Poseidons ordered by the UK, but more are needed. Potentially, a pooling arrangement among NATO nations would allow the Alliance to make the most of European nations’ defence funding. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Developing Modern Defence Capabilities: Towards NATO BMD C2
PUBLISHED: April 18, 2018
Facing a rapidly evolving European security environment, NATO is making steady progress towards developing its territorial ballistic missile defence capability to put in place a fully unified air command and control system by 2020, reports David Hayhurst Recent developments in NATO’s ballistic missile defence (BMD) architecture provide excellent insight into the Alliance’s progress in implementing a fully unified air command and control system (ACCS) by the end of the decade. ACCS is a remarkably ambitious undertaking. For the first time in its history, NATO will have a fully integrated command and control (C2) system for planning, tasking and executing all air-related operations. The world’s first – and largest, by far – C2 network of its kind will see BMD assets, developed and provided by individual Alliance members, merged into a fully integrated air and missile defence programme. Thiis will be capable of offering protection for all NATO European territories and forces, and even for out-of-area operations. Once fully deployed, ACCS will cover 10 million square kilometres of airspace. To this end, NATO bases in Europe are very rapidly being integrated into a pan-continental network. NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre for Northern Europe in Uedem, Germany, achieved Early Operational Capability (EOC) in January 2016. Air bases in Glons, Belgium and Lyon, France should reach that goal within a couple of years. The NATO Allied Air Command in Ramstein, Germany, will oversee a continent-wide BMD network, including early-warning satellites, sea- and land-based radars and anti-missile installations based on ships and at air bases in three European countries. A key element of phases two and three of the United States Department of Defense’s European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) to BMD will be provided by Aegis missile batteries, including four US Navy guided-missile destroyers based in Rota, Spain. The land-based component, Aegis Ashore, involves an SM-3 defensive missile system almost identical to ship-based systems. Progress is steady and the Aegis Ashore site at Deveselu air base in Romania was declared operational in May 2016. Next year, the second Aegis Ashore site will open at the joint forces base in Redzikowo, Poland. Both land-based Aegis sites will provide improved coverage against short- to intermediate range missile threats, with the more advanced, faster and longer-range SM-3 missile interceptors – the Block IIA and Block IB – to be deployed at the Polish site. Both bases will be built, maintained and operated by American forces. EPAA’s fourth phase (currently scheduled for operational capability in 2020) will enhance the ability to counter medium- and intermediate range missiles and potential future ICBM threats through the deployment of the SM-3 Block IIB interceptor. Other BMD-related systems illustrate the multinational scope of NATO operations. Since January 2013, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the US have contributed missile batteries to augment Turkey’s air defence against threats from neighbouring Syria and Iraq. Currently, Italy and Spain provide one Patriot missile battery and one ASTER SAMP/T battery each to the deployment, under the operational command of NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander. Other allies are also developing or acquiring BMD-capable assets that could eventually be made available for NATO BMD. As of 2018, upgraded SMART-L radars with early-warning capability will be installed on four Royal Netherlands Navy air defence and command frigates, with initial operational capability planned for 2019. Full capability will enable those vessels equipped with SMART-L to detect and track ballistic missiles outside the earth’s atmosphere. The Dutch and German governments are presently discussing cooperating jointly on this project as part of their NATO BMD commitments. NATO’s BMD-related capabilities also extend to a fully mobile defence system, which can be deployed anywhere within NATO boundaries, or outside of its area of operational responsibility. Headquartered at the air operations centre at Poggio Renatico, Italy (the first NATO site to be awarded full ACCS operational status), the Deployable Air Command and Control Centre (DACCC) comprises a suite of systems to support all aspects of the Alliance’s air C2 capability. An integral component of the DACCC is DARS (Deployable Air Control Centre, RAP Production Centre, Sensor Fusion Post). This tactical C2 system – easily transportable by land, sea or air – has already been deployed in Latvia in late 2015. Its field testing, over 2,500km from its home base, was considered an operational and technical success – essential before DARS could be considered for a Full Operational Capability rating. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Five reasons for Skopje full membership in NATO
PUBLISHED: April 15, 2018
by President Fabrizio W. Luciolli. Excerpt from the opening remarks at the NATO Day in Skopje, 4 April 2018. Twenty-three years ago, when the Macedonian Authorities signed the NATO’s Partnership for Peace and cooperation programs, the question to be answered was: Why NATO? Today the question is Why NATO is not doing more on counter terrorism, hybrid warfare, cyber, migration, climate change, etc? At present, the elegant simplicities of the Cold War are gone, and the free democracies of the Euro-Atlantic community are surrounded by threats and instabilities originating not only from the East, but also from the South. Moreover, the Euro-Atlantic community still has an “unfinished business” to be completed in the Western Balkans. In this context, Skopje is at a crossroad and its full NATO adhesion plays a crucial role for the Euro-Atlantic community as a whole: Approaching the seventy anniversary of the Atlantic Alliance, a full membership of Skopje will restate the NATO’s Open Door Policy bringing new energy to the Atlantic Alliance. The migration crisis is challenging not only the Macedonian borders as the stability of the country appears essential for the EU - Turkey deal on migrants. Furthermore, the full implementation of the Euro-Atlantic integration process will discourage any “greater” strategic perspective or influence, eventually envisaged by neighboring countries. NATO’s enlargement to Skopje will better counter the increasing Russian influence in the region, which is not favoring an economic and social development of the Western Balkans through their full Euro-Atlantic integration. Finally, Skopje is at the end of the One Belt One Road commercial and strategic highway coming from China. The aforementioned challenges cannot be effectively addressed by one country alone, but re-launching the NATO and EU integration processes. To this end, the 2025 could represent an achievable date for the European integration, which NATO can accelerate and secure. While the name issue must be addressed by the Greek and Macedonian authorities with a spirit of true cooperation, the role of civil society appears essential to successfully implement the Euro-Atlantic integration policies, as well as to counter the new threats and challenges of the present security scenario, ranging from terrorism to hybrid warfare and disinformation. In this framework, the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) and the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia are ready to translate the Macedonians security needs and goals in concrete achievements by effective actions in the field of information, education, training, civilian preparedness and international cooperation.
By: Admin
NATO's Cyber Defence Pledge: Cooperating with partner:
PUBLISHED: April 11, 2018
Addressing the cyber challenge is a mammoth task that cannot be handled in isolation. Simon Michell reveals how NATO is cooperating with allied and partner nations, industry and other political organisations to shore up its cyber defences Monitoring and policing cyberspace is, in one respect, a bit like patrolling an ocean. Both are so vast, and the activity taking place within them so varied, that it is impossible for a single nation to do it alone. The Alliance has long understood and recognised the benefits of collaboration and has evolved into the perfect tool for taking on and sharing the cybersecurity burden. It is able to offer reassurance that it can protect not just its own networks, but also those belonging to its member and partner nations’ civilian populations. The process of this burden-sharing is well under way. Cyber has been assimilated into NATO’s Smart Defence initiatives, which enable multiple countries – both members and partners – to pool resources and collaborate on the development of cyber defence capabilities that may be too expensive for them to develop by themselves. The three most high-profile examples in progress are: – Malware Information Sharing Platform (MISP); – Multinational Cyber Defence Capability Development (MN CD2); and – Multinational Cyber Defence Education and Training (MN CD E&T). MISP was originally created to support NCIRC (NATO Computer Incident Response Capability) missions by enabling the sharing of malware technical characteristics within a trusted community. Its purpose is to speed up the detection of cyber intrusions and the implementation of appropriate countermeasures. From its early iteration, it is now evolving into a far more powerful toolset than was initially conceived. MN CD2 pools resources in the development and procurement of cyber defence equipment and capabilities. It has numerous work programmes, overseen by a management board that holds regular meetings to assess progress. CIICS (Cyber Information and Incident Coordination System) is a good example of the type of solutions it is developing. ADDRESSING SKILLS SHORTAGES The training and education that emanates from MN CD E&T is a fundamental tool for achieving a level of cybersecurity commensurate with the changing cyber threat. MN CD E&T not only educates uniformly across NATO members and partners, it also helps to plug gaps in national skills shortages and delivers a certification mechanism as skills are acquired by those attending to its outputs. MN CD E&T has a broad membership that benefits from training and education from organisations such as the NATO Communication and Information Systems School in Lisbon and the Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn. In his address to the 2014 NATO Industry Forum in Croatia, former NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said, “Industry is a key player in cyberspace, since the private sector owns the majority of the world’s information systems and provides technical solutions for cyber defence.” He continued, “Simply put, industry is often our first line of defence; it is industry that has the tanks and the soldiers for cyber defence.” NATO INDUSTRY CYBER PARTNERSHIP The NATO Industry Cyber Partnership (NICP) is the tangible consequence of those sentiments. Launched in September 2014, NICP is enthusiastically supported by the former and first General Manager of the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA), Koen Gijsbers, who highlighted the stark need for mutual trust. At the launch of the NICP, Gijsbers said, “This is about building an alliance with industry, and the key is building trust – to share sensitive information in order to respond to threats.” This is not entirely new, as NATO has always worked closely with industry – the difference here is the widespread information-sharing process and the speed of distribution that is anticipated. One of the best visible representations of the NATO-Industry cyber ‘trusted community’ is the annual NIAS (NATO Information Assurance and Cyber Defence Symposium) that takes place in Mons, Belgium. Everyone who is anyone in cyber security is present – from well-known communications firms such as AT&T, BT and Cisco to newer cybersecurity specialists such as FireEye, Forescout and Fortinet. However, it is not just industry and other military organisations that NATO is engaging with in its struggle for enhanced cybersecurity. NATO works with the European Union (EU), the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) and the United Nations to expand and share their cybersecurity knowledge. In early 2016, NATO and the EU signed a Technical Arrangement on cyber defence to help both organisations improve the way they deal with the cyber threat. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
NATO Day 2018 | 4th April, Skopje
PUBLISHED: April 6, 2018
On the occasion of NATO Day, 4th April, the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia organized a series of public events that took place in Skopje, celebrating the signature of the Washington Treaty. The events coincided with the visit of the President of the Atlantic Treaty Association, Prof. Fabrizio W. Luciolli and were organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense of FYR Macedonia, NATO Liaison Office in Skopje and the Croatian Embassy. The NATO week included an open discussion, an interactive exhibition and an open public event at Macedonia square aimed to raise the awareness of the Alliance’s role while bringing FYR Macedonia’s strategic determination of NATO integration closer to the citizens. Mr. Ismet Ramadani, ATA Macedonia’s President, opened the public discussion “NATO and You”,  stressing the importance of FYR Macedonia's membership in NATO, as well as the challenges that FYR Macedonia faces towards the path to full membership. Prof. Fabrizio W. Luciolli, ATA President, attended the conference as a keynote speaker encouraging all actors involved in resolving the name dispute, to address this issue not only in a political way, because this is an issue affecting the entire Euro-Atlantic community. He also noted that FYR Macedonia’s key player as it is located in a region which is at a crossroads of various risks and threats. Key policymakers, diplomats, representatives from the armed forces and civilian staff involved in the process of Euroatlantic integration highlighted the benefits of joining the Alliance through direct interaction with citizens. In the afternoon, a museum exhibition titled "The Republic of Macedonia on the Road to NATO" was organized with the aim to show the history of the Alliance, as well as the history of the Euro-Atlantic integrations of the FYR Macedonia, followed by an exhibition titled "ARM with you", to inform the citizens about their Army and its capacities. After the official events, ATA President Fabrizio Luciolli and an ATA Macedonian Delegation led by President Ismet Ramadani, met the Prime Minister of FYR Macedonia, Mr. Zoran Zaev, in the premises of the Government of FYR Macedonia. President Luciolli affirmed that NATO needs new energy and stressed the need for the FYR Macedonia to remain committed in maintaining the continuity of the processes that have progressed over the past year. He highlighted FYR Macedonia's contribution to operations, NATO-led missions, assessing them as an important part of the country's security, the region and beyond. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev stressed that the Government is aware of the importance of the reforms that open the way to NATO and the EU. According to him, the strategic goals of FYR Macedonia are membership in the North Atlantic Alliance and the European Union, and that the encouragement means a lot for FYR Macedonia. Furthermore, the ATA Macedonia Delegation met the President of the Assembly, Mr. Talat Xhaferi, to discuss the prospectives of FYR Macedonia for NATO membership and the cooperation with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. More information about the NATO Day in Skopje is available here. The full streaming is available in the language of the Conference here.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
NATO's Cyber Defence Pledge: NATO's IT infrastructure upgrade
PUBLISHED: March 28, 2018
NATO faces ‘hourly’ cyber intrusions and is moving to take its systems more resilient to a serious attack, according to the organisation’s director of infrastructure services, Dr Gregory B Edwards There are millions of cyber probes that we see within a week. These are not necessarily attacks, but give an indication that there’s someone looking at your area,” says Dr Gregory Edwards, NATO’s director of infrastructure services, whose responsibilities include cybersecurity for NATO’s information networks and data centres. The organisation is undergoing a major IT infrastructure upgrade that will see the delivery of new data centres at Mons in Belgium and Lago Patria in Italy, alongside a further two data centres in the new NATO HQ building in Brussels. Together, these will make up the new NATO ‘cloud’. The Mons and Lago Patria facilities should be up and running by September  2018. Under the existing system, the Alliance’s IT systems are distributed throughout its member nations. The thought then arises that bringing them together in a smaller number of centres might make them an easier target for hackers. However, it is not just about vulnerability – it is also about recoverability, as Edwards explains: “Right now, you have a lot of individual machines. A cyber threat can infect and eliminate all of them. Our ability to recover those machines would then take years. Bringing them together will aid the process of restoring services in the aftermath of an attack.” Like any responsible organisation with an IT policy, NATO’s systems constantly check themselves for any signs of intrusions. If one is detected, the system has the necessary electronic tools to quarantine and eradicate the threat. Similarly, NATO has also developed a Rapid Response Team of IT specialists to come to the aid of an Alliance member that faces a major IT threat. “It’s really an assistance team. Should a nation have a cybersecurity event and perhaps they don’t have the same abilities as us, we have the capability to deploy the team,” Edwards explains. In order to stay at the forefront of technology evolution, NATO’s IT experts have a close working relationship with their civilian counterparts in the outside world. “We feel it’s vital we have industry input, so we know what the leading-edge capabilities are in that industry,” says Edwards. NATO does not ‘track back’ to try to trace the source of a cyber intrusion, but, “We will know via intelligence that there are particular threats. ‘Signatures’ of various types of attack are held on the Alliance’s databases and the system knows what to look for,” Edwards says. That said, one area that NATO’s Allied Command Operations office would like Edwards’s team to develop further is the ability to correlate all the various probes and other types of hostile activity faced by the network. “They want improved situational awareness of the cyber domain,” he explains. As well as shielding its IT systems from external attack, NATO is also paying attention to what Edwards describes as the emerging threat of someone on the inside of the organization trying to sabotage the system. “We’re aware of that and looking to improve security inside our networks,” he confirms. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Projecting Stability: Crisis management: projecting stability and strengthening security
PUBLISHED: March 16, 2018
Floods, fires, refugees, airspace incursions and instability on its borders are all crises that NATO is dealing with on a daily basis. Simon Michell highlights how the Alliance has established a process, methodology and skill set to deal with some of the most intractable challenges on the planet From its origins in ancient Greek, a ‘crisis’ is the turning point that a disease reaches when either recovery or death of the patient will occur. Nowadays, the term is generally used to describe volatile disagreements between countries, ethnic groupings and, on occasions, non-state actors that have the potential to descend into armed conflict. Although crises can be manipulated so that they fester on indefinitely, they can also be short-lived events during which the right decisions, taken at the right time, can resolve the predicament and bring back the tranquillity that preceded it relatively quickly. Crises, however, are by no means exclusively military in nature. They also occur when a humanitarian disaster unfolds that threatens to spread not just misery, but also regional instability. Again, swift and decisive action can shorten the suffering and ease the tensions. Another, and much more modern, cause for crises relates to our growing dependence on technology and infrastructure. When these are destabilised, damaged or destroyed, tragedy can ensue within hours. THE NATO CRISIS MANAGEMENT PROCESS NATO prides itself on being a crisis management organisation. This is not an aspirational vision statement; rather, it reflects current activity. Approximately 18,000 military personnel are engaged in NATO crisis management missions in Afghanistan, Africa, Kosovo, the Mediterranean and now, increasingly, in the Black Sea Region. When a crisis regarded as requiring, or potentially benefitting, from a NATO response is identified, political authorization from the member states’ national governments is sought before any planning, deployments or use of military force takes place. This authorisation is derived through the principal decisionmaking body – the North Atlantic Council (NAC) – which reaches decisions on a consensus basis. However, before arriving at a conclusion, it can call upon the support of an overarching NATO Crisis Response System (NCRS) process that draws upon a range of supporting elements. These include the NATO Civil Emergency Planning Crisis Management Arrangements, the NATO Crisis Management Process (NCMP), the NATO Intelligence and Warning System (NIWS) and NATO’s Operational Planning Process. NATO’s involvement in helping to resolve and contain the multiple conflicts that arose out of the break up of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s has not only kept it operationally active in the Balkans, it has also helped the Alliance develop a process and structure to better identify other crises as they evolve, in order to tailor an appropriate and bespoke response. This methodology has been refined over the years as crisis management has developed into a core NATO competence – the importance of which was underlined in the 2010 New Strategic Concept: “NATO will therefore engage, where possible and when necessary, to prevent crises, manage crises, stabilise post-conflict situations and support reconstruction.” To this day, that is what NATO is still doing in Kosovo as part of its KFOR mission, which began in June 1999. The Balkans conflicts highlight NATO’s willingness to assist nations and populations that do not belong to the Alliance. NATO is also an enthusiastic supporter of the African Union’s (AU) growing peacekeeping role and has provided a range of training and transport assistance. Back in 2005, NATO helped the AU in Darfur, Sudan. Today, the Alliance is helping the AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM) by providing strategic airlift and sealift. Another collaborative activity is taking place between NATO and Europe’s border agency, Frontex, in response to the growing refugee and migrant crisis. STAYING ONE STEP AHEAD The border lands between Russia and NATO have become an area into which NATO has been projecting stability for many years. The Baltic Air Patrols that defend the airspace of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are typical examples of pre-emptive measures taken to lessen the likelihood of an unauthorized intrusion resulting in a deeper crisis. The Baltic Air Patrols are the most high-profile air defence missions of this nature, but they are not the only ones. NATO also patrols the skies above NATO members Albania and Slovenia to compensate for their lack of any fighter jets capable of undertaking the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) task. Fast jets are also being deployed to Romania to patrol the airspace of NATO member states in the Black Sea region. As the military campaign in Afghanistan has moved to the Resolute Support Mission, the most pressing crisis management challenge for NATO is addressing Russia’s activities in Europe’s eastern and south-eastern regions. Without doubt, the annexation of Crimea and the ongoing instability in Ukraine represents heightened crisis management. The complexity and uncertainty of the instability in this region is unlike anything that NATO endured during the Cold War. A united response to the problems in the east and south-east continues to emerge, with NATO placing additional deterrent forces to the outer edges of its members’ territories. Four multinational battalion-sized (circa 1,000 troops) Battle Groups have begun deploying to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, and a multinational framework brigade is being established in Romania. NATO is also boosting its presence in the Black Sea region, “on land, at sea and in the air”. CIVIL EMERGENCIES At the other end of the crisis spectrum lies the civil emergency spectre of humanitarian relief and disaster response. Just as NATO has created a combat capability to deal with armed conflict, it has also put in place a structure and methodology for helping nations who are struck by environmental, health or CNI (critical national infrastructure) disasters. The Euro- Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), established in 1998, is the hub for these activities and has been extremely busy responding to disasters and training others to cope with them. Recent operations in which the EADRCC has been involved include forest fires in Israel, the Ebola virus in West Africa, floods in Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the refugee influx from Iraq and Syria. On the CNI front, NATO helped Ukraine and Moldova when atrocious floods and snowfall took down power transmission cables in 2008. NATO’s ability to manage crises is an evolving capability that will remain a vital tool in the Alliance’s kitbag. The utility this provides the United Nations is second to none, as there are no other military organisations with the scale and range of expertise that can manage these types of situations with a ready-made decision-making, planning and execution process. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
NATO's Cyber Defence Pledge: Cyber threats
PUBLISHED: March 15, 2018
Cyber has come of age and now has the ability to threaten whole states in ways that, until very recently, were unimaginable. Simon Michell explains how the politics, economics and infrastructure of nation states is coming under fire from hostile cyber forces The trouble with cyber threats is that no one really understands them or is able to predict their full impact until it is too late. Even senior military figures will admit that they do not know what a full, all-out attack on a military network or unit might look like, or what it could achieve. This is a massive problem, especially as cyber intrusions are increasingly being used in conjunction with the awesome power of social media. The implications of this are slowly becoming clear. The unauthorised access into the United States Democratic National Committee computer network has been attributed to Russian hackers carrying out a coordinated attempt to influence the outcome of the 2017 US presidential election. This is the first known occasion that a foreign state has attempted such a devious plot against the US. It is difficult to ascertain whether the cyber campaign was successful or not, and even if it was in fact a state-sponsored activity. Nevertheless, it has been focusing minds in Europe ahead of critical national elections, such as those recently concluded in France and Germany. Germany has concluded that a hybrid campaign, designed to destabilise the political foundations of the country, may well have been in progress for some time. Part of this operation included the very deliberate ‘Lisa’ scandal that played out at the beginning of January 2016. False allegations that a Russian-German 13-year-old girl from Berlin, Lisa, was abducted and raped by immigrants of a ‘southern’ complexion resulted in protestors taking to the streets to rail against the dangers of the rapidly growing immigrant population. The erroneous reports of the alleged incident, which were broadcast by television journalist Ivan Blagoy on Russia’s TV Channel One, circulated like wildfire on social media and the internet. DESIGNED TO DESTROY A year prior to the ‘Lisa’ scandal, France witnessed the potential catastrophe that a well-targeted and planned cyberattack could bring about. TV5Monde was on the brink of being completely taken off air by a sophisticated cyberattack. The director general of the French TV channel, Yves Bigot, confirmed in an interview with the BBC that, “We were a couple of hours from having the whole station gone for good.” The attack was coordinated and designed to destroy the station. Originally thought to have been perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists, it has since been suggested that the attack was the work of the Russian APT28 group, also known as FancyBear or Sofacy. APT28 was identified by the American cybersecurity company FireEye as far back as 2007. According to FireEye, APT28 is a very active and well-organised cyber unit that appears to have evolved its tactics into prosecuting “information operations commensurate with broader strategic military doctrine”. The head of the German Domestic Intelligence Service, BfV (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz), Dr Hans- Georg Maaßen, told the BBC that he believes that APT28/Sofacy has attacked the German parliament, as well as Angela Merkel’s CDU (Christian Democratic Union of Germany) party, in order to destabilise the German political system. Bruno Kahl, president of the German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND), agrees, saying, “We have evidence of cyberattacks that have no other purpose than triggering political uncertainty.” Two days before Christmas 2015, a cyberattack on Ukrainian SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems belonging to three energy organisations left more than 225,000 customers without electricity for hours. The attack was carefully planned, conducted with precision and enabled through months of cyber reconnaissance of the energy companies’ IT networks. When the attack was triggered, not only was the primary power system neutralised, back-up systems were also deactivated. Nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack, and there is much speculation as to the reason it took place. Ominously, the attack was not designed to destroy the grid, but merely to take it offline temporarily. It was a reminder to Ukraine that its ability to provide heat and light to its citizens was no longer guaranteed. This is a message that could have been much starker had the attack chosen to obliterate the grid entirely. There is no doubt that the cyber threat, initially aimed at individuals or companies primarily for financial gain, has morphed into something much more damaging. State-sponsored hackers are not only stealing other nations’ secrets, they have now begun to undermine their democratic frameworks. In a speech at St Andrews University about the cyber threat, the UK’s Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon, warned, “Russia is clearly testing NATO and the West. It is undermining national security for many allies and the international rules-based system.” Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
Developing Modern Defence Capabilities: Exercising a forward presence
PUBLISHED: March 13, 2018
Coordination and cooperation are the foundations of NATO’s work to strengthen defence capabilities, with numerous exercises focused on Eastern Europe following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Chris Aaron looks at how NATO members are working together in training and exercise programmes In response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014, NATO increased the number of exercises it holds annually and raised the number of troops directly involved. The UK, for example, increased the number of personnel deployed on NATO exercises from about 2,000 in 2012-13 to more than 9,000 in 2016. Many of these exercises have taken place in the Baltic states and Poland, or have focused on practising deployment of the NATO Response Force (NRF) and its new Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) element. In 2015, NATO held more than 300 exercises, including Trident Juncture, which involved 36,000 personnel in a test of the NRF and Operation Dragoon Ride, a US-led exercise involving the transfer of men and materiel across 1,900km of allied territory in Eastern Europe. Noble Jump 2017 in Poland was the first big test for the VJTF. NATO exercises in Poland and the Baltics in 2016 included Anakonda, BALTOPS, Brilliant Jump, Flaming Sword, Flaming Thunder, Iron Wolf, Sabre Strike and Swift Response, illustrating the range and number of significant exercises focused on this region. Overall, the increase in activity signalled NATO’s commitment to collective defence in the face of Russia’s actions in the Ukraine, and emphasised its forward presence. STRUCTURING EXERCISES When NATO agreed on a Readiness Action Plan at the Wales Summit in 2014, it outlined a mix of ‘Assurance’ and ‘Adaptive’ tasks based on the need for short-term measures to bolster NATO’s eastern flank, as well as actions to adjust NATO’s posture for the medium term. The increase in multinational training and exercises described above was a relatively quick way of signalling NATO’s commitment to collective defence, and formed the basis for training rotating elements that would constitute a persistent multinational force in these regions. In this way, the Transatlantic Capability Enhancement and Training Initiative (TACET) and the Combined Joint Enhanced Training Initiative (CJET) were born. TACET started out in June 2015 as a US-German initiative to support the Baltic states and Poland, but was quickly joined by the UK, and now numbers 15 participant states. Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway agreed to take part in February 2016. Through training and exercise programmes and the deployment of specialist companies to share expertise, TACET has strengthened the defence capabilities of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland and increased their interoperability with the NATO partner forces deployed on their territory. This has aided the integration process that is required as force elements are rotated in and out of the region to make up the Multinational Battalion Battle Groups that are being deployed in the Baltic states and Poland. CJET took form in June 2016, when the NATO Warsaw Summit decided to develop a ‘tailored forward presence’ in the Black Sea states of Bulgaria and Romania, based on a multinational framework brigade in Romania. CJET provides a TACET-like training, exercise and interoperability function for the forces deployed for this brigade. The Multinational Corps Northeast Headquarters in Szczecin, Poland, will oversee the TACET objectives and activities in its area of responsibility, as will the Multinational Division Southeast (MND-SE) Headquarters in Bucharest, Romania, for CJET. Both TACET and CJET will work closely with the six NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUs) that have been established to coordinate the deployment and integration of NATO force elements in their respective countries: TACET is linked to the NFIUs based in Bydgoszcz (Poland), Riga (Latvia), Tallinn (Estonia) and Vilnius (Lithuania), while CJET works with the NFIUs in Bucharest (Romania) and Sofia (Bulgaria). Coordination of exercises and training between NATO and the EU is another important development, fostering cooperation on the ground at the same time as higher-staff-level interactions are being increased and improved. Examples of this increased cooperation began in 2003 with the first Crisis Management Exercise (CME/CMX 03). _ese have continued ever since, and this year will see another CME/CMX, with a Multi-Layer Crisis Management Exercise in 2018. These will involve parallel and coordinated activities on the part of both the EU and NATO. Staff from both organisations will participate in the planning, conduct and lessons-learned stages of each exercise. DEEPER UNDERSTANDING The aim of such cooperation is to deepen each organisation’s understanding of the other’s protocols and concerns, at both the political and practical operational levels. One example might be the logistical and political issues involved in moving equipment across European borders in a crisis: identifying and resolving issues beforehand – through coordinated exercises similar to Dragoon Ride – will directly strengthen the posture of collective, responsive defence that is now taking shape. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
NATO's Cyber Defence Pledge: Developing the NATO cyber defence capability and capacity
PUBLISHED: March 9, 2018
With millions of suspicious cyber events a day, NATO has to defend its networks on a constant basis. Simon Michell reviews the capabilities in pace to achieve this Cybersecurity is not a theoretical challenge for NATO. It is a daily game of cat and mouse, played out between its computer network experts and a host of malevolent hackers from around the world. The scale is immense, as Ian West, NATO’s chief of cyber security, explains: “Every single day our sensors detect around 240 million suspicious events.” Fortunately, most of these are dealt with automatically, enabling NATO analysts to focus in on what West terms the “needle in the haystack. The ones that we really need to do something about”. This reduces that 240 million daily incidents down to a more manageable 4,000 a year. It was as recent as 2014 that NATO’s own websites came under a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS), blocking access to users. As a part of a long-standing process to combat this growing threat, NATO announced a Cyber Defence Pledge during the 2016 Warsaw Summit. “In recognition of the new realities of security threats to NATO, we, the Allied Heads of State and Government, pledge to ensure the Alliance keeps pace with the fast-evolving cyber threat landscape and that our nations will be capable of defending themselves in cyberspace as in the air, on land and at sea.” The top priority is the protection of the communications systems owned and operated by the Alliance. Consequently, NATO now has four operational domains – land, sea, air and cyber. This new operational domain is guided by the NATO Cyber Defence Committee (NCDC), the NATO Cyber Defence Management Board (NCDMB) and the Consultation, Control and Command Board (C3B). They have at their disposal a raft of capabilities and capacities to address the cyber challenge. A key part of this capability, the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCD COE) in Tallinn, Estonia, is relatively new, having been created in 2008. The Cyber Test Range is even newer, having been originally created by the Estonians in 2011. It received a welcome boost in July 2014, when NATO decided to establish the Alliance’s cyber range using this existing Estonian one in Tartu. In June 2016, NATO’s governing body, the North Atlantic Council, agreed a further capability enhancement to the range, enabling the expansion of the annual cyber defence exercises, Cyber Coalition and Locked Shields. It will also bring about more advanced testing of complex IT systems. PROTECTING NATO NETWORKS NATO is clear in its understanding that it must be able to protect its own networks and, to do this, it has established the Belgium-based NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC). This is responsible for the cyber defence of all NATO sites – static, mobile, and those deployed on operations. The NCIRC Technical Centre in Mons is, according to NATO, “the nerve centre for the Alliance’s fight against cybercrime”. Its main protagonists are the Cyber Threat Assessment Cell and the Cyber Rapid Reaction Teams. Together, they not only keep an eye on the Alliance networks, they also send out emergency assistance to those within the Alliance who have suffered an attack. This can be a very complicated and exhaustive activity, which NATO likens to defending a skyscraper where the defenders must close each door and every window, but the hackers only have to find one that has been left slightly ajar to sneak in unobserved. With education being an enabler for cyber defence, NATO is fortunate in being able to lean on a network of institutions to build the necessary skills and deliver relevant training. For example, the NATO Communications and Information Systems School (NCISS), which will be moving its headquarters to Portugal from its current home in Latina, Italy, delivers a range of courses to train staff in the dark arts of cybersecurity. The NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany, complements this capability with its own syllabus of cyber education and training. And, at a somewhat loftier level, the NATO Defence College in Rome has gained an enviable reputation for its strategic thinking on matters concerning both the political and military arenas, of which cyber issues is increasingly prominent. Just like all things related to information technology, the pace of change is rapid, and standing still is a recipe for disaster. Realising this, NATO agreed an updated Cyber Defence Plan in February 2017 to increase the Allies’ ability to work together, develop capabilities and share information. One adaptation that the Alliance is making to its response to complex cyber challenges is increased and fairer burden-sharing, which will ultimately give better protection to all member states. Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017 For the occasion of the NATO Special Meeting in May 2017, ATA has published a dedicated monograph where high level policy makers and experts tackle the strategic issues of the summit. This publication was distributed to all the delegations and representatives that were taking part to closed-doors discussions and parallel meetings that took place before and during the Summit. The publication is available in its entirety here:  Projecting Stability | ATA special publication for the Brussels Summit 2017
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.