Visit to Microsoft Transparency Center in Brussels - 25 April 2017
PUBLISHED: December 2, 2017
On April 25 2017, a Norwegian delegation led by the ATA Senior Manager Alessandro Niglia, was hosted at Microsoft Transparency Center in Brussels. This occasion was assessed as a unique chance to know more about Microsoft strategy for the future and enhance the process of trust among the private and public sector
By: ATA Admin
Black Sea Security Brief
PUBLISHED: November 28, 2017
By Andrew Rogan Background In the past year, NATO strategy in the Black Sea region has evolved and become more focused. This Executive Summary seeks to analyse the Allied decision on NATO’s active engagement in enhancing Black Sea security. The Black Sea is a critical region for eastern European security. Geopolitically, the Black Sea region consists of states that provide key links between the Caspian, the Aegean, and the Mediterranean basins as well as to the Middle East and Russia.[1] Its juxtaposition to security hotspots places its defence value in high demand. Further, the region serves as an integral crossroads for the energy and trade sectors of the global economy. Its role as a transit hub for energy resources like natural gas combined with its connection to the markets of Russian and Caucasian energy production makes it a critical piece of the wider European market.[2] Historically, the Black Sea region is a hotbed for tensions and conflicts, ranging from Russian aggression to independence movements. This in combination with its present turmoil provides a breeding ground for security threats, particularly to NATO allies like Romania and Bulgaria, as well as its partners Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova. NATO’s security strategy must direct attention to this region, as it serves as a crucial launching point for any operation in a Eurasian context, as well as its unique situation in relation to Russia. This Executive Summary will evaluate the current state of affairs, with particular attention to Russia and NATO initiatives in the Black Sea region. It will conclude with some recommendations for further policy developments. Russia and the Black Sea In the context of Russian relations in the Black Sea, the issue of most significance is the Ukraine crisis. An acute example of Russia’s aggression in the region, this crisis has prompted a strong response from NATO and its Allies. While it may have disrupted action on the region’s other issues, it has placed the Black Sea region on NATO’s threat map, which allows for build-up of the Eastern flank. Russia’s aggression in the region is a result of its imperial history and desire to challenge the post-Cold War status quo. Through its trend of borderisation, Russia has effectively created a litany of NATO security concerns. The annexation of Crimea offered an opportunity for Russia to gain control in the Black Sea region. Thus far, the nation has invested heavily in modernizing its Black Sea fleet at Sevastopil, [3] enhanced air defence facilities, and developed long-range guided missile systems in Crimea, which can reach any of the Black Sea countries with ease and speed. [4] Dr. Stephen Blank of the Atlantic Council describes Russia’s militarization as accelerating—Moscow has increased Russian land, air, sea, and electronic forces that even NATO leaders say could disrupt any NATO response in the event of a conflict. Additionally, Russia has deployed nuclear-capable weapons to the area as well as anti-access area denial capabilities in the Mediterranean and Caucasus regions.[5] In 2016, it was announced that Russia had deployed 15 new combat ships to the Black Sea, some with modern cruise missile capability. With this deployment coupled with the introduction of Tu-22M aircraft, Russia became nuclear capable in the Black Sea. This trend will continue as Moscow increasingly prioritizes defence spending despite shrinking state funds.[6] This military build-up poses significant threats to NATO security and operations, particularly in relation to the Middle East. Since 2012, the Russian Black Sea fleet amphibious ships serve as shipping vessels for military equipment to Syria, acting as a direct supply line to the Assad regime. The Black Sea now hosts increasing interaction between NATO and Russia, prompting constant tension and an increased likelihood of outright conflict. In particular, Russia’s presence has warmed the frozen conflicts in the region, which NATO has worked to de-escalate. These constant tensions pose a true threat to stability. NATO Response General Response NATO is developing a strategic response to solidify its presence in the Black Sea region. With contributions by Allies, NATO maritime and air presence is on an incline. NATO also is implementing its rapid reinforcement strategy to ensure their current presence can be reinforced by “NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, the broader NATO Response Force, Allies’ additional high readiness forces and NATO’s heavier follow-on forces.”[7] On October 26, 2016, NATO Allies’ Defence Ministers gathered to discuss defence policies. During this meeting, six member-states (Canada, US, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Turkey) devoted contributions to enhancing NATO presence in the Black Sea, by air, land, and sea.[8] On October 9, 2017, NATO agreed to strengthen its presence in the Black Sea by building a force comprised of Romanian brigades and contributions from nine other nations, complementing the US troops already placed there. The force will also strengthen air presence. The goal is to maintain a “buffer zone” between Russia and NATO.[9] The main effort is oriented toward strengthening capabilities of nations in the region. For example, NATO has developed multinational joint training exercises, pledged more maritime activity, and promised to increase coordination efforts among states in the region. In 2017 alone, NATO allies have participated in multiple training operations. Sea Shield 2017 In February, 16 warships, 10 warplanes, 1 submarine, and 2,800 troops from various NATO allies and partners conducted an exercise in the Black Sea. As a strike of commitment to security in the region, NATO stood to project its efforts in countering Russian aggression. [10] Sea Breeze 2017 A US-led naval exercise took place in July, consisting of 3,000 service members from 17 NATO ally and partner nations. Larger this year than ever before, it marks the US and NATO resolve to uphold security in the region, especially in response to Russia’s increased militarization.[11] Separate from these exercises, each state in the region established responses of their own, each of which are ongoing and offer the ability to enhance defence and develop a security strategy. Georgia The partner state of Georgia, in response to the extreme and imminent threat of Russia, has conveyed its strategic importance in the region. At the 72nd Assembly of the UN on September 22nd, 2017, the Prime Minister of Georgia outlined the nation’s standing in global markets, with particular regard for trade. Georgia’s location places it at the crux of Eurasian trading. Its new port at Anaklia will be able to handle the largest of container ships and its partnership in a Eurasian railway system places Georgia “less than 20 days from East Asia and within five days of any point in Europe.[12]” Georgia’s emphasis on its role in the economy has provided it with ensured support. The Summit in 2016 called for Georgia, as a valuable partner, to join the dialogue for Black Sea security and take part in the multinational joint training exercises.[13] Turkey Under the Montreux Convention of 1936, Turkey controls the Bosporus Strait, the key point of entry for the Black Sea. With Russia’s aggression on the rise, this provision is at stake. Additionally, because of the Convention, NATO’s role in the region is historically limited.[14] As a NATO ally, Turkey can count on the support of its regional allies. Recently, Turkey has cooperated with NATO exercises in the region, like Sea Shield. The cooling of Russian-Turkish tensions present an obstacle for increasing NATO presence in the region.[15] Overall, the Turkish response remains slow and wishes to uphold the status quo. Romania and Bulgaria In the past two years, Romania has pushed heavily for further integration of the Black Sea states opposite Russia. Romania’s desire for coordination resulted in a few proposals of joint military operations, including the permanent establishment of a Black Sea fleet, consisting of naval contributions from Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey. However, NATO decision makers did not agree to this proposal, seemingly killing it altogether.[16] This failure to cooperate poses a significant risk to security in both Romania and Bulgaria. Romania’s military capabilities remain weak, as the country has a relatively modest defence budget and has been preoccupied with out-of-area missions such as the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Romania’s attempts to modernize have been met with delays and complications. Romania’s plan of 85 acquisitions is lacking with only 15 completed and its forces are using equipment from the Warsaw pact era.[17] Comparatively, Bulgaria’s capacities lack more so than that of Romania. Bulgaria’s defence budget falls greatly behind Romania and its forces face aging capabilities with modernization efforts in the far future. Additionally, Bulgaria’s political situation is relatively unstable when compared to Romania. Corruption within the Ministry of Defence further harms their security—in 2016, more than half of Bulgarian defence procurements were irregular and nine were fraudulent. Most recent, the Bulgarian Defence minister was charged for misuse of office.[18] These issues are debilitating to the security environment Bulgaria faces, especially in regards to the Black Sea. In response to Russian aggression in the region, Bulgaria suggested NATO air policing missions.[19] Beyond this, Bulgaria pushes for inaction. Prime Minister Borissov emphasizes Black Sea tourism and trade, fearing the consequences on the two should defence operations interrupt their industry. Bulgaria’s fear of Russian retaliation also prohibits their willingness to increase NATO security in the region.[20] Moldova Moldova’s role in Black Sea security is quickly becoming crucial. With an escalating conflict in the Transnistria region, aggravated by Russian influence, Moldova remains in a hanging balance. Its efforts to build defence capabilities is marred by its fledgling independence movements, unstable political system, and slow economy. As a NATO partner for peace, Moldova is a recipient of numerous capacity building and defence reform initiatives.[21] Conclusion The overall security environment in the Black Sea region remains precarious. Tensions create an increased likelihood of miscalculations and mistakes that can easily transcend into conflict. It is essential for NATO security that the Black Sea region receive special attention in case of a threat becoming a reality. This Executive Summary has demonstrated potential instances in detail. NATO’s current response is actively engaging its key allies in the region, each with their own strategic capabilities. However, as discussed above, NATO expressed concerns in its overall capacity to handle a crisis in the region. Yet, their overall response is minimal, in part blocked by Bulgaria and Turkey and in part by NATO focus on the Baltic region. In order to ensure that the Black Sea region contributes to the overall goal of a Europe that is free, whole, and at peace, the transatlantic community should consider three strategic end states in developing a security strategy for the Black Sea region. Effective deterrence and credible collective defence Stability and security in non-NATO regional partner nations, like Georgia and Moldova Regional economic security, such that no state has the leverage to use energy economics to coerce other states and so defence modernization efforts are increased   [1] Shota Gvineria, “Black Sea Security in NATO Spotlight,” Rondel Foundation, Expert Opinion 72 (2016), pg. 5. [2] Steven Horrell, “A NATO Strategy for Security in the Black Sea Region,” Atlantic Council, October 2016, pg. 2. [3] Teona Lavrelashvili, “Black Sea in Black and White Colours,” Rondel Foundation, Expert Opinion 82 (2016), pg. 3. [4] Vladimir Socor, “The Black Sea Region: NATO’s Exposed Sector on the Eastern Flank (Part Two),” Eurasia Daily Monitor Vol. 14: 114, June 24, 2016. [5] Stephen Blank, “Memo to NATO: Wake Up Before Putin Turns the Black Sea into a Russian Lake,” Atlantic Council, June 28, 2016. [6] RT, “Russia to Respond to NATO Black Sea Force by Deploying New Weapons-Report,” Atlantic Council, January 21, 2016. [7] “Boosting NATO’s Presence in the East and Southeast,” NATO, August 2017. [8] “Press Conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Following the Meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the Level of NATO Defence Ministers, Brussels, Belgium, October 26, 2016,” NATO, October 26, 2016. [9] Robin Emmott, “NATO Launches Black Sea Force as Latest Counter to Russia,” Reuters, October 9, 2017. [10] Alex Gorka, “Exercise Sea-Shield 2017: NATO Provokes Russia in Black Sea Before Defense Ministers’ Meeting,” Strategic Culture Foundation, February 10, 2017. [11] Joseph Trevithick, “US Navy Kicks Off Biggest Ever ‘Sea Breeze’ Exercise in the Black Sea,” The Drive, July 11, 2017. [12] Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili of Georgia Speech to UN 72nd General Assembly, September 21, 2017. [13] Shota Gvineria, “Black Sea Security in NATO Spotlight,” Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, Expert Opinion 72, 2016. [14] Janusz Bugajski and Peter Doran, “Black Sea Defended: NATO Responses to Russia’s Black Sea Offensive,” Center for European Policy Analysis, Strategic Report No. 2, July 2016. [15] Yordon Bozhilov, “The Brief Life of the Idea for the Creation of NATO Black Sea Fleet,” New Europe, January 8, 2017. [16] Bugajski and Doran, 2016. [17] U.S.-Romania Initiative: Defense and Security Working Group, “High Tide: Romanian Security in Europe’s Front Line,” Center for European Policy Analysis, January 2016. [18] Kaitlin Lavinder, “NATO Zeroes in on Black Sea Security,” The Cipher Brief, March 8, 2017. [19] Horell, 2016. [20] Margarita Assenova, “Bulgaria’s Black Sea Dilemma,” Center for European Policy Analysis, July 20, 2016. [21] “Relations with the Republic of Moldova,” NATO, 2017.
By: ATA Admin
NATO advanced training course - Israel
PUBLISHED: November 28, 2017
By: Andrew Rogan In the period of November 4-9 the ATA, its Israeli member and NATO organized a joint Advanced Training Course in Israel. Executive Summary This Advanced Training Course (ATC) is designed to bring together senior military officials and policymakers with the goal of information sharing in counter-terrorism strategies and challenges. Today’s security landscape is marred by terrorism and the increasing threat of urban warfare continues to present a significant obstacle in operational defense. This ATC seeks to unpack the loaded idea of counter-terrorism, explore the structure of urban warfare, and provide relevant trainings, while also strengthening the strategic partnership between NATO and Israel. These issues are key components in the global fight against terrorism and offer both NATO and Israel tools to craft solutions for the future. Breakdown NATO’s experience in Afghanistan and Libya exposed the intersection of counter-terrorism and urban warfare, prompting an evaluation of modern security strategies. Taking this intersection into account, this briefing document will elaborate on each in the context of the NATO-Israel partnership and the added value of continued collaboration for both parties. It will also provide a framework for understanding the necessity of the trainings and discussions to take place during this ATC.   Counter-Terrorism Since 2016, NATO has increased its counter-terrorism policy area to better respond to emerging challenges across the globe. Just this year, NATO has developed new strategies in the fight against terror. Membership in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL In July 2016, NATO joined as a partner to support the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL. As part of this Coalition, NATO provides both material and logistical assistance. Material Assistance Specifically, NATO pledged Airborne Warning and Control Systems aircraft (AWACS) to assist the coalition in gathering critical surveillance information with more flight hours. This information sharing is vital in the fight against militants. NATO also will offer air-to-air refueling operations and coordination efforts in strategy. Logistical Assistance Further, this pledge delivered new Mobile Training Teams to Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, Jordan, and Tunisia with the goal of capacity-building in these at-risk states. Military Training Programmes NATO’s capacity building initiatives are essential to creating a lasting security strategy in vulnerable regions. By supporting law enforcement and military units in susceptible nations, NATO can provide a framework for successful security responses. Most recent, in February 2017, NATO launched a capacity building initiative in Iraq, teaching forces to counter improvised explosive devices (IEDs), supplying them with strategic and technical knowledge. Additionally, in March, NATO hosted medical training for Iraqi paramedics, as well as a training on the maintenance of military vehicles. This is in addition to the capacity building initiatives previously established in Iraq and Jordan, training Iraqi security forces in areas like cyber defense and countering roadside bombs. NATO Hub for the South In February 2017, the Defense Ministers of NATO Allies agreed upon the creation of a “Hub for the South.” In other words, this regional base, located at the Joint Force Command in Naples, will increase the scope of NATO’s comprehension of security in the Mediterranean region while also offering a strategic location for security responses. Inaugurated in September, this Hub is preparing to become a full-fledged intelligence center for emerging threats in the region. NATO Terrorism Intelligence Cell In 2016, NATO established a new Joint Intelligence and Security Division (JISD) dedicated to working on the changing threat environment of NATO member states. Of most significance in this case, the JISD is home to the new Terrorism Intelligence Cell, which was created in May of this year. It is designed to deliver intelligence worldwide to keep populations safe from the terror threat. By filling the gap of intelligence gathering and sharing, NATO can assist Allies in countering terrorism. NATO Coordinator Oversight on Fight Against Terrorism Yet another strategic change in the NATO counter terrorism response announced this year is the appointment of a Counter Terrorism Coordinator, tasked with oversight of efforts within NATO, particularly at the new Hub for the South. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg appointed existing NATO Deputy Secretary General, Rose Gottemoeller, to take on this key role. The launch of the Hub for the South will make this position crucial to its success. Urban Warfare In light of recent events in Mosul and Aleppo, the implications of increased urban warfare are an essential point of dialogue. There is a need to coordinate strategies and share best practices to prepare capabilities in the urban warfare environment. For NATO, the Allied Command Transformation developed a conceptual study that continues to produce new knowledge in this field. Additionally, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have crafted a robust urban warfare military operation, equipped with a variety of groundwork techniques. Urbanization Project NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT) began the Urbanization Project in late 2013. This project is designed as a conceptual study to analyze NATO’s capabilities in urban warfare and to assess the threat level it may have. Over the course of the past three years, NATO has found its preparation for urban security risks limited. The Urbanization Experiment in Rome used simulations to evaluate NATO’s preparedness and the results were included in the Final Report issued in 2016. In verification of these results, the ACT conducted a wargame at the NATO Defense College. After review, NATO issued a Request for Proposal in August, citing the world’s ever-growing urban population and the changing landscape of security. It calls for a contractor to assist in the Concept Development of an urban warfare strategy designed for NATO implementation. This project will continue throughout 2017 and into 2018, as NATO develops new tactics and training exercises. IDF Training Israel’s experience during the Lebanon War invited the IDF to prepare a rigorous approach to urban warfare. Since then, the IDF has established an Urban Warfare Training Center, worked with US Marines to enhance their skills, and has conducted a variety of simulated exercises to adjust soldiers to the unique urban warfare environment. This includes civilian protection, proper squad formation, and engaging the enemy in close quarters. In May of this year, the IDF announced their plans to begin construction on the first of four brand-new advanced training facility. These facilities are intended to provide real-world scenario trainings for 21st century security threats, especially urban warfare. The inclusion of underground networks, enemy rocket launchers, and real soldiers equipped with mock-enemy tactics. Israel’s comprehensive approach to urban warfare is a significant step in the future security landscape. NATO and Israel Cooperation With varying capabilities amongst the two parties, cooperation is an avenue to forge stronger, more robust security strategies, drawing on the assets of each. Continued collaboration and the introduction of new partnership goals can further bridge NATO and Israel, closing the gaps in capacities and building a foundation for successful security. Mediterranean Dialogue Israel and NATO cooperation began in 1994 with the Mediterranean Dialogue, a forum designed to increase conversation with NATO allies and states in the Mediterranean region. A critical topic of discussion was, and still is, terrorism. Working alongside each other in this forum, NATO and Israel have shared crucial information and policies to assist in the fight against terror groups, while also exploring activities in science, innovation, and academia. Israel IPCP and the Israel Mission to NATO The key to NATO-Israel relations lies in the Individual Partnership Cooperation Programme, which was ratified in 2008. This agreement was a huge step forward for the two parties’ relationship. It provided for an increase in intelligence sharing, joint military exercises, and electronic connectivity to the NATO system. The ongoing IPCP works continuously to keep both parties synchronized in overlapping issues. Joint Military Exercises NATO and Israel recently announced their intentions to engage in increased joint exercises for capacity building on both sides. This element is vital for properly preparing both sides in counter terrorism measures and urban warfare operations. Continuing these exercises is of utmost importance and both parties are seeking new methods to do so. Sea Guardian Taking the place of NATO’s Active Endeavour operation, Sea Guardian expands NATO cooperation with Mediterranean states and permits full maritime security tasks. Currently, this operation engages in three maritime security tasks. maritime situational awareness, maritime capacity building for Allied and partner nations, and, of most relevance, counter-terrorism at sea. The counter-terrorism strategy aims to deter, disrupt, and defend against any terrorist threats in the area. Of further importance, Operation Sea Guardian coordinates closely with the European Union’s Operation Sophia on details like information sharing and maritime cooperation. Operation Sophia’s goals of interrupting human trafficking in the Mediterranean plays an integral role in NATO’s Sea Guardian as well. Conclusion The above sections demonstrate the strengths of NATO and Israel in defense policy and how their partnership can expand these strengths to ensure a safer and more secure world. Both parties should seek a tighter alliance focused on information sharing, capacity building, and open dialogue. As security threats increasingly become more coordinated and precise, proactive responses present the opportunity to prepare and defend free world.
By: ATA Admin
INVESTING IN SECURITY: STIMULATING INNOVATION ROUND TABLE SERIES Brussels, ATA HQ, 19 April 2017
PUBLISHED: November 22, 2017
NATO reaffirmed the importance of improving its defence capabilities with an emphasis on innovation. In 2016, NATO defence investment rose 3.8% equating to more than $10 billion USD, a trend which is expected to continue. Similarly, the European Union’s Global Strategy proposed €90 million EUR over the next 3 years for research and technology. As research and procurement budgets continue to increase, organizations like NATO and the EU must expand their cooperation with industry beyond the traditional defense sector while encouraging engagement with small and medium enterprises to stimulate greater innovation and maximize the efficiency of Euro-Atlantic defence spending. Panelists will discuss an exchange of best practices that will address challenges, and explore opportunities for a stronger engagement with SMEs beyond the traditional defense sector with the aim to bringing innovative solutions to Allied capabilities. These discussions will yield policy recommendations for a more collaborative smart defence strategy Final Agenda - Round Table Series- 19 April 2017
By: ATA Admin
Round Table INVESTING IN SECURITY: STIMULATING INNOVATION A New Role for SMEs in NATO & EU - 12 July 2017
PUBLISHED: November 22, 2017
At the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Allies agreed on the need to contribute more to the efforts of the international community in projecting stability and strengthening security by increasing Allied defense spending with an emphasis on improving innovation, research and development and procurement processes. Following the NATO-EU Joint Declaration, the EU has begun to offer grants for collaborative research in innovative defence technologies and products, fully and directly funded from the EU budget. The role of the EDA has initiated a two-strand approach for financing consisting of research and development and acquisition amounting to hundreds of millions of Euros. With an emphasis on electronics, metamaterials, encrypted software and robotics, these funds will create incentives for Member States to cooperate on joint development and acquisition of defence equipment. Essential to the success of these new policies, is a strong engagement with Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs), particularly in areas of knowledge sharing, technical assistance, early warning systems and cybersecurity. To be effective in strengthening engagement with SMEs, the potential added value of a formal SME Advisory Group will be discussed. Agenda Investing In Security-A New Role For SMEs in NATO-July 12 2017_Final agenda - Copy
By: ATA Admin
NATO, EU & INDUSTRY: COOPERATION ON CYBER SECURITY - A Transatlantic Exchange of Best Practices - 28 June 2017
PUBLISHED: November 22, 2017
As threats in the cyber space continue to disrupt both the public and private sectors, often targeting critical infrastructures that supply essential services such as energy, water, healthcare or mobile services, member states of NATO & EU have enhanced their cooperation via a Technical Arrangement on Cyber Defence to advance the objectives set in the recent EU Global Strategy and NATO Warsaw Summit Declaration. With particular reference to the existing best practices used by some NATO & EU member states, this conference will focus on how both organizations can best use their existing tools to develop and implement a cooperative cyber security strategy. Agenda: NATO EU & Industry Cooperation on Cyber Security - A Transatlantic Exchange of Best Practices
By: ATA Admin
5th NATO-EU Roundtable - 30th March – 1st April 2017 - Tallin, Estonia
PUBLISHED: November 22, 2017
Download the Agenda : Estonian ATA - NATO&EU1 PROGRAMME 5th NATO-EU Roundtable 30th March – 1st April 2017 Organized by Estonian Atlantic Treaty Association In partnership with FRIEDRICH EBERT STIFTUNG Ministry of Defence, Republic of Estonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Estonia NATO RIIGIKOGU
By: ATA Admin
7th NATO Asia-Pacific Dialogue 2017
PUBLISHED: November 22, 2017
Agenda Sunday, 15 October 17:00 hrs Arrival of Speakers (Hotel Le Plaza Brussels, Boulevard Adolphe Max 118-126, 1000 Bruxelles) 18:30 hrs Meeting in the hotel lobby 19:00 hrs Welcome Dinner Monday, 16 October 09:30 hrs Meeting at hotel lobby and departure to NATO HQ for briefings and discussion (Meeting Room: Lange) 10.30 hrs Welcome Remarks followed by a Briefing and discussion on NATO’s Current Political Agenda Ambassador Tacan Ildem Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, NATO 11.30 hrs Briefing and discussion on NATO Partnerships Dr. Jaroslaw Skonieczka Senior Director, Integration, Partnerships and Cooperation Directorate, Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, NATO 12.30 hrs Lunch in NATO’s restaurant hosted by Mrs. Carmen Romero Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, NATO 14.00 hrs Briefing and discussion on NATO-Russia Relations Mr. Thomasz Chlon Engagements Section, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO 15.00 hrs Briefing and discussion on NATO – EU Relations Mr. Alexandros Papaioannou NATO and Multilateral Affairs, Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, NATO 16.00 hrs Departure to the hotel 17:30 hrs Meeting in the hotel lobby and departure to the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) (Rue des Petits Carmes 20, 1000 Bruxelles) 18:15 hrs Registration and welcome cocktail 18:45 hrs Welcome remarks by The Honorable Rose E. Gottemoeller Deputy Secretary General, NATO 19:00 hrs Panel Discussion “Creating Predictability in Asian and European Security Dynamics” Mr. Jason Wiseman Secretary General, Atlantic Treaty Association Panelists: Keynote speech by The Honorable Rose E. Gottemoeller Deputy Secretary General, NATO Prof. Robert Patman Head of Department of Politics, University of Otago, New Zealand Prof. Shen Dingli Vice Dean of the Institute of International Affairs, Fudan University, China Prof. Matake Kamiya National Defense Academy, Ministry of Defense, Japan Followed by Dinner Reception Tuesday, 17 October 8:00 hrs Meeting at hotel lobby and departure to NATO HQ for full-day closed-door Dialogue (Meeting Room: Brosio) 9:00 hrs Welcome Remarks Mr. Zsolt Rabai Programme Officer for Partners Across the Globe, Engagements Section, NATO Public Diplomacy Division Mr. Christian Echle Director Regional Programme Political Dialogue Asia, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung 9:15 hrs “Returning of Great Power Politics and Impact on NATO and the Asia-Pacific” Dr. Jamie Shea Deputy Assistant Secretary General, Emerging Security Challenges Division, NATO Prof. Matake Kamiya National Defense Academy, Ministry of Defense, Japan Prof. Hyun-Wook Kim Korea National Diplomatic Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea Dhruva Jaishankar Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies, Brookings, Republic of India 10:45 hrs Coffee 11:15 hrs “Projecting stability in crisis areas” Mr. James Mackey Head, Euro-Atlantic and Global Partnership, Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, NATO Dr. Faramarz Tamanna Director General, Center for Strategic Studies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Simone Roworth Defence Policy Advisor, Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations and former Senior Advisor to the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Australia Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamic Republic of Pakistan 12:45 hrs Lunch in NATO’s restaurant hosted by Dr. Gerlinde Niehus Head, Engagements Section, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO 14:00 hrs “Cyber Security / Hybrid Warfare” Dr. Stefanie Babst (tbc) Head, Strategic Analysis Capability, Emerging Security Challenges Division, NATO Prof. Robert Patman Head of Department of Politics, University of Otago, New Zealand Dr Shashi Jayakumar Senior Fellow and Head of Centre of Excellence for National Security, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Republic of Singapore Colonel Sofian Bin Kamaruddin (ret.) Director, Institute of Executive Education (NIEEd) and Senior Fellow, Department of Strategic Studies, National Defence University of Malaysia, Malaysia 15:30 hrs Coffee 16:00 hrs “NATO’s Perception in the Asia Pacific” Mr. Vlad Vernygora Project Director of ‘Science for Peace and Security Programme Project: NATO Global Perceptions – Views from Asia-Pacific Region, Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia Dr. Gerlinde Niehus Head, Engagements Section, Public Diplomacy Division, Prof. Shen Dingli Vice Dean of the Institute of International Affairs, Fudan University, China Dr. Curie Mahrani Savitri Binus University, and advisor to the Ministry of Defense, Republic of Indonesia Byambakhand Luguusharav Senior Expert, Mongolian Institute for Strategic Studies, Mongolia 17:30 hrs Concluding Remarks Mr. Christian Echle Director Regional Programme Political Dialogue Asia, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Mr. Zsolt Rabai Programme Officer for Partners Across the Globe, Engagements Section, NATO Public Diplomacy Division 18:30 hrs Farewell Dinner
By: ATA Admin
Fall of Raqqa: Middle East Security Brief
PUBLISHED: November 10, 2017
By Andrew Rogan Background The Islamic State (IS) proclaimed its caliphate in 2014, designating Raqqa, Syria as its capital city. Since then, the city has been embroiled in fierce conflict, especially in recent months. IS influence around the globe led world powers to engage in advanced offensive action to finally push IS out of their stronghold. During this time, the city was subject to gunfire, explosives, and extensive air strikes. Civilians suffered the most, with an estimated 1,800 casualties and thousands of refugees. As of October 2017, Raqqa has fallen and IS fighters have all but deserted the remains of their staging ground. With the city now liberated, IS has lost its ability to centralize its command and can no longer produce effective operations. However, the dispersal of IS fighters continues to be a pressing concern for international security. The Soufan Group estimates 5,600 foreign fighters have returned home. This briefing document will look at where these fighters are going and the routes they’re taking to get there. It will then analyse the responses of these destination states before exploring recommendations going forward. Destination States With much of the Middle East under scrutiny and under fire, developing a new centralized command for IS in the region presents a great risk to the terrorist organization. In order to regroup and strategize, IS fighters move to other vulnerable states, often weak or collapsed, to seek safe haven. As the Maghreb region produced one of the highest foreign fighters per capita ratio and because those states are among the weakest, it is essential to examine returning jihadists to the region. Tunisia Tunisia is estimated as the largest producer of foreign fighters in the region, and fourth in the world, at around 3,000 individuals. This sheer volume has put Tunisia at great risk of not only growing numbers of radicalized citizens, but also the return of experienced terrorists. Since the siege of Raqqa began in mid-2017, Tunisia has seen a return of 800 foreign fighters. It is assumed that these individuals are using underground networks, traffickers, and organized crime to return to the state. Morocco Not far behind Tunisia, Morocco is responsible for more than 1,600 foreign fighters. At first content to rid their nation of the radicalized, Morocco is quickly adapting to the reality of returning foreign fighters and the risks they pose. As of October 2017, officials have been able to account for 200 returnees in Morocco, whose return is likely facilitated by the same networks used by Tunisians. This number remains small due to the hard-line security approach along Moroccan borders, preventing their entry. Algeria While Algeria is not a leading contributor to the Maghreb’s staggering number of foreign fighters, it does face issues of growing cells and returnees from neighbouring states. Algeria is known to have close to 200 foreign fighters in IS command, and nearly half have returned. Algeria’s true concern is the influx of jihadists to its territory, with the goal of expanding cells within its borders. Further, due to Morocco’s border security response, many of Morocco’s foreign fighters are seeking haven along its borders, particularly in Algeria. With the fall of Raqqa, these numbers are likely to grow, threatening the stability of Algeria’s security framework. Libya Similar to Algeria, Libya also had a relatively small number of foreign fighters, at just over 600. Also like Algeria, Libya faces a growing population of jihadists flocking to its territory from elsewhere. In fact, Libya’s political vacuum has allowed IS to flourish its base there. US intelligence estimates 5,000 IS militants are in Libya, and numbers continue to grow with the exodus of IS militants as their territory collapses. Further, monitoring returnees is extremely difficult due to the lapse in a stable Libyan government. The chaos in Libya is the perfect breeding ground for an IS stronghold, with the increasing likelihood of spilling into the broader region. Response As states finish up implementing actions to prevent travel of their citizens to become foreign fighters, they’re not yet prepared to handle their return. Weak states, like those discussed above, lack security and intelligence capabilities to expertly oversee these returns. Porous borders and power vacuums prohibit appropriate responses, but there are measures in place to interrupt these return routes. Fortunately, the fall of IS strongholds have led to the discovery of data and information on foreign fighters, which assists international efforts to break-up connected cells in other countries. Most often, using this data and other intelligence, capable states incarcerate returnees. This is not without its own drawbacks, as radicalization in prisons is always a concern. The alternative to incarceration is reintegration, a process that seeks to de-radicalize returnees, adapting them to society once again. Both aforementioned responses have flaws and rely on states with stable governments. Some examples of responses in the states of the Maghreb region are closing borders and building security facilities. Tunisia has erected an earthen wall along its Libyan border to keep returnees and IS-Libyan militants from entering unnoticed. Tunisia also has opened its territory to American military forces. This increased cooperation allows the conduct of US operations with stealth and ease. Similar cooperation can also be seen across the region. In Niger, the US is constructing a drone base to stage strikes in Libya. In Algeria, the government opened a new air base to better protect its borders with Mali, Niger, and Libya. Conclusion As IS continues to collapse across Iraq and Syria, its jihadists will scatter. In what’s known as the “dandelion effect,” IS fighters will disperse like the seeds of a dandelion across the world, agitating conflict where it already is rampant. The current threat remains strongest in Libya where there is no functional government, thus no effective security capacities throughout its vast territories. The Maghreb region will continue to grapple with issues of returnees as well as being the receiving end of foreign fighters, particularly in states like Algeria and Libya. It is essential for cooperation among the nations, as well as among foreign military powers, like the US. Together with expanded reintegration and de-radicalization programs, the Maghreb can prevent a new IS from arising within its borders.
By: ATA Admin
RECENT TRENDS IN STATE-SPONSORED CYBERATTACKS
PUBLISHED: October 28, 2017
By Andrew Rogan Background Governments and industries face the growing threat of cyber warfare on many fronts. In particular, the rise in aggressive state-sponsored and non-state actor cyberattacks has altered perceptions on preparation and has shifted focus onto developing a key strategy for both the defence and industrial sectors. Major aggressors present a risk that many NATO allies and EU member states hope to counter with improved capabilities and that many industry organizations, like Microsoft, hope to prevent with robust security measures. This Round Table Briefing will delineate the key cyber threats at hand, with special attention to recent attacks, while also discussing the defense and industry responses for the fight against cyberattacks. Current Threats The threat of cyberattacks is ever-growing, and while it is difficult to measure the amount of cyberattacks at any given time, the digital security provider Gemalto reported an estimated 2 billion records were lost or stolen in the first 6 months of 2017, a 164% increase from 2016. This expanding security gap concerns governments and industries worldwide. In recent times, both have been victims of large-scale malware attacks that shut down networks through harmful emails, links, and websites. These cyberattacks damage critical infrastructure on a scale that only state-sponsored actors could perpetrate. In addition to disrupting daily operations, attackers seek to exploit data and information, gain access to classified and private records, as well as obtain permanent connections to vulnerable networks. The risk of susceptibility to these attacks especially harm sectors like healthcare and energy. This year has seen these two sectors as casualties in major cyberattacks. WannaCry In May 2017, it became evident to hundreds of thousands that a particularly damaging strain of ransomware had spread around the world, affecting 74 countries. Through the exploitation of a back-door vulnerability, WannaCry shut down National Health Services networks in the UK, as well as crippled operations from three Spanish organizations. While not immediately life-threatening, the attack delayed patient services and medical operations in the UK. Many specialists point to North Korean affiliated groups as the offender, but it remains unconfirmed. Petya Petya completely devastated a number of institutions, particularly in Ukraine. By the end of June, it inflicted network shut downs in Ukrainian banks, energy firms, and the Kiev airport. Further, Petya affected the Danish shipping company, Maersk, a Russian oil company, and the American pharmaceutical company, Merck. By targeting similar vulnerabilities as WannaCry, but with a more advanced nature, Petya could attack further networks and inflict more damage, especially in Ukraine. Due to its extreme complex and targeted characteristics, many cyber experts consider Petya to be a state-sponsored attack, with fingers pointed at Russia. As cyberattacks become more advanced and locating culprits becomes more difficult, these cyber threats will only worsen with time. Evidence points to states like Russia, North Korea, and China as complicit, and even helpful, in cyberattacks carried out by hacker organizations and other groups responsible for malware. Building capabilities to deter, prevent, and manage cyberattacks is an essential goal for any nation or industry vulnerable to their harms. Defence Response As cyber war is an emerging threat to security, it lacks representation in international law. Nations, intergovernmental organizations, and international institutions have had to make significant updates to their strategies and competences to better prepare for cyberattacks. Through training programs, multilateral cooperation, and research, the world is working towards a safer cyber space. NATO Response NATO established that cyber security was a core task in NATO collective defence. At the Warsaw Summit in 2016, it stressed that international law and Article 5 apply to cyber space, as well as considering cyber space one of its strategic domains, just like land, sea, and air. In the past years, NATO has established a variety of initiatives to combat cyberattacks, some listed below. NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC) defends the NATO network from attacks NATO Defence Planning Process defines targets for allies to reach on cyber security measures NATO’s Smart Defence projects assist Allies through a cooperative measure to procure and manage cyber security measures, like software, education and training, and information sharing NATO cyber trainings and exercises, like the annual Cyber Coalition Exercise and use of the Cyber Range facility in Estonia NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn conducts trainings, research, and development in cyber security best practices NATO also assists partner nations in trainings and exercises to improve worldwide capabilities NATO engagement with other organizations, like the NATO-EU 42-concrete proposal, allow for further fortification NATO is working to strengthen its Mission Assurance. NATO itself receives thousands of cyber threats on a daily basis and it must improve its capabilities to fulfill a mission in the event of damage caused by an attack. NATO Allies themselves have also developed new strategies for cybersecurity. The United States and the United Kingdom have created multiple task forces and commands within their respective agencies to stay on top of threats. Nation’s like France and Germany have developed cyber security strategies to help prepare their cyber defence capacities. Overall, these efforts build NATO’s collective cyber defence. EU Response The EU remains committed to cyber defence fortifications and in the past few years has advanced key regulations, directives, and initiatives to secure European cyber space. A few of these responses are highlighted below. Establishment and strengthening of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), an EU agency tasked with cyber trainings, certifications, and capacity building. While its permanent mandate and expansion is just a proposal, its work thus far proves to be beneficial The General Data Protection Regulation requires industries collecting EU citizen data to boost their protection and response efforts The Directive on Network and Information Systems requires member states to build cyber defenses and to cooperate on issues of cyber security Proposal for an EU Cybersecurity Research and Competence Centre, upon approval, would help develop tools to counter cyber threats Cooperative Technical Agreement on cyber defence with NATO to boost cooperation on trainings, information sharing, exercises, and research Industry Response The role of industry in cyber security is of crucial value. Industries act as the first line of defense in cyberattacks and their preparation and capabilities are critical in preventing wide-scale consequences, both in cyber space and in the real world. Over the past few years, industry professionals have come to emphasize efforts that reinforce cyber security measures, and developing new protection strategies are a priority. Due to vulnerabilities exposed by attacks and leaks, Microsoft has emerged as a leading cyber secure organization. Microsoft Response Microsoft has developed a CyberSecurity Framework, tasked with providing content, research, and recommendations for not only industry, but also governments. A few of their initiatives are Consultation and assessment services for industries that must comply with laws and regulations, like the General Data Protection Regulation Cloud services for organizations and governments to provide cyber resilience in the case of an attack Policy research and recommendations for governments, as well as for organizations and commercial users Research and development for new security measures for software and hardware Microsoft’s Cyber Defense Operations Center is a 24/7 facility dedicated to combatting cyber threats Microsoft’s launch of the Coco Framework will allow organizations to use blockchains, a more secure form of transactions using cryptocurrency Security Systems’ Response Security systems developed by industry are utilized by countless networks and technologies. Their strengths and their vulnerabilities are reflected in the platforms that use them. Software expert Ted Schlein explains that “There are two types of companies: those that know they’ve been breached, and those that haven’t figured it out yet.” As such, software systems like Rapid 7, Bromium, and IBM’s Qradar work to detect and contain breaches early on and can quickly respond to those breaches. On the opposite end, there are systems that are vulnerable to attacks, among them Google Chrome, Adobe Flash, and even Apple TV. Their software systems contain flaws that are easily exploited by malware and 99% of all the world’s computers are vulnerable due to these applications. In response, these software companies have increased their cyber security systems, but as mentioned before, there is no way to remain 100% safe. Defense and Industry Cooperation Due to the complex nature of cyberattacks and their high-risk consequences, cooperating on all fronts is a crucial strategy. By developing engagement practices between defense and industry, cyber space can become more secure and resilient. Some programs already exist to bring together professionals from both sides. NATO Industry Cyber Partnership (NICP) Launched in 2014, the NICP seeks to bridge NATO allies with industry organizations to advance cyber security through continued collaboration. The NICP focuses on the following, to name a few Trainings, exercises, and education for both NATO and Industry Industry inclusion in NATO Smart Defence projects Information sharing and best practices for preparedness and recovery Develop capabilities for cyber defence Efficiency and support in response to cyber incidents These objectives enhance both sides’ ability to fight cybercrime and attacks. Its efforts allow for continued progression in the cyber security fight. NIAS Cyber Security Symposium This annual event brings together NATO officials, industry professionals, academics, and more to discuss critical developments and challenges in cyber security. Through these workshops and dialogues, security and industry specialists can gain more understanding of the future of cyber security, as well as how the benefits of cooperation reinforce cyber space fortifications. Conclusion As wars move from conventional methods, from land, sea, and air, to more “hybrid” methods, such as cyber, preparing the world for these new challenges is essential. The cyber security landscape is at a crossroads and predicting the threats to come is difficult. Through cooperation across government, defense, and industry, building resilience and establishing adaptable capabilities can prepare nations and their citizens for the increasingly multifaceted battles fought throughout the cyberworld. NATO, the EU and Microsoft remain on the front line of these battles, and their commitment to securing cyber space offers unprecedented protections.
By: ATA Admin
7th NATO Asia-Pacific Dialogue
PUBLISHED: October 18, 2017
NATO partners across the globe remain crucial to NATO's goal of creating a more secure world. In particular, NATO's partners in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, are vital to crafting a stable and peaceful environment. Threats from North Korea and disputes in the South China Sea continue to present a dilemma for NATO Allies and partners. As such, dialogue among affected nations is integral to the success of freedom and security in the region. The annual NATO Asia-Pacific Dialogue is a platform to discuss trends and future concerns, as well as opportunities for closer collaboration among NATO and its regional partners. At the 7th NATO Asia-Pacific Dialogue on October 16-17th, the panel discussion "Creating Predictability in Asian and European Security Dynamics” and a subsequent dinner took place at the Atlantic Treaty Association, in partnership with the Public Diplomacy Division at NATO. The panel discussion included distinguished guest NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller, as well as experts from the region, Professor Robert Patman, Professor Shen Dingli, and Professor Matake Kamiya, as well as Atlantic Treaty Association's own Secretary General, Jason Wiseman. The key highlights of the panel discussion focused on closer European and Asian cooperation, seeking to further the information sharing and best practices that occur today. Deputy Secretary General Gottemoeller stated the importance of the NATO Asia-Pacific joint effort, "In an interconnected world, the risk of instability and conflict in the Asia-Pacific region is a potential challenge not only to the region itself, but to stability worldwide." NATO's continued commitment to world peace includes the Asia-Pacific region and that commitment was reaffirmed in this year's dialogue. The agenda for the evening can be found below. Photos from the event are available here.       7th NATO-Asia / Pacific Dialogue 2017 Monday, 16th October 2017 Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) Quartier Prince Albert, Rue des Petits Carmes 20 Brussels / Belgium Agenda    18:15 hrs  Registration and Welcome Cocktail               18:45 hrs             Welcome Remarks   The Honorable Rose E. Gottemoeller   Deputy Secretary General, NATO      19:00 hrs          Panel Discussion “Creating Predictability in Asian and European Security Dynamics”        Moderator:         Mr. Jason Wiseman          Secretary General, Atlantic Treaty Association          Panelists:            The Honorable Rose E. Gottemoeller           Deputy Secretary General, NATO            Prof. Matake Kamiya           National Defense Academy, Ministry of Defense, Japan            Prof. Shen Dingli           Vice Dean of the Institute of International Affairs, Fudan University            Prof. Robert Patman              Head of Department of Politics, University of Otago, New Zealand                               20:00 hrs                                     Followed by Dinner Reception  
By: ATA Admin
Towards a More-Capable Alliance Via Industrial Leadership
PUBLISHED: October 17, 2017
On October 16th, militaries, NATO officials, experts and professionals from the defense and industry sectors gathered to discuss the future of the transatlantic relationship and NATO adaptation to the new security environment. As technology advances and industries become more involved in defense, it is essential to open a dialogue for increased cooperation and information sharing. This particular discussion sought to unpack the continued trend of advanced technologies' impact on the defense sector. As part of the GLOBSEC NATO Adaptation Initiative (GNAI), the focus of talks was the emerging threats NATO Allies face in the future security environment. As the GNAI explores these different challenges, discourse surrounding the adaptation of NATO capabilities aids government, defense, and industry sectors in developing key strategies for security and prepares them for the future of defense. Hosted by the Atlantic Treaty Association and the GLOBSEC Policy Institute, this discussion brought together representatives from governments, defense agencies, and industry firms. Their dedication to collaboration was crucial to the success of the discussions, as their experiences and passions promoted productive and candid dialogue. The importance of these cross-sector conversations are unparalleled in the path to increased cooperation. The agenda for the event is seen below. Photos can be found here. Program   11.55     ARRIVAL OF PARTICIPANTS     12.00     APERITIF (SALLE GRENADIERS)     12.45     WELCOME ADDRESS     Mr. Jason WISEMAN Secretary General, Atlantic Treaty Association     12.50   KEY NOTE ADDRESS   Mr. Robert VASS President and Founder of GLOBSEC   13.00   TOPIC OF DISCUSSION   NATO’s ongoing adaptation rests on the combined efforts of the wider Alliance and transatlantic defence industry. At the same time, a wide spectrum of economic sectors – from information and communication technologies to critical infrastructure – are increasingly being shaped by advances in cloud computing, artificial intelligence and more. Which are the key defence sector shaping trends in advanced technologies? How will these trends impact NATO’s future adaptation? Indeed, how has the global defence sector contributed to the development of advanced technologies?   MODERATOR     Mr. Brooks TIGNER Chief Policy Analyst, SECURITY EUROPE     SPEAKERS     General (Retd) John R. ALLEN Former Commander of International Security Assistance Force, Distinguished Fellow at Brookings   Mr. Ernest J HEROLD Deputy Assistant Secretary General, NATO Defence Investment Division   Mr Amir HUSAIN Founder and CEO of Spark Cognition Inc.   REMARKS     Lt. Col. (Retd) Peter NILSSON Deputy Head of SAAB Market Area Europa and the Vice President for Strategy & Business Development for Saab Europe   13.30   Q/A SESSION     14.15   CONCLUSION
By: ATA Admin

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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.