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: Atlantic Treaty Association
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: Atlantic Treaty Association
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: Atlantic Treaty Association
To Get Revolutionary in Procurement, Get Radical on Requirements
PUBLISHED: February 7, 2017
What does the Trump Administration have in mind for military procurement? We have been debating that question here at the Atlantic Council for weeks and months now. One tack that many Republicans around Washington DC have been advising can be described as a Reaganesque build-up. As the new administration did in 1981, they recommend, just buy more of the the stuff that the last administration was already planning to buy. This has two advantages. First, it adds force structure, which pretty much has been the Trump promise. Second, as I will explain, it makes your numbers look good. What it doesn’t bring is Third-Offsetting change at prices that fit within a sensible budget. That will require a thorough rethinking of how the military goes about selecting weapons, and at the start of the process. If buying more of what you’re already buying is the plan, then much of the advice in Frank Kendall’s new memoir is apropos. The recently departed under secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics (AT&L) released that book at an event last week at the CSIS. It’s mostly an anthology of his articles over the past six years in Defense AT&L, with bookends on how he arrived at the expressed views. For those who don’t read that magazine regularly, this collection-with-commentaries provides insight into the past administration’s strategies for military materiel. It’s easy to like Kendall’s up-front views on success in acquiring weapons as a simple process: (1) set reasonable requirements, (2) put professionals in charge, (3) give them the resources they need, and (4) provide strong incentives for success. As Blake Shelton would say, that’s backwoods legit. Kendall also acknowledges that doing all those simple things is often very challenging, and for reasons both good and bad. Consequently, high amongst his principles is the conviction that continuous improvement will be more effective than radical change. If you’re committed to that Reaganesque plan, that’s probably true. Just work continuously on improving the quality, timeliness, and total cost of the stuff flowing from those long production runs. That’s the second advantage of that more-of-the-same approach: your numbers will look good. Frankly, Kendall seems to view this as his salient accomplishment. “The five-year moving average of cost growth on our largest and highest-risk programs,” he wrote not long ago, “is at a thirty-year low.” The previous best had been attained in 1986—in the middle of the second Reagan Administration. The stories of gold-plated hammers were basically from the first term; by the mid-1980s, prices on those M1 tanks and F-16 fighter jets were pretty stable. But to take him literally, Kendall's boast is that things have been getting worse on his watch less quickly than on almost everyone else’s. That’s continuous, but as improvement, it’s not even incremental. It also does nothing for the long-term affordability of the force. I think that we should hope for better. What’s wrong? Start with Kendall’s task number one (1): set reasonable requirements. For decades, many of the defined requirements of the US armed forces have been entirely unreasonable. In the US system, sketching out what the forces need is a task for military officers, upstream from the responsibilities of the under secretariat for AT&L. Ensuring they make sense and don’t excessively overlap amongst the services is supposed to be the job of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, which impanels the vice chairman of the joint chiefs and the vice chiefs of the individual services. However, in its 20-year history, the JROC has rarely seen a requirement it didn’t usher through the process with minimal change. It’s not that too many of the weapons requested would be built of unobtainium. Contractors can and have bent the laws of physics to bring the military’s dreams to fruition. That just costs lots of money, in development, production, and eventually and especially in logistics. Requirements-setting is the thus first step in design for manufacturing and supportability. It might not be in AT&L’s swim lane, but it can quickly empty the pool. Here’s just one example. Throughout the long counterinsurgent campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Army and the Marine Corps needed occasional air support. To flip an Israeli phrase, sometimes the guys with M-16s needed backing from the F-16s. Supersonic fighter jets, however, are overkill for almost all those missions—the Air Force, the Navy, and especially the Marines have been flying the wings off their very expensive and expensive to maintain aircraft. Couldn’t the military largely substitute for its high-performance jets some slower and cheaper ground-attack aircraft where sophisticated air defenses were not a problem? From Vietnam to Afghanistan, the long battle over the close air support demonstrates that the generals and admirals often allow expensive high-end warfighting priorities (e.g., F-104s, F-35s) to crowd out less expensive options (e.g., A-1s, A-10s). Afterwards, only the sophisticated stuff is available for the more permissive missions—at considerably greater cost. Our friend Dave Foster of Naval Air Systems Command describes this as delivering pizza with Ferraris. To extend the cost analogy to the highly trained corps of fighter pilots, one might as well have the Ferraris driven by supermodels. Choosing something other than the Ferrari isn’t really in the purview of the USD AT&L, at least not once that program is rolling. All that’s left to do is to keep its price from jumping more than it did under the last guy. Fortunately, some step-change is finally afoot. In response to a question after his talk on 18 January at the CSIS, Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein strongly endorsed the idea in Senator John McCain’s recently released report for buying 300 “OA(X)” aircraft in the next few years. This sort-of successor to the A-10C is a concept widely discussed as possibly an AT-6 Texan II, possibly an A-29 Super Tucano, and just maybe a Textron Scorpion. (We’ll have more on this next week.) Building that case has taken years—far too long, indeed. Trump has often said that he wants a military “so big, powerful, and strong” that no one would dare attack Americans anywhere. Huge is beautiful, of course, but as I wrote back in November, perhaps “Less Reagan” is called for now. As our colleague Ben Fitzgerald of the CNAS said back then, sticking with existing plans could simply “buy the best military that we possibly could from the 1980s.” Sustaining powerful and strong over time requires technological innovation for much less money. Surfacing innovative and inexpensive ideas faster will require a new approach. Frank Kendall’s work as under secretary has been valuable, but it has concentrated on the middle range of the problem. In the long run, radically rethinking requirements requires radically rethinking the process of setting requirements. And that’s where the big money is to be found. James Hasik is a senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security. January 21, 2017
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
ATA Secretary General Remarks | Defense Investment Round Table
PUBLISHED: September 30, 2016
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS by ATA Secretary General During The Roundtable "FOLLOWING THE WARSAW SUMMIT DECLARATIONS – WHAT THIS MEANS FOR 2017", 29 September 2016 Welcome everyone to ATA HQ, it is indeed a pleasure to see so many friends and distinguished guests. Please rest assured that today’s engagement is under strict Chatham House Rule and that you are all encouraged to relax, eat while we talk, and take advantage of the time we have set aside for Q+A. For those of you who are not familiar, the Atlantic Treaty Association was founded in 1954 as a network of think-tanks and NGOs, working in 37 different countries to coordinate security and defense policy between the respective Ministries of Defense, Interior and Foreign Affairs along with NATO HQ. Our 5 key issues this year are Counter-Terrorism, Russia, Women in Security, Energy security and defense spending. In addition we work with 5 target audience, which are diplomats, academics, military, journalists and industry. Thus we are deeply honoured to be joined by you all here today. As dev.atahq.orgorks with many of the key policy-makers across the Alliance and its Partner nations, we want to use this opportunity to bring to your attention some of our key programs taking place over the next few months which include our ongoing ATA-NATO Alignment Meetings, our flagship Riga Conference in October, our upcoming NATO-EU engagement with MEPs and Commissioners in November along with our counter-terrorism programming in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and our work alongside key EU + UK officials in Wilton Park taking place early next year. Now looking to what brings us all here today…. Last year, NATO’s European allies spent 253 billion USD on defence compared with a US spend of 618 billion. According to the 2 percent guideline, European countries should be spending an additional 100 billion USD annually on their militaries. While the current average defense budget is equivalent to around 1,43 percent of GDP. Now according to the Summit communique, 6 billion in additional spending is planned for 2016, demonstrating that the Alliance has turned a corner. The Baltic states pledged to make the biggest changes as Latvia’s budget will raise with nearly 60 per cent this year, while Lithuania will see a 35 per cent increase and Estonia 9 per cent. Moreover, this year’s host of the Summit, Poland, the main military power in Central Europe also pledged to raise its defence expenditure by 9 per cent. However, deployability remains a measure of the percentage of the forces a country can deploy, while sustainability measures how long they can keep them in the field. The lag between investments in military equipment and the ability of a country to deploy and sustain its troops means that even though NATO has begun to reverse years of defence cuts, it will take time for that spending to turn into the real time capabilities that we need. So where is the solution… To us it is simple, it depends on many of you who have joined us here today. NCI Agency General Manager stated: The Alliance has been able to maintain the technological edge over its adversaries for 67 years because of the innovative capacity of the private sector. Today’s technological change is driven by Industry and because of this, one of NATO’s most critical tasks is to engage industry in the policy making process to ensure they tap into the innovation and creativity that all of you here today bring to the Alliance. This is the core objective that brings us here today, for ATA to gather all relevant partners and new actors into the policy-making process. We do this because we believe that leaders of industries developing top-notch technologies are more relevant in the defense of our nations than at any point before. Working in close synergy with key officials like Liviu and Patrick enforces ATA’s role in providing a comfortable and informative setting where officials and industry can meet and share insights for common goals. NATO recognizes this, as the Warsaw Summit announced a larger investment in the Alliance’ deterrence and defence capabilities. Thus, in parallel with the Warsaw Summit was the NCI’s announcement of an additional 3 billion Euro investment in defence technology that will strengthen the Alliance’s cyber, air and missile defence and advance software capabilities, which is planned to happen between now and 2019. For the first time, since 2009, NATO’s overall defence expenditures have increased in 2016. In the two recent years, the majority of the members have halted or reversed decline in defence spending in real terms. And thereby the NATO alliance has taken one step further in ensuring that forces assigned to the Alliance are properly equipped and interoperable to undertake the full range of military missions that we will be deploying to in the future. A strong, innovative and strategic dialogue between NATO and the defence industry is essential to the future security and defence sector and ATA’s role in facilitating this will continue. I would like to thank you again, for participating in this roundtable, and taking part of what is key to a successful adaption for the NATO Alliance: cooperation with industries, cooperation with governments and cooperation with other relevant organisations. Thank you.
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.