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: Atlantic Treaty Association
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: Atlantic Treaty Association
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: Atlantic Treaty Association
NATO Adaptation Initiative
PUBLISHED: January 1, 2017
In close cooperation and with strong contribution from ATA Vice-President, Prof. Julian Lindley-French, GLOBSEC launched the NATO Adaptation Initiative Report. The initiatives envisaged a series of policy papers which will address the nature of NATO’s adaptation and the challenges it must overcome if it is to remain a viable and credible alliance for the peace and stability in the transatlantic area.
By: Atlantic Treaty Association
NATO: The Enduring Alliance 2016
PUBLISHED: June 27, 2016
Abstract The bottom-line for the Warsaw Summit is this: effective NATO deterrence will only be established if NATO’s forward presence is in strength, reinforced by a properly enhanced NATO Response Force, which in turn is allied to a credible ability of Alliance forces to overcome Russia’s growing and impressive anti-access, area denial (A2/ AD) capability. And, that NATO forces are able to deploy in sufficient force and time to match Russian deployments. At present that is not the case. Indeed, it is still far from being the case. Full paper to the link below: NATO:THE ENDURING ALLIANCE 2016  
By: Atlantic Treaty Association

Join the ATA newsletter!

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.