Connected Forces Initiative (latest NATO HQ initiative, should prioritize future ACT work, currently under initial study)
After 2014, NATO is expected to shift its emphasis from operational engagement to operational preparedness. This means NATO will need to remain capable of performing its core tasks – described in its Strategic Concept¹ – and of maintaining its forces at a high level of readiness. To help achieve this, Allied leaders have set out the goal of ‘NATO Forces 2020’: modern, tightly connected forces that are properly equipped, trained, exercised and led. The Connected Forces Initiative (CFI) will help maintain NATO’s readiness and combat effectiveness through expanded education and training, increased exercises and the better use of technology.
The Distributed Networked Battle Labs (DNBL) has been created in order to tighten cooperation on preparation and conduct of Experimentation, Test and Evaluation (ET&E) events between the members of the framework. The DNBL Framework provides the operating model to enable the federated use of capabilities and systems for a wide range of user groups and to exchange ET&E services available in the DNBL Service Catalogue. Since 2010 the DNBL framework is in operation and has supported multiple test events in the area of Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR). In light of NATO Smart Defence concept, this initiative is open for NATO organisations, NATO and PfP countries, their industry and academia.
Smart Defense (NATO HQ initiative before last, still ongoing, led by nations watched by ACT)
In these times of austerity, each euro, dollar or pound sterling counts. Smart defence is a new way of thinking about generating the modern defence capabilities the Alliance needs for the coming decade and beyond. It is a renewed culture of cooperation that encourages Allies to cooperate in developing, acquiring and maintaining military capabilities to undertake the Alliance’s essential core tasks agreed in the new NATO strategic concept. That means pooling and sharing capabilities, setting priorities and coordinating efforts better.
Smart defence is based on capability areas that are critical for NATO, in particular as established at the Lisbon summit in 2010. Ballistic missile defence, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, maintenance of readiness, training and force preparation, effective engagement and force protection – these are all on the list.
NATO Defense Planning Process (ever lasting, ever questioned, bulky slow but irreplaceable main strategic capability planning tool and driver of future capability work, Step 2 led by ACT)
The aim of NATO defence planning is to provide a framework within which national and Alliance defence planning activities can be harmonized to meet agreed targets in the most effective way. It aims to facilitate the timely identification, development and delivery of the necessary range of forces – forces that are interoperable and adequately prepared, equipped, trained and supported – as well as the associated military and non-military capabilities to undertake the Alliance’s full spectrum of missions.
Defence planning encompasses several planning domains: force, resource, armaments, logistics, nuclear, C3 (consultation, command and control), civil emergency planning, air defence, air traffic management, standardization, intelligence, medical support and research and technology. The NDPP has introduced a new approach to defence planning and operates within the new NATO committee structure.
Phi Beta Iota: NATO appears to be in the midst of a drawing away from the excessive influence of the Americans, whose weight is no longer supported by an unlimited budget, while finally confronting the reality that shared information is the center of gravity, and that inter-operability of all systems across all boundaries is a necessary first step toward Smart Defense. The center of gravity is in being able to prosecute what General Al Gray, then Commandant of the Marine Corps, called “peaceful preventive measures.” The Americans are simply not able to muster the intelligence with integrity to do that, nor are they able to muster the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) gravitas or the Whole of Government post-military surge capacity, to be useful. NATO faces at least three major challenges in the near terms, none of which will be “solved” by the Americans, and most of which will not be funded by the Americans:
01Recognizing the European Union Emergency Response Centre as a wake up call and an opportunity — when NATO refers to “civil” what it really means are “NATO civilians.” It is not trained, equipped, and organized to handle full spectrum operations — or Whole of Government campaigns. Neither is the EU, but they have more to offer on the civil side of the house. The new commander of NATO, General Philip Breedlove, USAF could leave a lasting legacy is he embraced Admiral James Stavrides, USN’s call for “Open Source Security” and a cultural mind-shift mandate. A complete merger of NATO-EU PPBS for external stabilization & long-term security is essential if NATO is to adapt to the needs of the 21st Century.
02 Open Source Everything (OSE)/Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain Information-Sharing and Sense-Making (M4IS2). These two long-in-gestation concepts are precisely what NATO (and the EU, and all other regional stabilization & security organizations) need to implement their Industrial Era planning concepts in an Information Era reality zone. The first is a technical revolution in the making — a true transformation that in one stroke solves both the interoperability and affordability for scale issues, and the cyber-security issues. The Nordics, and to a lesser extent, BENELUX, offer good models for trans-national PPBS. The Nordics pioneered the first half of M4IS2 (Multinational, Multiagency, Multidisciplinary, Multidomain) and Earth Intelligence Network added the second half: Information-Sharing and Sense-Making. While plans and intentions and actual political, operational, and logistics discussions should be SECRET, most if not all of the information that is to be shared prior to any battle commencing should be OPEN, and once the battle commences, secret sources should be able to produce non-secret time-based risk acceptance, as in “225 degrees, 3 kilometers, four tanks on line of march 120 degrees 25 kph.” Drones need to restore organic imagery and signals with embedded and tactical-operational-strategic seamless processing and exploitation. There is no reason for drone production to be secret, there is every reason to be judicious in who gets what when. Drones WITHOUT the missiles that have a 2% effective kill rate (98% collateral damage) could become, should become the harbingers of peace — doves with eyes on that among other things support Peace from Above.
03. NATO-EU Pilot as Seed Crystal for Africa, Americas, and Asia. Like it or not, as NATO intelligence flags and leaders were told in 2000, this is One World. NATO-EU will never be effective at out of area operations in part because the long-haul airlift is not there, and in part because they should not be. The center of gravity in the 21st Century is not in “command & control” but rather in influence through modeling.