The Use of New Technology in Security and Defense: The Impact of New Defense Technologies on NATO

This policy brief examines NATO’s use of technology.
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  Summary: This paper examines NATO’s use of technology, partic-ularly in an era when defense budgets are contracting. From decreased demand to pressures on governments to curb defense spending, the author comments on the need for NATO to create a cohesive framework and an understanding of the impact of acquiring and controlling new defense technologies. Transatlantic Security Task Force Series Policy Brie   The Use of New Technology in Security and Defense: The Impact of New Defense  Technologies on NATO by Jamie Shea German Marshall Fund o the United States-Paris 71 Boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris : +33 1 47 23 47 18 E: inoparis@gm October 2014 NAO’s Strategic Concept o 2012 states that the Alliance has to ensure that it “is at the ront edge in assessing the security impact o emerging technologies, and that military plan-ning takes the potential threats into account.”Indeed, throughout its history, NAO has relied on its technological edge to maintain deterrence and to offset dwindling numbers o soldiers in its armed orces. In this context, quality has been an offset or quantity. Now, in times o greater austerity, the ocus has been more on finding innovative and more diversified uses or existing technology to act as orce multipliers. One issue is that new military systems are vastly more expensive than their predecessors. Te U.S. Joint Strike Fighter, or instance, will cost between €80-100 million per aircraf. Te F-16, by contrast, was only one-tenth o this price (in constant € terms) when it was developed 30 years ago. Inflation in deense expenditures is running at between 20 to 30 percent per decade. Platorms are becoming more complex, with more technical require-ments and a greater need or connec-tivity and networking with other systems. Inevitably, the numbers o systems that can be procured in these circumstances is alling sharply.Another issue is the ragmentation o demand. Te NH-90 helicopter, or instance, has 20 different versions — currently more than the number o countries that are acquiring this helicopter. A separate production line had to be created because one procuring nation wanted the helicop-ter’s cabin to be 20 cm higher than standard. Te Dingo military vehicle, built by Kraus Maffei, is a European  version o the U.S. mine resistant armored personnel vehicle (MRAP). It has 22 different varieties with some nations wanting a different type o armored windscreen. Tis traditional problem o gold-plating in search o the 100 percent solution or national preerence greatly increases the price over a more standardized, 90 percent solution. A third issue concerns certifica-tion. Te European Deence Agency estimates that a single system o certification or military equipment within the EU (or instance a “single European sky” or drones) would reduce the price o equipment by 10-15 percent on average, as well as speed up the entry into service  Transatlantic Security Task Force Series Policy Brief 2 o new equipment through easier cross-border sales. Te certification o the NH-90 helicopter has so ar cost €4 billion within the EU — a sum that could have allowed many more to be procured. Tus, beyond the permanent issue o how governments can und enough research and development and make new technology work, there exists an urgent need within both NAO and the EU or procurement reorm at the policy and political levels. Such reorm should not only concern reopening specifications, as was once agreed, nor should it ocus on re-negotiating numbers, as this inevitably drives up the price or everyone else. A strong case should be made or opening up the European deense market to more competition and trans-parency regarding long-term modernization and procure-ment intentions. Currently, nearly 75 percent o deense contracts within the EU are not subject to competitive bidding, notwithstanding the good efforts o the Euro-pean Deence Agency (EDA) to encourage more advanced notice and transparency through its Code o Conduct.Deense is expensive and waste has always been part o the game (think o the billions o dollars’ worth o equipment that is currently being lef behind in Aghanistan). Unsur-prisingly, and at a time when it is spending 73 percent o the total NAO budgets, the United States is pushing European allies to meet the target o 2 percent o GDP devoted to deense, and within this, the target o 20 percent devoted to modernization and equipment. Tese calls are all the more pressing in the wake o Russia’s annexation o Crimea, which will increase the costs o NAO’s conven-tional deense in Europe. Tis will not only come rom the need to deploy combat orces and military inrastructure on the territory o the Eastern European allies but also rom the much larger-scale exercises and rotation o orces in and out o the region that NAO has already agreed to or the reinorcement o deterrence. Russian probes along NAO airspace, in the maritime domain o the Baltic and Black seas and in the cyber domain, will also require the allies to keep their orces on a much higher state o alert. Te existing readiness levels or the NAO response orce (30+ days needed to deploy) will not meet the require-ments o responding to Russia’s proven ability, by means o constant snap exercises involving between 70,000 and 130,000 Russian troops, to mobilize within a matter o days. Russia has already deployed substantial inrastructure and command and control as well as staging posts along its Western border with Ukraine, giving it a rapid power projection capability throughout the region. Tis will require NAO to at least pre-position (as during the Cold War) substantial stocks o equipment on the territory o the Eastern European allies and to build the requisite reception acilities. Yet, even the shock o the Ukraine crisis may not be enough to push the majority o allies to increase their military deense spending. Only three European allies meet the 2 percent target, and only eight the 20 percent target. Fourteen currently spend below 1.5 percent and five even less than 1 percent.Deense spending pressures on the Europeans will also increase rom actions likely to be taken by the U.S. Congress. In Warsaw, U.S. President Barack Obama pledged an extra US$1 billion or a European reassurance initiative, and the Pentagon is currently looking at how this package will be made up. But it will have to be approved by the U.S. Congress, which will be looking or a quid-pro-quo rom the European side. With a U.S. deense budget now going down rom around $700 billion per year to around $500 billion by the end o this decade, Congress will not want to see the United States assume the burden o reassurance and conventional deense at the expense o the pivot to Asia and U.S. commitments in the Middle East and elsewhere. A act very symbolic o this tension: afer President Obama cancelled the ourth tier o the U.S. ballistic missile deense system in Europe, many in Congress pointed out that this system benefits Europe ar more than the United States and that Europe should pay a much greater share o the cost o the radars, interceptors, and integrated command and control. A second example concerns the modernization o the B-61 warhead or NAO’s sub-strategic nuclear deterrent, which could run as high as $8 billion. Since this weapon largely benefits Euro-pean deterrence and security (being based in five European A strong case should be made for opening up the European defense market to more competition and transparency regarding long-term modernization and procurement intentions.  Transatlantic Security Task Force Series Policy Brief 3 countries), many Congressional figures will be calling or Europe, again, to pay the lion’s share i it is not viewed as a U.S. national priority. Tis conjunction o actors makes it all the more urgent to move ahead more boldly with multi-national coopera-tion, known as “Smart Deence” at NAO and “Pooling and Sharing” at the EU. Te idea is, o course, not new. For many years already, NAO has maintained a fleet o 17 AWACs aircraf, has procured three C-17 transport aircraf on a leasing basis, and has rented Antonov AN-124s to deploy its orces to Aghanistan. Allies have also taken, in turn, the responsibility to provide air policing in the Baltic States, which means that the Baltics themselves have been able to spend on expeditionary orces rather than on fighter  jets and associated radars and air deense systems. Yet, it is now the pace as well as the number o multi-national projects that has to increase. So ar, two Smart Deence projects have been finalized: the maintenance o helicop-ters in Aghanistan and the dismantling o surplus mili-tary equipment. wenty-seven others are currently in the pipeline concerning programs such as a universal system or carrying different munitions on aircraf, user groups or precision-guided munitions and or Reaper and Predator drones; a pooling system or maritime patrol aircraf; or common sofware or the simulation o training. Getting some quick wins or exploiting the “low-hanging ruit” o easily achievable projects can certainly do no harm in  validating the Smart Deence multi-national cooperation approach. However, public support or more military spending will only be orthcoming i the public has a clear idea o what the money will be spent on and how and why it will substantially improve the Alliance’s military posture. Given the legacy o cost overruns, cancelled programs, and long delays in procurement in the deense sector, public skepti-cism regarding the rationale or a European rearmament program in the wake o Crimea is at an all-time high. Moreover, many NAO countries see the uture threats as more coming rom the South (in the orm o a recon-stituted al Qaeda network, illegal immigrants, organized crime networks, and ailed states) and will want a NAO posture based on one single set o orces that is able to do crisis management in the South, as well as conventional deense in the East. Tis will place limits on how ar Euro-pean armies will be able to replace personnel with tech-nology, as the South will clearly require multiple long-term capacity building and security sector reorm missions, as well as deployments o orces to keep al Qaeda and other insurgent groups at bay, as we have recently witnessed with the deployment o France in Mali. Tis will place pressure on Europe’s capacity to sustain orces. For instance, at the beginning o the Iraq war in 2003, the U.K. was able to deploy and sustain one division in the Middle East. oday, the budget allows or sustaining only one combat brigade, or about one-third o the ormer division. A country like the Netherlands can now deploy and sustain only a rein-orced battalion, a maximum o five aircraf and a small naval task orce.In this environment o austerity, it will be essential or the Allies to have a common view o what they need on a prioritized basis and then to be effectively organized in clusters or ramework nations to deliver those capa-bilities. Instead o one European Army, in the uture, we are likely to see several European armies organized around lead nations or in regional groupings, such as the Benelux, Visegr á d, or the Nordics. NAO’s two strategic commanders have recently come up with a list o 16 short-alls, which also correspond to the vital enabling capacities or all modern multi-national military operations. Tey concern the lack o joint inormation surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, which limit NAO’s strategic awareness at a time when early warning and good intel-ligence are becoming more important to anticipate crises and react in good time. Other gaps concern deployable headquarters and command and control or both ground and air opera-tions and the need to better integrate air deense and ballistic missile deense. At a time when major maneuver operations are becoming more important, these can be hindered through the lack o blue orce tracking systems and the absence o heavy armor (many allies have dramati-cally decreased their holdings o tanks and heavy fighting  vehicles). Tere is also a lack o indirect fire support, ground-based air deense, and combat engineering, as well In the future, we are likely to see several European armies organized around lead nations or in regional groupings.  Transatlantic Security Task Force Series Policy Brief 4 as counter-rocket, artillery, and mortar systems. Cyber deense continues also to be a concern, as allies try to keep pace with the ast evolving technology and to develop more ambitious capability targets as part o the Alliance’s deense planning process. Special Operation Forces will become more important both to prevent minor land grabs by Russian orces on NAO territory as well as to intervene against insurgent groups or in response to humanitarian crises in the South. However, the Alliance lacks deploy-able air-lif capabilities or these Special Forces, as well as command and control structures. Finally, and at a time when the maritime dimension is becoming increasingly important to protect globalized supply chains, NAO needs more maritime patrol aircraf to enhance the situational awareness o its small naval task orces and anti-submarine warare capability. It is not all bleak news. Te Europeans finally have the A-400M transport aircraf, more and better helicopters, considerable technological expertise in combating impro- vised explosive devices based on the ISAF experience, and air-to-air reueling capacities, based on the EDA Pooling and Sharing initiative. Te procurement o Global Hawks by NAO and an EU common drone program will also gradually improve Europe’s intelligence, reconnaissance, and command and control capabilities. Tis said, the key task or both NAO and the EU in the months ahead, and particularly with NAO’s Wales Summit in September in mind, is to identiy groupings to plug the 16 shortalls. Te initiative o Germany to orm a Capability Develop-ment Group, in combination with the British initiative to create a group in order to develop an expeditionary orce represent the best way ahead, as they offer the best chance or medium and small countries to plug into a ramework organized by a major country and thereby provide essential niche capabilities. Without this approach, the smaller Allies would offer almost no capacity at all in a ew years’ time.Although the deense debate is ofen dominated by a ocus on hardware, equipment, and platorms, there are two other ingredients o a successul capability. Te first one concerns the training o an exercised manpower. Some o the shortalls identified by NAO Strategic Commanders are regarding medical units, the under-manning o the new NAO Command Structure, and the lack o orce protection and lie support assets to deploy elements o this command structure as required. Te acquisition o observation drones can be hindered by the lack o qualified analysts to interpret the data or the lack o standardized and interoperable networks to distribute and exchange correlated data among users. During the Libya operation, the difficulty o finding trained targeting and battle damage assessment personnel hindered NAO’s air operations. Tere is also a lack o sufficient humanpower resources to augment NAO and national joint orce air compo-nents. Tis makes it all the more important to invest in the Connected Forces Initiative and high-tech training and education in tandem with the acquisition o new systems.A urther observation has to do with networks. Treats such as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Aghani-stan could not ultimately be deeated through equipment and technologies alone, whether in the orm o jammers, route clearance vehicles, or sensors. Success was based on human networks. One o these concerned intelligence gathering to identiy the insurgents behind the production and placing o IEDs and their command level and business interactions. A second task was to build a network between the intelligence services, Interpol, customs, industrial producers o ammonium nitrate and potassium chlorate, and legal and biometrics specialists on the NAO side to effectively dismantle or rustrate the jihadist networks. In similar vein, NAO deployments in the years ahead will not just require a good mix o trained humanpower and modern multi-use equipment but also such basic things as good political relationships with partners, Status o Forces Agreements (SOFAs), basing and over-flight rights, and intelligence-sharing arrangements. Te successul organi-zation o technological and capability clusters within the Alliance will ultimately rely on these political and diplo-matic networks being maintained to bear its ull ruit. NATO deployments in the years ahead will not just require a good mix of trained humanpower and modern multi-use equipment but also such basic things as good political relationships with partners.


Jul 23, 2017
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