Football and changing def
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Football and changing defences

Football and the defence sector have a lot in common. For example, they both need a strong defence, potent attacks and a capable captain organising everything. NATO Review tries to show how recent changes in the defence industry would look if they were played out on the football pitch.

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Hello, my name is Paul King

and I’m going to try

and explain the changes in defence

with the aid of a football.

The ball represents

everything the armed forces need.

This can be from top-end jets

through to simple uniforms

or advanced arms

through to cleaning services.

The list is nearly endless.

And this is the goal,

which is the security world.

It can contain threats

as large as Afghanistan

or challenges closer to home,

like terrorism.

The idea is always to find

the quickest, most effective way

of getting this into that.

The way has been companies

producing equipment and services,

the defence industry,

working closely with those

who are paying, the governments.

But there are always

obstacles in the process.

These can be long lead times,

budget overruns

and unforeseen factors,

but it’s up to the governments

and the defence industry

to find a way around them.

Until now they worked well together.

Since 2001

there have been two major wars,

several major terrorist attacks,

more piracy, the list goes on.

Companies could offer solutions

that governments wanted

and desperately needed.

Time to get more creative.

The money was available.

You wanted something

more advanced? You got it.

But then around 2008

things started to change.

President Obama came to power

and vowed to end the Iraq war.

More importantly,

the economic crisis exploded.

This not only meant less

demands coming from governments,

it also meant less money.

Now companies knew

they had less opportunities

and could expect less money.

It was a new situation...

And a more difficult one.

Add to this rapidly

changing security threats.

Large-scale wars were over

or coming to an end,

cyber has been

moving up the agenda.

The goal posts have

literally been moved.

And finally,

the obstacles have got bigger.

Cyber is an area where

the threat changes vary rapidly,

where it’s difficult to collaborate

and where companies have

to change the way they work.

So, it’s a long time

since the days of easy solutions.

Only one thing is clear:

things are going to get tougher.

Hello, my name is Paul King

and I’m going to try

and explain the changes in defence

with the aid of a football.

The ball represents

everything the armed forces need.

This can be from top-end jets

through to simple uniforms

or advanced arms

through to cleaning services.

The list is nearly endless.

And this is the goal,

which is the security world.

It can contain threats

as large as Afghanistan

or challenges closer to home,

like terrorism.

The idea is always to find

the quickest, most effective way

of getting this into that.

The way has been companies

producing equipment and services,

the defence industry,

working closely with those

who are paying, the governments.

But there are always

obstacles in the process.

These can be long lead times,

budget overruns

and unforeseen factors,

but it’s up to the governments

and the defence industry

to find a way around them.

Until now they worked well together.

Since 2001

there have been two major wars,

several major terrorist attacks,

more piracy, the list goes on.

Companies could offer solutions

that governments wanted

and desperately needed.

Time to get more creative.

The money was available.

You wanted something

more advanced? You got it.

But then around 2008

things started to change.

President Obama came to power

and vowed to end the Iraq war.

More importantly,

the economic crisis exploded.

This not only meant less

demands coming from governments,

it also meant less money.

Now companies knew

they had less opportunities

and could expect less money.

It was a new situation...

And a more difficult one.

Add to this rapidly

changing security threats.

Large-scale wars were over

or coming to an end,

cyber has been

moving up the agenda.

The goal posts have

literally been moved.

And finally,

the obstacles have got bigger.

Cyber is an area where

the threat changes vary rapidly,

where it’s difficult to collaborate

and where companies have

to change the way they work.

So, it’s a long time

since the days of easy solutions.

Only one thing is clear:

things are going to get tougher.

quotes
George Bernard Shaw
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