How can the OSCE help to reduce the risk of hazardous military incidents?

In an unpredictable security environment, adapting to new threats is essential. Being able to access reliable information within minutes is even more crucial. This concern was evident at the NATO Summit in Warsaw in early July. Allied leaders agreed to strengthen NATO’s resilience and ensure that it remains adaptable by design. Recognition of cyber as an operational domain – along with the air, land and sea – confirmed that protecting NATO’s nervous system is critical. IT represents a fundamental pillar of resilience and a critical enabler of decisions taken at Warsaw to strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence posture, underpinning NATO’s long-term adaptation to the emerging security threats.

The Vienna Document

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While perhaps not exactly surprising given the well-known split among its permanent members and the fallout from the intervention in Libya, the inability of the UN Security Council to address Syria in 2012 brought that essential international body to astounding new heights of fecklessness. With 60,000 killed in Syria and 2.5 million displaced, the world body entrusted with maintaining international peace and security is giving additional ammunition to its critics and urgency to calls for its reform.

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The unprecedented scale and sophistication of cyber-attacks has demonstrated that cyber resilience is not static, and that what has been done in the past to defend and maintain the Alliance’s IT infrastructure may not work in the future. Investing in developing an enterprise network approach that includes the Alliance, its member states, industry and perhaps partner countries is key.

So how does IT ensure the Alliance remains flexible and adaptable by design? NATO’s 360-degree functional approach ensures it maintains an edge in military technology over its adversaries through agile acquisition, early engagement and closer partnership with industry, enhanced interoperability, and by projecting resilience beyond NATO borders.

Il y a deux tragédies dans la vie : l'une est de ne pas satisfaire son désir et l'autre de le satisfaire.

Fabrice Cipolla

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Nadja EL Fertasi and Diana De Vivo work at the NATO Communications and Information Agency, where they support, respectively, stakeholder engagement, and internal governance and decision-making.