Building transatlantic resilience: Why critical infrastructure is a matter of national security

Panel discussion with NATO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Mircea Geoană participating in a webinar with the American Enterprise on Resilience

  • 10 Dec. 2020 -
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  • Last updated 14-Dec-2020 08:42

Elisabeth Braw, Visiting Fellow, AEI: Good morning everybody or good afternoon depending on where you are. My name is Elizabeth Braw I'm a visiting fellow at AEI, and I'm thrilled to be introducing this event that will need later be moderated by everybody's favourite Kori Schake and but I'm thrilled to introduce it because the resilience of our societies and in particular the resilience of our infrastructure is a vital issue, that has been a vital issue for a long time, but now it's even more vital because our adversaries as we all well know are trying to disrupt various parts of our infrastructure because it's an act that comes with no repercussions for the aggressor, or very few repercussions. 

It's also an act with which, or acts with which, you can severely weaken the targeted society, not just the company. the operator but the society as a whole, and we don't even need to think about what might happen if  the grid in our respective countries were to be successfully targeted by a cyber attack, or another non kinetic attack, or transportation, airports, seaports and, indeed, the energy provision and it just so happens that on this very day, the Finns have had to shut off, not completely shut down, but shut off a nuclear power plant, which started leaking radiation, which means that energy provision is being affected.

And so, this again demonstrates how vital it is to take resilience and especially resilience of CNI seriously, and we should bear in mind that, unlike during the Cold War, most CNI today is privately owned which makes it doubly complicated for governments to act because they can't really decide anything on their own regarding the operation of various CNI installations, they have to work with the private sector, which is a good thing, it can be done. And so we are here today to hear from two representatives from other countries, in particular the Czech Republic and Finland about how they do it and also hear from the Deputy Secretary General of NATO, because NATO is putting more focus on resilience, very wisely so.

And so with that, I'll turn the floor over to Kori but just to say first that in Finland they have plenty of action today, not just on the on the nuclear power plants front but also with regards to the Foreign Minister who is in a bit of trouble, which means that the whole cabinet has had to go to Parliament to take questions. So, the Interior Minister has been replaced by her Deputy who is equally qualified and knowledgeable about Finland's phenomenal efforts in resilience, so over to you Kori. 

Kori Schake, Director, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, AEI (Moderator): Thank you Elizabeth. It is 6.30 in the morning here the great Golden State of California by which I mean to say, a perfect time to talk about societal resilience, and how free countries can work together to bring their economic strengths and to strengthen the resilience of their societies, such a crucial question for us all. And I'm extraordinarily pleased this morning, to be able to moderate a discussion between three exceptional speakers, NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană, Finnish State Secretary for the Interior Olli-Poika Parviainen and Deputy Defence Minister of the Czech Republic, Tomáš Kopečný.

These are hugely important issues and ones that our adversaries seem to have gotten a step ahead of us all on. And one of the things that makes the NATO Alliance and the transatlantic partnership such a robust and long standing one, is the way all of us work together to emulate best practices in other countries and to find solutions together. I'm extremely pleased - I'm sorry I should have said I'm Kori Schake, the Head of Foreign and Defence policy at the American Enterprise Institute. I'm extremely pleased to introduce to you, Deputy NATO Secretary General Geoană. Welcome my friend, Please tell us how the NATO alliance is thinking about these challenges.

Mircea Geoană, Deputy Secretary General, NATO: Thank you so much Kori. Good to see you again and I salute all my friends at the American Enterprise Institute, dear friends for many, many years now going back. And I'm also very honoured to share the platform with such distinguished speakers as Dr. Kopečný, and Dr. Olli-Poika. And thank you also for, including NATO in this very important conversation. And we also happy that our NATO Public Diplomacy Division is also running a number of events, trying to bring the issue of resilience to the forefront of our conversation.

You know, as an Alliance we face and we’ve faced and we will face many challenges, and some of them we have been dealing with for many years. Look at Russia, they continue to seek to undermine our democracy, they're expanding their military they're attempting to dominate their neighbours like Ukraine, Georgia or the Republic of Moldova. These things are not new. There's also the scourge of terrorism that continues to haunt our societies. And our mission in Afghanistan to ensure it can deliver a place which should be, you know, not becoming again a safe haven for terrorists to launch attacks on our lands, or on their neighbours is also something which is very important.

There's also things that are relatively ‘new-er’, which is the rise of China, not an adversary to NATO per se but the global actor whom we must understand, and with its rise, it brings a lot of challenges, a lot of problems, a lot of opportunities and we have to act accordingly. And of course the use of emerging technologies as instruments of disruption and instruments of power. We are speaking of geo-technology. We are in the midst of the most, one of most, intense technological races in recent history. And for the political West and for democratic societies, this is also part of a very important conversation, because maintaining the security of our vital technologies is central in a way in which we can do, not only defending our people, but also protecting everything we do from airports, to power plants to infrastructures.

So, this persistent confrontation with novel and impactful issues is also becoming even more complicated because we start seeing more and more of the Black Swans, tsunami-kind risks, and the pandemic is just one example of things that might come, that eventually would come. And I think the issue of resilience that we are talking today about, is at the essence of the lessons learned from this pandemic and also from the other things. NATO is in the business of making sure that all these complicated issues will not come together in a sort of a perfect storm and making sure that health crisis or environmental crisis or financial crisis, will not become a security crisis, so that's where NATO is very, very, very, very important because resilience is the reflex, and the remedy, at the same time. Resilient societies, are our first line of defence.

Our security and prosperity depend on this. In the years ahead, we have to put a much greater emphasis on resilience, and this is not only about resilience of our governments, it's a whole of society resilience and engaging with the triple helix of government, of private sector, essentially importantly engaging the private sector, and also engaging our civil societies. This is what societal resilience is all about. So that's why I'm so happy to be today with you, and also I thank again the American Enterprise Institute for bringing this topic to a broader audience's attention. Of course, NATO has already worked closely with industry, but also the nature of this relationship is changing. I am chairing the Innovation Board in NATO, and we know that much of the innovation in technology, in biotechnology, in AI, in quantum computing, in human enhancement, in space, in everything, is done by the private sector.

So if we speak about resilience and security, we are you know, in a way, obliged to talk more to our private sector to the innovators, they're not only in governments, but also they are in the private sector, in academia. And this is also very important for our communications, for our equipments, and also for our armed forces as NATO and also as allies individually. So this effort is very important to us. Of course, there are other dimensions of resilience in a more sectoral way if you want. We speak in NATO for many years already - for five years - about the baseline requirements on resilience from infrastructure, from energy, from telecoms, now logistics and supply chain. And I think this kind of conversation is adding to the breadth and the depth of this conversation where NATO is already exceptionally, exceptionally well equipped.

We also, you know, in NATO resilience is part of our DNA. Because our founding fathers, in writing the brilliant piece of our Constitution, the Washington Treaty in Article Three they already spoke about the obligation for allies individually and collectively to improve their resilience to attack. Of course, the Washington treaty was conceived and imagined in a moment of Cold War with the Soviet Union, but the principle is relevant today and probably is more relevant today than ever before. In a complex and unpredictable world, to maintain our security, NATO allies need robust supply chains and civilian infrastructure. We need to protect civilian controlled undersea cables and satellite systems upon which our communications rely.

During large operations and military exercises. for example, around 90% - 9, 0, %, of military transport relies today on civilian ships, railways and aircrafts. There is no difference between civilian security and military strength, they’re one and the same. So NATO allies have already agreed high standards for resilience in areas including the continuity of government, transport, energy, food and water supply. We are now looking as we speak into the security of our infrastructure supply chains, as I mentioned, and also we are now contemplating screening; templates, methods, to screen foreign investments in our key infrastructures and also our key intellectual and technology companies.

Let's take telecoms for an example. In 2019, so before the pandemic, NATO updated our baseline resilience requirement for civil communications networks, including 5g, a topic which is much discussed. Allies must conduct thorough risk and vulnerability assessments, identify and mitigate cyber threats and assess the consequences of foreign ownership control, or direct investment of critical infrastructure. It is crucial that 5g infrastructure is safe, secure, and trusted. We have seen significant and welcome progress here. For example, through the US Clean Network Initiative, and also, a very good example of NATO US-EU cooperation: European Union's 5g toolbox, and together with NATO's baseline requirements on resilience.

This is why here at NATO we work closely with the EU, with the private sector, civil society, academia, because as I mentioned earlier, resilience is a national responsibility. It is also a collective effort. And also our Defence Ministers, the virtual meeting, only last month, they received a comprehensive report on the state of our critical infrastructure. While we have made progress there still vulnerabilities. For instance on foreign control of critical components on which our societies and our militaries rely, we have to further strengthen our resilience, we need to go further and agree stronger requirements for resilience.

At the meeting next year of NATO Heads of State and Government, we do hope that this will be, and this will be, on the agenda of our leaders, when our leaders will be meeting next year. So as we go through the current global crisis, we rediscover our reflex towards partnerships with like-minded organisations like the EU, the OECD, the World Bank or the UN. Cooperation among governments, cooperation among our civil and private sectors. And I think this kind of deep cooperation within the bodies of our societies, is key to our success. Because together we can tackle the novel elements and find solutions to otherwise very complex ,very long lasting, equations of risks and threats. Because together we are stronger and more efficient. And this is very, very important as the challenges we face in the political West, and we face a challenge, like we never had probably in centuries.

We are also, for the moment, not only a competition on geopolitical grounds, not only on geo-technological grounds, not only on financial and economic grounds, but also to the very resilience of our democratic societies, and the competition for the commanding heights of how human societies are organized is now raging. We are open, free societies. This is our strength. This is the value, foundation on which NATO is based. This is what we have been building for decades and decades. So when we speak about resilience. Please also think not only in terms of physical resilience in front of so many complicated issues, but also look at the deeper meaning of resilience, which is the very essence of defending our democratic way of life.

And also I have to say, speaking of our partners, look at NATO partners like, Finland, working together with the private sector to strengthen their resilience. Sweden another very important partner of ours is doing the same. We are learning from each other. We are working together, and we stand ready as NATO, to continue to engage even more ambitiously and more thoroughly with the private sector, with academia, with like-minded nations and partners around the world. And this is why we continue to put resilience at the very heart of what we do in NATO, because, as I mentioned, and as Stoltenberg mentioned just a few days ago, our first line of defence starts with resilient societies that we are coming from. That's where we are. And this will continue to go forward in the period ahead. So thank you so very much for having me. I look forward to our conversation down the road.

Kori Schake, Director, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, AEI (Moderator): Thank you so much, Deputy Secretary General Geoană. I especially liked the way you conceptualized a triple helix because it builds on all three elements of resilience in free societies, that is not just our governments, not just our businesses and their capacity for innovation, but the strengths that civil society brings to helping us find solutions to problems that are sustainable and voluntary, which I think is an important part of the resilience of free societies. I so appreciate you being with us this morning for this conversation and I now want to turn to two distinguished practitioners of resilience. First, to Minister Kopečný, who is the Director of Industrial Cooperation, at the Industrial Cooperation Department in the Czech Ministry of Defence. Thank you for being with us Sir, won’t you please share your perspective.

Tomáš Kopečný, Deputy Minister for Defence, Industrial Cooperation Division, Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic: Good morning and good afternoon, good afternoon everyone. It's a great privilege and honour to be in such an esteemed company and also for me, it's a great honour to be able to present what we have been doing at the Czech Ministry of Defence for the past months. Because also with the great cooperation with Elisabet Braw, we have started a very specific project that aims at many of the challenges that have been laid in front of us by my previous speaker.

So, first of all, I will focus mostly on the technological resilience because I believe that it is the key area of job of geopolitical confrontation that is about to come. We see that this is clearly not an operational domain in the traditional sense, we have also seen in the past that it's quite hard in a democratic Alliance to have consensus on what the new confrontation lines in terms of operational domains can be in NATO. So, even though some of the first attacks on our allies have happened already in 2007, latest when we saw the Tallinn aggression by the Russian hackers. It only has been in the Warsaw Summit when it was acknowledged as an operational domain - I mean the cyberspace.

The space domain for Space Operations have been acknowledged to be an operational domain by December last year, and we are seeing more and more, the technologies that are behind our operation domains are clearly targeted and used as a frontline for, at least competition, if not a direct aggression of our adversaries, all over the world. So I believe that is important to see the technological domain, and technologies as such, that are part of critical infrastructure as the new domain of strategic interest. And I will just briefly sum up what leads me and what lead us here in the Czech Republic to such a view.

We clearly see the importance of critical infrastructure, all over where we can, where we can look at, and for years we have been doing NATO exercises, traditional exercises of defence on the national level, involving not only the defence infrastructure; companies, the militaries, the ministries in the government, but also the private sector, which is quintessential in achieving any goals, but it has not only been in the military domain when we have had such an exercise. There has been a life exercise for the past nine months on how each of our countries can handle the COVID crisis when it comes to securing the necessary supplies, which are, to be honest, very low-tech; to have a facemask, to have respirators, it's not something that would be swallowing billions of dollars as the military technologies and yet still there were many obstacles and challenges for us to achieve what we needed for our populations.

And also thanks to a great collaboration from NATO and EU we were able to secure ourselves, but this wasn’t an easy task, technologically speaking. Also there is a giant elephant in the room when it comes to technologies. And it has been labelled as a challenge, as a threat, rather recently and that's the buildup of the 5g infrastructure which has been discussed for years, but for the past year or two, it has been a remarkable geopolitical issue, all over the world. But 5g is just a trigger of what is coming, what is ahead of us when it comes to the geopolitical, geo-technological competition, and competition with our adversaries. There is already so much going on. I have mentioned the Tallinn attacks by the cyber forces of the Russian Federation. But it's not only that.

Also during crisis, some of our Czech hospitals have been attacked by proxy adversaries, that have basically tried to put them out of work, during the worst beat of the pandemia, by March and May. It was also thanks to our allies prevented. But the effects means that they need to be considered a new field of geopolitical competition and warfare, in some cases. It's a matter of national security. Also, it's not only about acknowledging that this needs to be addressed. It is vital for us to already discuss practical needs. And I will say why it is so important to call it with the real names, the situation we are. The free market is a principle that all our economies are dependent on. And yet, in some sectors of the economy, we cannot just follow the rules blindly, when our adversaries misuse it.

So, we need to have a proper look and proper characterization at what is the critical infrastructure, what is really important for national security. And what is also to be done with it. So we have started an exercise in the Czech Republic, a long term project, it’s not one time sure project, it's really a long term process. We have started so called Grey-zone exercise and for this, my thanks to Elizabeth Braw again, who really wrote a masterpiece, when it comes to the processes. We have been discussing this with our allies and partners from all over the world for the past weeks and months.

And we have started last week with our industries, and by the end of January we should have already gone through the first stage, and how, what does it mean ‘Grey-zone exercise’ it means concrete steps, concrete communication and War-gaming scenarios, they will do exercises with the strategic critical infrastructure industries and R&D institutions, because they are targeted too. It means, at first, we define which sectors are really strategic, everybody wants to be strategic when there are incentives, everybody wants to get some more money, but we need to do it from the perspective of the national security. We need to then address who are the companies, what are the products that we need to protect through screening of investment, but also how can we promote them in them being economically viable for the upcoming future.

So, the grey zone exercise itself aims at identifying priorities and working with the companies towards increasing their resilience to work, making them more competitive, but it's never only on the national level. First, we need to exchange information on behalf of the government and the local, the national companies, then we need to do some education courses, about security threats. They are very interested in having this for free. When it comes to cyber threats, our NSA is working on it with us. And it's really something that is backed by gold, in most cases when you go for commercial options, and we do it as a government for free because we need them, and they need us in certain crisis scenarios.

And third, we do these simulations and crisis management scenarios and tabletop exercises. So, we want them to incorporate the aspects of national security into their decision making processes, so that their risk managers do not only see threats as something that is involved in their capital, in their assets, in maybe a local shutdown of energy, but in the national threats that we are facing when the critical infrastructure is here. Of course, our adversaries, they use their tools. So we need to focus on key areas, such as that data privacy, experts controls and FDA screening, so that we do not harm our societies, or companies in the process. But still, our adversaries I've been talking about cyber threats, but it's not the only area that our companies are afraid of. The venture capital, but, from China or Russia, mostly from China, are globally established by now, there are 1000s of not acknowledged funds that are aimed at acquiring critical technologies, disruptive technologies, from all over the world, for the benefit of the People's Liberation Army.

And of course, it's hard to prevent this with the current legislative framework. So we need to address this issue, and there are multiple ways that we can do that, we can of course, go through the screening of investment from the local, national legislation, we have such legislation on the EU level as well, but also we can establish our own venture capital funds, to support our companies in this perspective. And this is basically something that should lead to an understanding that even though we cherish and respect that we are fully binded by the WTO rules, by the free market principles, we need to have some of the critical technologies perfected. And just to give you a few hints about what worked in our case, it's of course, long term builds trust, incentivization for the companies.

They could be called strategic suppliers and also really involvement of the top management, from all of these companies. So we have some experience which is rather good. The companies are happily working with us on this, firstly, starting with the big companies then we go to the big emerging disruptive technology companies, r&d laboratories and so on. But this is not something that can be solved on a national level. And that's why I believe it is quite essential for also the Alliance, NATO and the EU, to make strategic technologies and strategic sector technologies one of its domains of strategic interest. By this I will probably end my introductory speech and I will be very much looking forward for the discussion.

Kori Schake, Director, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, AEI (Moderator): Thank you very much Minister Kopečný. I'm especially enthusiastic to hear the similarities in the approaches that are working successfully for the Czech Republic, and the areas that the Deputy Secretary General of NATO is identifying. Their ability to use the tools of free societies to protect and advance free societies, I think is so important and it's really interesting how the many different ways you are pioneering that. I want to turn now to our third speaker, another leader in this area.

And, Olli-Poika Parviainen has the ideal background for helping us navigate this problem. He's an entrepreneur, he's worked in city government as a deputy mayor of Tampere, and also a national elected politician, so many of the different ways we need to approach this problem, and Finland is the world's most prepared country in this regard. So, State Secretary Parviainen and won’t you please tell us - I'm sorry I should also said thank you so much for making time to be with us on a busy day for your government, when you are dealing with one of the very challenges we are talking about here this morning. Thank you. State Secretary Parviainen.

Olli-Poika Parviainen, State Secretary, Finland Ministry of the Interior: Thank you. It's great to be here, virtually present in this meeting. the Minister of Internal Affairs of Finland Maria Ohisalo, would have loved to participate but well, like mentioned, there are some urgent issues pressing in the government. And regarding the topic of our meeting today, it is an interesting curiosity that it was in the in even in international news, that there was this incident in a Finnish nuclear power plant today.

Luckily, I'm glad that it is under control but we have to always be serious when this this sort of critical infrastructure is under unexpected circumstances, and to this is an interesting thing to note that there is another power plant being constructed, right next to the one that was shut down, temporarily, today. And it is based also that the control systems of that power plant are using this unique way of using analogue backup and controlling system in order that, for example, you cannot manipulate the system via cyber attack, for instance, so there's always the possibility that we have to prepare ourselves for everything.

But I have prepared a little speech for you. It is the Minister’s speech which I have tuned a little bit, so, I think I will proceed to that. I think we've reached a stage in the coronavirus pandemic where we can already reflect on lessons for ongoing and future crisis and already at this point, it is clear that societal resilience is at the heart of responding efficiently to a long lasting crisis situation, like the one we are currently experiencing worldwide. During the past few years, resilience and critical infrastructure protection, have featured strongly in international discussions and discussions within EU and NATO.

Our societies are characterised by a web of complex interdependencies where private sector actors are principal operators in many fields of services and infrastructure. The resilience of modern societies is not restricted to state boundaries or a single actor. This is something that the previous speakers have also addressed. So in this intervention. I would like to highlight two areas relevant to the topic of this event.

Firstly, comprehensive security and societal resilience, as tools to maintain wellbeing and societal order, and secondly the importance of national security when assessing critical infrastructure, resilience against both old and new threats such as hybrid influencing and, for example, fake news even.  So, first on comprehensive security and societal resilience. I want to highlight as national practices, we can be proud of Finland. And this is something that I think we have achieved quite well. And we have our own diamond shaped strategy of comprehensive security on use.

Finland has been using a so called comprehensive security model which I mentioned in its civil preparedness for decades. The model rests on the assumption that we should be prepared for all kinds of crisis, from everyday accident to all the way to military conflict or even to a war. I see internal security, the mandate of my Ministry in a wide sense, for example, reducing marginalisation and poverty. It promotes internal security and contributes to resilience tackling climate change, reduces frequency and magnitude of natural disasters. Fighting hate speech promotes social inclusion and prevents hate crimes, and so on.

The comprehensive security model relies on cooperation between authorities and other relevant actors, the private sector, public partners in education, society, social and healthcare sectors, and of course, NGOs. Another key element is building security of supply with national and international arrangements, and maintaining sufficient in-country reserve storage. The ongoing pandemic has really demonstrated in practice, how important security of supply and well functioning, or society preparedness, is for our everyday resilience.

In Finland, we have maintained reserve storages, but COVID-19 showed us too that keeping a good stock of essential equipment is not enough. You also have to build good supply production and acquisition chains to last weeks, and even months. And of course if you look at Finland, from a global map we are in a certain way stranded in an island. In Finland, a broad variety of private sector operators, it's about 1000 companies and relevant public authorities, form a cooperation network called the National Security of Supply Organisation. These pools, work together across sectors to ensure security of supply and critical functions of society, such as telecommunications, logistics, food supply, financial services, and energy.

When we think about resilience, the role of individual people cannot also be overlooked. Resilient people are in the foundation of our resilient society. They play a major role in the preparedness, alongside government institutions. Based on my experience so far, one of the strengths in my country has been people's trust in authorities, for example in following guidelines and restrictions. In addition, I want to emphasise the importance of a good social safety net, in promoting national resilience. This is a cornerstone of our Nordic Welfare Society.

For example, if you don't provide people with necessary health care during a pandemic, undiagnosed and untreated diseases will be a heavy burden for resilience, later on. As another example, I want to mention homelessness, of course, Finland has set a goal for no homelessness in Finland, in 2027, and to halve homelessness by 2023. This is an ambitious goal, but our efforts are paying off the number of homeless people is declining. Homeless people are extremely vulnerable to different crimes, and of course we are living in quite harsh climate. This is a matter of internal security and resilience in many ways, although often considered only a social security issue, but there is a strict connection between this phenomenon, and also to certain crime levels for example.

As an example of promoting resilience and awareness, I would also like to mention the Finnish National Defence Courses. I have also been on one, usually I have a pin here, but now it's in a different jacket. The goal of these courses, is to provide leaders in both civilian and military organisations, with an overview of Finland's foreign security and defence policy. The courses also promote collaboration between key people working in different areas of comprehensive security, it means that when we participate in the courses we meet other decision makers in key areas of our society.

And we practically practice on how to work together in unexpected circumstances and in crisis situations, for example we ran a simulation where I was a Minister, at the time, and now I get to use that lesson learned from there as a State Secretary in an actual Ministry. And then to critical infrastructure protection. Maybe I would start by saying that it is clear that European societies are characterised by a web of complex interdependencies where private sector actors have a growing role, the changed security environment has forced us to consider how disruptions in critical services and technologies can escalate the de-stabilisation of our societies.

So we need to adapt our critical infrastructure protection to the challenges of a fast evolving technological and geopolitical context. We must also understand emerging vulnerabilities that impact on our national security, several national security challenges are connected to critical infrastructures. These include for example, exploiting cyber related vulnerabilities in our data communication systems, networks and services and the use of foreign direct investment FDI to negatively influence present, or future infrastructure operations, and from a cyber perspective, a single incident in one infrastructure may have significant cascading effects on other sectors.

For example, finance and services depend on the continuity or the other parts of critical infrastructure such as telecommunications and energy and so on. Such dependencies go both ways, and major disruptions in any of these sectors will have serious repercussions on others, so we need to ensure continuity of critical services. And as FEMA shares the security environment with NATO, we follow closely the resilience agenda that the Alliance is currently building. Allie, see the connection between resilience and defence, weak resilience means weak defence. An increasing amount of critical infrastructures and services are also dependent on transboundary connections and resources outside our borders. Consequently, the Finnish model places a strong emphasis on private, public and international cooperation in safeguarding national resilience.

During our EU presidency last year, we took important steps on the European critical infrastructure protection agenda; we encouraged open discussion on the possibility of designating certain infrastructures, as pan European. For example, all EU member states are dependent on space, infrastructure. In the near future, Europe will also have a fully interconnected European electricity grid with geographically distributed power production and cross border distribution and consumption. During our presidency we highlight that interdependencies between the European and North American economies, and the importance to better protect our shared critical infrastructure such as undersea fiber optic cables in the Atlantic, which were also mentioned in a way earlier.

I have understood that the European Commission will soon be proposing revised critical infrastructure EU legislation, the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructures should, I think, be seen from an all hazards and whole of government perspective. We should focus on the resilience and continuity of services and the capacity to respond to a wide spectrum of threats. And last, to conclude, as we all know, hybrid influencing is linked with the security situation in Europe, the critical infrastructure services of a society can be subject into many forms of hybrid influencing we've seen this.

We have to take it into account that rapid technological development and digitalization have contributed to hybrid actions, such as hostile cyber activities, and we must counter these together. So to conclude; in a country and a world with interdependencies across sectors of society, good social policy makes good security policy. This doesn't mean that we don't need to ensure adequate resources to our security sector also, but instead, it means that security actors alone are not enough to make a society resilient and safe. We need both. Thank you. I took a little over time.

Kori Schake, Director, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, AEI (Moderator): Thank you very much State Secretary, I'm struck listening to both you and Minister Kopečný at how strongly trust and education came through as essential elements, and it seems to me something really worth emphasising that governments can, to some extent, regulate and incentivize activity in our civil society and in our businesses, but there is no substitute for trust or education or the voluntary participation and initiative of our societies. Deputy Secretary, I wonder, now that you have heard these two distinguished practitioners, talk about what their countries are doing what threads would you want to pull as priorities for NATO in this space, which of the things that you've heard this morning, should we build on most urgently. Oops you muted my friend.

Mircea Geoană, Deputy Secretary General, NATO: Now, I'm unmuted by my colleagues. I do believe that there is a quite impressive synergy in the two or three approaches that we have heard today. And again, thank you for bringing us on the same platform. Because I think the first observation that we have realized, that the whole of government or only national security institutions, are not longer sufficient. They are indispensable, but not sufficient to cope with the ever growing definition of security. Security has evolved as definition, and as threats, in such a remarkable way that today we just cannot do it only in government or even in a more limited way national security establishments as important as they are and will continue to be forever.

The second observation I heard from everyone, is that engaging private sector is paramount. Because most of the activities that we do, including the ones as I mentioned in my introductory remarks, in which we depend in terms of defence, crisis management, God forbid tension, or even war. We depend on the private sector, we transport our equipments with private sector. Sometimes private sector is, you know, one of the players into this situation. What I would like to see and to do more,  and this is what we're trying to do also in NATO, is to make sure that we go more and find better ways to engage also the third pillar of the triple helix, which is civil society, NGOs, academia, as the citizen himself and herself.

Because in the end, as I mentioned that we cannot be safe and secure if our resilience, as a society is not strong enough. What's a society in the end? It’s a composition of the citizens of that nation, or that organisation the case of NATO almost 1 billion people. And now we see a certain fragility that is at the heart of our democratic system. So because of the bombardment with information and conspiracy theories and this information hybrid, as our Finnish friends have a superb Centre in Helsinki on hybrid. This is where the whole world is basically interacting with the experience that they have developed and congratulations for this, I'm very happy that our Czech friends and allies are also working into this kind of scenario based, war-gaming preparation things, but if I would be putting a bit more emphasis is how can we make sure - trust is one of those components, but probably it's a little bit even deeper than that, how can we make sure that we communicate, and we engage with our citizenry into this operation and this leads, again, as you mentioned to education.

The earlier we engage our  future leaders and our you know, today junior tomorrow adult segments of our populations into this kind of conversations, the better off all of us would be. Rest assured, when it comes to NATO, we have a certain, I mentioned resilience in the DNA of NATO. We also have something else in the DNA of NATO which is permanent adaptation to changing environments. And when our Defence Ministers decided that we'll be putting on the table of the NATO summit of our leaders in the first part of 2021, the topic of resilience, we mean business. And we stand ready to engage with relevant experiences at the national level, or sub national level sometimes city halls, sometimes you know a small university somewhere is not only the big names, they could and they are developing tremendous expertise.

But we're calling on a sort of a global partnership around resilience amongst the political West. We learn from our friends in Australia, a great deal of things, we are learning a lot from friends, like, I don't know, Israel on many other things. So I do believe that this is such a topical issue for the future of our democratic world, that we have to really come together, work together, European Union is a very important player. They have the power regulation, they have the many instruments at their disposal. NATO has the power of standardization. NATO grant is Sterling. So the moment we put a stamp of approval that this is a NATO thing that NATO has basically put a seal of approval on a project, on a topic, on even on a conversation like ours. This is also something that we should put to use. We're in this together, my friends.There is no individual solution to this. We are in a way, forced to work together and do things together. 

Kori Schake, Director, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, AEI (Moderator): I think that's such important insights and also the reassurance that comes out of the remarks of all three of you, that even though this feels tumultuous, that is our societies feel under attack in unusual ways, you know that that we would have to protect our power plants and our transmission cables, is a new level and expansion of traditional notions of security. And it's happening at a time of technological upheaval, where all of us are having to figure out how to deal with social media and new ways of connection.

But I think we shouldn't lose sight of two really important things that for me come out of all three of your comments. The first is that, the fact that we are able to defend our society so well in the centre of the national security space, that is the success of NATO, the success of partnerships, like those that many of our countries have with Finland. The success at the centre of the national security space is what has driven, our adversaries to these new kinds of threats. So we need to remember that the threats that we're dealing with now, are the result of our success in the middle of the agenda.

And the second thing that comes out from me from all three of your remarks, is how dynamic, free societies can, and the organisations that we build together like NATO, we have the ability to adapt to innovate. In fact, that's our strong suit. And so we shouldn't lose confidence that we are going to find effective ways to manage these challenges. State Secretary I wonder if I could get you to say a little bit more about the Finland example that the Deputy Secretary was talking about, the centre for hybrid warfare that that Finland has. How did you guys get so far out in front the rest of us and what should the rest of us do to catch up.

Olli-Poika Parviainen, State Secretary, Finland Ministry of the Interior: Okay. I’ll try to be brief. Thank you for the remarks. The centre of hybrid questions is, well, of course, the project was based on need. To put it frankly, we've had our share of hybrid influencing in the past and in the present, and of course, we've acknowledged that exchanging ideas, and working together with like-minded partners is of a great advantage. So, basically, the centre works with the approval of the government, and we try to sort of use it as a tool to get the best practices on how to react to many kinds of events. For example, if I remember correctly, there was a trial regarding pandemic threats just some time before the COVID situation. But of course, this hybrid centre is just part of the overall strategy spectrum where we have to use many tools. It's a difficult question but it's sort of part of the comprehensive security diamond. 

Kori Schake, Director, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, AEI (Moderator): Thank you. Minister Kopečný,  may I come to you to get a sense for, you know, you're moving, the Czech Republic is moving so fast, to try and see how to handle grey-zone warfare. What help would you want from the rest of us, for the success of what you are trying to achieve.

Tomáš Kopečný, Deputy Minister for Defence, Industrial Cooperation Division, Ministry of Defence of the Czech Republic : Well, I didn't expect this. But, I mean, thank you so much for raising it because I guess it is for the continued success of our endeavor, the key issue will be you're willing to address it on a multilateral level, on a sort of Alliance who will be willing to share not only their expertise, but also their, at times, sensitive information, and what is lacking in what they found when it comes to their critical infrastructure and their resilience in terms of security of supply because one of the main findings that we have already seen so far is not the targeting of the main society, the main defence manufacturers, for instance in itself. It’s the supply chains that our adversaries go after the first, it is the research and development bureaus and institutions, it’s the universities.

So, it's the very, very high level, high tier level, or a very, very low visibility items that are targeted the easiest, and they are rarely found always in the same country, so the sooner we share this information, the sooner we share this experience, the better we can address how to deal, how to identify, what could be our missing link. Because something is working right now, perfectly, but just like that, it can be turned off, because one link will be missing, because one company will be shut down somewhere else. The production will stop, or even worse, production will be full of malware. It will be full of hidden agents, like speaking in the cyber domain for instance.

So, so this is what will be definitely helpful, to basically embrace the urgency of the issue, also to have enough, I guess patience and courage and diplomacy in us, to share this to our leaders to understand that it's not really only about 5g consuming so much about the public space, about the media space, and about the attention of leaders consequently, but this will be essential for all the other technological domains that will be that will be coming so this is what I would what I would really appreciate because, you know, there are two things that are sort of coming out of this endeavor if we do it successfully.

First, the more successful we are as you said, the more we should talk about it because talking about it, is the only thing that will create the deterrence, of us being such a success in this domain. So deterrence is in the very core of those exercises, so that the adversaries know that this is not a vulnerability anymore, and it could be costly. And second, it should help us building some sort of a security identity besides the traditional security framework we know like defence industry, that's R&D. But the citizenry, so, not only on the citizens level but the key high tech players, so that they have some identity that is related to the security of the country of the Alliance, of our way of life.

Kori Schake, Director, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, AEI (Moderator): That was a fantastic intervention. We have only a couple of minutes left, so Deputy Secretary Geoană, I'm gonna give you the last word my friend, what parting shot would you like to fire, parting words for us to focus on as we go forward in this area.

Mircea Geoană, Deputy Secretary General, NATO: I believe that our transatlantic community, and also the like minded democratic nations around the world we have to build upon our national and multinational experience on resilience, a more integrated block of knowledge, lessons learned and real steps that we need to take. It’s not a proposition, it’s just as a thought, as new technologies we are only speaking of a depository, or if you want an encyclopedia if you want, of the meanings and the definitions and the best practices, and sharing with each other, the strong points that we have in our countries in our societies, but also the weak spots. As one of my colleagues of our conversation mentioned, sometimes you could find in a big network, a gap some place, which is totally outside of your realm of national control. So what I would really say in NATO parlance, if you want, I think we have to build a sort of a interoperability of resilience. 

Kori Schake, Director, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, AEI (Moderator): I love that phrase. I think that's a really important way to think about our challenge. And I'd like to thank you three distinguished practitioners for being with us this morning helping educate and build the resilience of all of our cooperation, and I'd like to close by thanking my outstanding colleague, Elizabeth Braw for conceptualising this, bringing us all together as we think about the triple helix of societal resilience in the democratic West. Thank you, my friends, I appreciate your time, your expertise, and all you contribute to all of our security.