As With the Rest of the World, Europe and NATO Are Changing
The fundamental nature of warfare has changed. Asymmetric warfare has become the prominent threat. Non-state actors, often difficult to identify, have become the primary warfighters in many cases. The cyber domain has been recognized as one of the most dangerous and potentially harmful warfighting domains. And, defense and security budgets are strained by a troubled global economy. Does this sound familiar? It is the environment no matter where you sit on this globe.
Nowhere is more change occurring in response to this environment than in
This is just the beginning of change. In June of this year, the secretary general published a document titled “NATO Reform—Command Structure and Agency Reform.” In this document, the secretary general lays out alternatives for command restructuring and agency consolidation. At the end of the 1980s, the NATO command structure included 24,500 people in 37 headquarters. This was a fairly static Cold War structure. Today, NATO has 13,200 personnel in 12 headquarters. NATO currently has live operational missions; this was not the case in the 1980s. The proposals for restructuring range from a total of 7,500 to 9,500 personnel and from two to three headquarters. The objective would be a smaller, more agile force structure that the member nations can sustain and that meets most of the future operational requirements of the alliance.
Similarly, the NATO agency reform looks at the 14 agencies that exist today. It proposes consolidation and streamlining to three agencies centered on the primary programmatic areas the agencies are intended to accomplish: procurement, support, and communications and information. This reform is intended to maximize effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of capabilities and services. In addition, the effort is expected to promote improved sharing of support services, greater governance and oversight of the agencies by the North Atlantic Council, and greater synergy among similar functions, particularly in procurement. And, a byproduct of this reform is an expected savings of 20 percent.
Changes in European defense and security certainly are not limited to NATO. Each nation in
Much strategic thinking is being applied to the correct balance of defense and security, the potential seams between the two and how to address those seams through better information sharing and coordination. A good example of this is a conference on national defense and security held by the AFCEA Portugal Chapter in
Another vital event in Europe is the upcoming 2010 TechNet International Conference—run by the AFCEA Europe office—which will be held in
The bottom line is that, if you aren’t paying attention to the changes in