The new sophisticated and complex air, electronic, and cyber threats that are being demonstrated and exposed to the nations of NATO from Russia and the 360 drone and missile threats being deployed in combat by Iran and the Houthis against Saudi Arabia and with mines on oil tankers provide impetus for unity from all 29 nations in policy and requirements for capabilities to negate these threats. Russia and Iran are judiciously developing pillars of offensive capabilities that take advantage of NATO nation’s gaps and vulnerabilities in pursuit of power projection to become relevant. Not satisfied with status quo, needing leverage to negotiate, and amply aware of their political survival at risk, they are using Western cost inefficiencies, political strife, and imbalances to their advantage.
In the realm of integrated air and missile defense, NATO can and has the opportunity to break these growing pillars of destabilization with new integrated capabilities to render stability, status quo, and peace for the nations of NATO. The quest begins with recognizing the problem and then addressing the problem with all 29 nations. The Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, will hold his meeting of Defense Ministers later this month.
A new overall command and control architecture is needed to best leverage all domains and the capabilities of NATO nations, that fully integrates offensive and defensive capabilities, and integrates and leverages the best sensors to the best effectors instantly through artificial intelligence, that is not of 1980s technology, tactics, and not linear limited. More needed links within this architecture include persistent overhead links, sensors for tracking and firing solutions, 360 sensor capabilities from the ground and under and on the sea to air and space overhead.
These threats have to be addressed, if not they will continue to proliferate and expand in quantity and complexity.
“It is the assessment of the U.S. government that Iran is responsible for today’s attacks in the Gulf of Oman,” he said. “These attacks are a threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation, and an unacceptable escalation of tension by Iran.” – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, June 13, 2019