Let’s talk tanks before AI – EURACTIV.com

Applications of AI

According to Arthur de Liedekerke, Maarten Toelen and Rossana Bernardi, as NATO and the EU each embark on a rethink of old certainty and defense spending priorities, a focus on traditional military hardware will do the trick.

Arthur de Liedekerke is the European Director of the political advisory body Rasmussen Global and a Non-Executive Fellow of the Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK). Maarten Toelen is Manager of Crisis Management and Resilience Practice at PwC and a Reserve Officer at the Belgian Ministry of Defense. Rossana Bernardi is a PwC consultant working on crisis management and cyber resilience, with experience in emerging and disruptive technologies at DG CNECT C.4.

The authors are writing in their personal capacity and do not reflect the views of their respective employers.

There is no shortage of innovations on display on the Ukrainian (digital) battlefield, but the decisive advances in the conflict have come from strategies and tools that have been around for generations.

Despite the importance and undeniable contribution of Emerging Disruptive Technologies (EDTs) to modern military operations, including in the cyber realm, so far the conflict in Ukraine is far from revolutionary in the nature of the war. The tragic events unfolding in Ukraine and the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict highlight this reality.

First, about the underlying principles. War is inherently a human endeavor, using violence to obtain concessions from the enemy. If the modern means employed to achieve such concessions represent a superficial change in warfare, then “tanks and algorithms conceded nothing; in the words of former U.S. Captain Michael P. Ferguson.

New technologies widely adopted in armed conflict include digitally enhanced systems such as unmanned and self-driving vehicles, enhanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, and other offensive and defensive cyber capabilities. included. The observed increase in their use in modern conflicts certainly demonstrates the evolution of how military operations are planned and conducted. stimulates a worthwhile discussion of the need for further integration of the military into military doctrine.

Second, while there is no shortage of innovations on display on the Ukrainian battlefield, the decisive advances in the conflict have come from strategies and tools that have been around for generations. Who would have expected millennial concepts such as artillery, trenches, or combined arms to be so prominent in the War of the Century?

As a result, many NATO members were ill-equipped to repel the attacks witnessed in Nagorno-Karabakh and eastern Ukraine, which were largely characterized by the use of EDT-augmented traditional methods of warfare. I slowly realized what was happening.

One area that requires careful and sober consideration is the role and integration of the EDT in armed conflict, as the Alliance and the EU each set out to rethink old certainty and defense spending priorities. Cyber ​​is one of them.

At a closed-door hearing in the National Assembly in December 2022, General Bonnetmaison, head of the French Cyber ​​Command (COMCYBER), admitted: For example, you can’t win a war if you don’t hold the ground. Without cyber you always lose, but you can’t win with cyber alone. ”

This sober assessment should lead experts to re-evaluate blueprints and previously entertained theories as to what “cyber warfare” or the role of cyber in war really is.

This does not deny the destructive potential of aggressive cyber operations. Instead, their effectiveness and success in achieving strategic goals in conventional conflicts are yet to be determined. provide evidence-based examples of cyber contributions to conflicts in the United States.

Indeed, many aspects of the war waged in the digital realm may have gone unreported or overlooked. Ukraine’s strong cyber defenses and support from key private and government partners also play a key role.

A closer look at Russia’s known operations against Ukraine over the past year reveals some of its most proud successes (thousands of Viasat KA-SAT satellite broadband It has been suggested that even the destructive hack that provided the modem) is insufficient. To give the Kremlin on the ground a significant military advantage.

We must continue to invest heavily in EDT, including cyber, and the R&D that accompanies it, in order to maintain our competitive edge. But with the war back in Europe, it certainly hasn’t come at the expense of more traditional features that have tragically proven to be invaluable.

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