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NATO 20/2020 April 2, 2021

Digitalize the enterprise: NATO 20/2020 podcast

By Barry Pavel and Jeffrey Lightfoot

  If NATO is to unlock new frontiers of innovation and harness emerging technology, digitalizing how it does business is the key.

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About this episode

NATO is party to the turbulent birth of a new era, one that began when the use of computer power, algorithm sophistication, and very large data sets converged to make digital technology the defining feature of the coming decade. It affects almost every aspect of human endeavor, and it underpins the future of warfare and non-military competition among state and non-state actors vying for influence, markets, and power.

For NATO to carry out its enduring mission to protect the populations, territories, and forces of allied states, it must reconcile conventional diplomatic and military power with data as a strategic capability. NATO needs a strategy for digitalization to compete and win the conflicts of tomorrow.

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Key Takeaways

  • 2:03: Jeffrey talks about where he thinks the Alliance is falling short when it comes to digitalization and where it needs to change
  • 4:48: Barry talks about what he means by “digitalizing the Alliance” and where NATO should focus its efforts
  • 6:54: Barry also shares some examples of what China’s military can do with digitalization that NATO’s 30 militaries can’t do
  • 9:54: Jeffrey explains in detail why digitization and harnessing enhanced technologies actually helps NATO make better decisions
  • 12:13: Barry explains why NATO needs to have strategies so as to make decisions quickly, especially in crisis situations
  • 15:33: Jeffrey and Barry also discuss NATO’s centers of excellence that cooperate on these issues with the EU
  • 18:05: Jeffrey talks about game changer one, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and how to integrate them into NATO’s mission and operations
  • 19:25: Jeffrey talks about game changer two, data, and how NATO can be using it as a weapon
  • 20:33: Jeffrey talks about game changer four, staff and culture, and the importance of having experts on staff who can sift through and make operational use of data
  • 22:15: Jeffrey explains why NATO needs to hire the younger generation and the benefits that it gets from doing so
  • 23:05: Jeffrey talks about game changer three, footprint and reach, and what it means
  • 24:25: Jeffrey discusses how NATO can take advantage of a digitalization strategy
  • 24:58: Jeffrey describes game changer five, a “new-ish” way of war, and suggests how it can be applied at NATO

Read the essay

NATO 20/2020

Oct 14, 2020

Digitalize the enterprise

By Jeffrey Reynolds, Jeffrey Lightfoot

If NATO is to unlock new frontiers of innovation and harness emerging technology, digitalizing how it does business is the key.

Defense Technologies Digital Policy

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The Transatlantic Security Initiative, in the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, shapes and influences the debate on the greatest security challenges facing the North Atlantic Alliance and its key partners.