Since the Russian occupation of Crimea in 2014, NATO threat perceptions have significantly intensified, particularly with regard to the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania that today face the most direct threat of any of NATO’s allies. To deter aggression in the Baltic region, NATO must deploy a credible and effective defense, grounded in a comprehensive understanding of adversary capabilities, actions and intent.
A critical element of deterrence and defense is NATO Joint Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance a networked system of sensors, collectors and analysts fielded by the Alliance and its member states to provide situational awareness, early warning and if necessary, decision support for combat operations. Put simply JISR is about getting the right information to the right person, at the right time in the right format. But if a crisis erupted in the Baltic Sea region, is NATO equipped to gather and process the information necessary to give commanders on the ground a clear operating picture? What improvements, if any, could be made to the way NATO and NATO allies collect and process intelligence?
To answer these and other questions, the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security assembled a task force of leading regional security experts, led by co-chairs ADM Mark E. Ferguson, III, USN (Ret.) and AM Sir Christopher Harper, RAF (Ret.) and project director Dr. Richard D. Hooker, Jr, that examined NATO’s JISR posture in the Baltic Sea region and offers a series of recommendations to improve both collection and processing of vital intelligence so that NATO is ready to meet any challenge that may be waiting over the horizon.
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