I. Executive Summary
The twenty-first-century race for technological supremacy is contested across multiple domains and moving at breakneck speed. Today’s innovators will own tomorrow’s future. As it stands, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union (EU), and like-minded nations risk falling permanently behind. To win this race, the West must develop a common approach to integrating emerging and disruptive technologies (EDTs). The Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) led a year-long study to produce a transatlantic strategic framework for competing in defense and dual-use technologies. The project aims to raise awareness, spark discussion, and provide a shared framework for cooperation on these issues among NATO, EU, and national government officials, as well as industry leaders. Ultimately, it seeks to spur the development of a transatlantic defense technology strategy for the US and Europe, which will be critical for the West in light of rapid advances by Russia and China.
The study makes three important contributions to the ongoing debate. First, it offers a clear, replicable methodology to identify and prioritize critical technologies as they emerge. Second, it sets forth nine core pillars to form the basis of a common transatlantic policy framework for defense tech issues. Third, it outlines short-term recommendations to implement the policy framework. Together, these elements comprise a compelling strategy for enhancing transatlantic cooperation in defense technologies.
Key Findings: Policy Pillars and Recommendations
Pillar 1: Forge a Common Assessment of the Threat Competition
- EU member states and allies must utilize the EU Strategic Compass and NATO Strategic Concept as starting points to develop a shared understanding and assessment of the tech competition and create a sense of urgency for policymakers to act.
- The US and EU should use their dialogue on security and defense to align approaches to Russia and China.
- NATO should leverage its Political Guidance and Defense Planning Process to encourage a forward-looking approach to defense tech investment.
- NATO must adapt its doctrine, training, and warfighting techniques to create a common intelligence and operational picture of the strategic environment.
Pillar 2: Facilitate Faster Adoption of Technology
- To focus their efforts, allies should agree to work on three to five key use cases for each of NATO’s nine priority technologies and develop, procure, and deploy each tool accordingly.
- NATO, the EU, and their member nations should focus funding on supporting procurement and adoption, as opposed to strictly research and development (R&D). These funds should have clear transition partners to provide a clear path for companies to engage and thrive in the NATO ecosystem.
Pillar 3: Improve the Regulatory Environment
- The US ought to strengthen its defense industrial base by opening it to more close, trusted allies.
- The US and EU could catalyze a new dialogue on export controls and create a transatlantic tech access clearing center to reduce barriers to multinational tech cooperation.
- To widen the pool of new capabilities, the US should streamline the process for establishing proxy boards, required for foreign tech companies to operate in the US.
- The US should create a corps of top tech talent (US citizens) who may maintain security clearances even if they leave government or classified contracts. This would improve the mobility of ideas and talent, ensuring they are able to support classified work across the innovation ecosystem with limited notice.
- Euro-Atlantic nations should make it more difficult for Russia and China to access Western commercial technologies through deeper coordination to tighten export controls, foreign investment screening, foreign research partnerships, etc.
- Europe and the US must work together to offset major defense tech supply chain vulnerabilities created by economic dependence, particularly in manufacturing and semiconductors, on China.
- NATO and the EU should create a list of shared principles for governance of dual-use and defense technologies.
Pillar 4: Incorporate Nontraditional Partners to Inspire Radical Innovation
- Rather than prescribing a solution and over-specifying requirements, governments should present a challenge to industry and academia with competitions and let them develop a wide range of possible solutions. Governments should also allocate funding to these competitions in a manner similar to the XPRIZE Foundation’s approach.
- To encourage scaling and production opportunities, governments could establish an incentive program in which, if a new capability succeeds beyond the first procurement to a second customer, the first is paid back or rewarded monetarily for taking the initial risk.
- Euro-Atlantic governments should convince more venture capital (VC) firms to invest in defense startups, engaging them early in the conceptualization process of innovation initiatives. Such engagement can include facilitating VC contributions to early rewards from government and government providing funds to match those which VCs provide to startups.
- Governments should utilize more agile contract models that have quicker award timelines, more money up front, and more flexible milestones for evaluating progress and measuring deliverables, especially to accommodate start-ups.
- Governments should find ways to lease intellectual property associated with new tech, as opposed to needing to buy it outright.
- Governments should create a specific category of awards for nontraditional companies which are capped at a certain value to minimize risk for program managers.
- Large companies should offer more programs for nontraditional players, with whom they often partner or subcontract, in which they offer to hold their security clearances, provide workspaces, and give tutoring for navigating government contracting without onerous terms for the startups.
- The EU should provide a platform for small, innovative companies to demonstrate their technologies to multiple countries at the same time to maximize resources.
- The US and larger European countries should explore lessons learned from small countries such as Latvia and Estonia which have never had traditional defense primes.
- Nontraditional players who have been through government contracting processes should collaborate on a book of best practices to help future start-ups.
Pillar 5: Continuously Scout for Technology Solutions and Talent
Governments should educate civil servants and military officers on tech issues earlier in their careers and provide realistic pathways to use these skills as they move up the value chain. Governments should provide more opportunities for civil servants and military officers to undertake short-term assignments in tech companies and vice versa.
- NATO and the EU should create an accessible set of shared definitions of key technologies.
- NATO, the EU, and their nations should host more “pitch days” and innovation contests with rapid, commercially significant awards attached to discover potential new solutions and talent.
- NATO and the EU could create a shared database of relevant startups discovered through these scouting events ensuring individuals across the organizations involved can benefit from this knowledge.
- NATO, the EU, and member nations must employ more people dedicated to extracting large amounts of information websites, also known as “scraping” technology that comes from the field, scanning the horizon for new opportunities, and sharing that information among allies. These individuals could be aggregated into a network of tech experts across transatlantic countries.
- More “tour of duty” assignments should be made available and accessible to leading tech and business talent to bring their expertise to government over the course of one to three-year job posts. Governments must work together, through screenings of research partnerships and university collaborations, to prevent foreign malign influence more effectively by capitalizing on talent in the tech sector.
Pillar 6: Increase Testing and Evaluation
- Governments should provide more sustained, long-term, fungible resources to support prototyping, testing, procurement, and private sector engagement initiatives that facilitate industry-warfighter contact.
- NATO and the EU should develop shared parametersacross allies to evaluate tech performance, success, and risk.
- NATO should give nations more opportunities to test advanced technologies (beyond TRL-5/6, where nations have already done initial testing) in large-scale field exercises.
- Governments and institutions should undertake more tabletop exercises and wargames with emerging tech components. This should involve leveraging synthetic environments and giving nations more opportunities to test advanced technologies in large field exercises.
- Governments should provide more implementation pathways from testing and evaluation. Contracts should allow for immediate selection or down-selection for future development of technologies that prove successful.
- NATO should develop a more robust internal architecture for digitizing the Alliance. This would allow for more rapid testing, evaluation, and eventually networking and integration of emerging capabilities across all domains. 1
Pillar 7: Enhance Data-Sharing Among Allies
- The transatlantic community must develop more resilient systems for data collection, sharing, and storage, as well as common standards for data formats, classifications, and transfers.
- NATO nations must build more trust around risk mitigation surrounding data-sharing. The default approach must involve nations sharing as much data as possible, with justifications required for not sharing.
- NATO and its allies should invest in new technologies that support intelligence activities and streamline or secure information gathering, storage, and sharing processes.
- Governments should provide start-ups with the means to test their capabilities using government data, prior to finalizing a contract, to increase attractiveness and feasibility.
Pillar 8: Improve Interoperability and Standardization
- NATO should invest in and empower monitoring committees for enforcement and implementation of existing interoperability standards among allies, while encouraging the EU to adopt these standards as well.
- NATO and the EU should consider developing more material standards at different places along supply chains, especially for emerging defense and dual-use technologies.
- Allies should more effectively leverage national training centers to practice interoperability with new technologies at the corps and tactical levels.
- Euro-Atlantic nations must take stock of lessons learned from Russia’s war in Ukraine regarding the need for rapid production and delivery of interoperable systems.
- Develop a NATO capability to integrate diverse non-NATO military units and equipment into coalition efforts.
Pillar 9: Connect and Better Align Existing Tech Efforts
- NATO’s Defense Innovation Accelerator (DIANA) should embody a flexible approach aimed at creating multiple innovation ecosystems across countries for different fields of technologies.
- NATO could task its military authorities (international military staff), who are responsible for military budgets, to serve as coordinators for all efforts across the Alliance related to prioritizing technological capabilities and concepts for further development and operational experimentation.
- To bring together the EU, NATO, their member states, and industry players, the transatlantic community’s innovation efforts could be based on a “stone soup” model, in which each stakeholder offers what they are best suited to do. Nations could also explore a more explicit division of labor to create key technological capabilities.
- Leading allies and partners could also explore a G7-style framework where different nations, institutions, and entities (including critical industries) come together via a special envoy to establish innovation benchmarks and tech initiatives among willing nations.
- Governments should make more dedicated efforts to establish cross-governmental coordination on technology.
- The NATO ACT Innovation Hub could create a more open forum that involves other NATO entities in the development stages of their activities.
Since the end of the Cold War, the US and its NATO allies have enjoyed a capability advantage over state and non-state adversaries. 2 This advantage gap, however, has drastically shrunk in recent years. While the US and its allies spent the last two decades prioritizing counterterrorism capabilities over innovative near-peer technologies, Russia and China have been utilizing EDTs to close their traditional capability gap with NATO. These technologies – such as autonomous systems – do not seek to simply mirror NATO capabilities, but instead mitigate or even leapfrog them. As a result, NATO is no longer the main driver of new defense technologies and has fallen behind its competitors in key emerging technology areas. 3
To maintain their strategic edge in an increasingly contested world, NATO and EU nations must collaborate to leverage EDTs to enhance shared security and better prepare for future crises. Particular attention must be paid to near-term, dual-use, transformative technologies, which are rapidly affecting and overturning traditional defense methods. The ability to develop and deploy these game-changing technologies more effectively than China and Russia will shape the global role of the transatlantic Alliance in the coming decades. Allies are waking up to the need to forge a common approach to defense technology, but the window to act is narrowing.
Two major challenges inhibit a common approach. First, NATO and EU member states are each focused on somewhat different technologies, while innovating and investing at radically different levels and speeds. Recent priority lists and policy efforts, such as NATO’s DIANA and the Hub for EU Defence Innovation (HEDI) within the European Defence Agency (EDA), 4 have rightly sought to address this and hold important potential to help the Alliance pursue EDTs to transformative ends. 5 Still, insufficient coordination over time among nations and institutions has produced duplicative efforts, inefficient spending, and a concerning interoperability gap, most acutely between the US and European allies. Second, Euro-Atlantic allies diverge on key policy issues surrounding the defense application and adoption of EDTs, such as implementing common technology governance structures and managing supply-chain issues. The result is slow and stilted decision-making that impedes the Alliance’s ability to ideate, develop, and deploy defense technologies quickly enough to compete with Russia and China. These dynamics undermine NATO’s collective defense, internal cohesion, and strategic edge over Russia and China.
To address these issues, CEPA has undertaken a year-long study to set forth three elements that are missing from current literature and policy debates: 1. A systematic ranking of key defense technologies to prioritize that will give the Alliance as a whole the most strategic “return on investment” and elevate its competitive edge; 2. A common framework for addressing policy issues around EDT development and integration; and 3. A list of concrete steps toward these ends for NATO and EU member governments to take in the near term. This project will have immediate policy relevance for Euro-Atlantic government officials, helping to spur discussion, unite thinking, and motivate the development of a transatlantic strategy for defense technology.
The project’s methodology primarily involved qualitative analysis through literature research, interviews, and consultations with dozens of officials and experts across national governments, NATO, the EU, industry, think tanks, and academia. 6 This included field visits to Brussels, London, Paris, and Washington, DC to examine areas of divergence and convergence across Euro-Atlantic countries, institutions, and companies. To inform the study and gather critical feedback, the research team at CEPA also led two workshops and two red-teaming sessions with officials, scholars, and practitioners working on these issues. CEPA also presented the initial findings of this study at the 2022 Munich Security Conference.
To examine current gaps, identify solutions, and forge a sustainable path forward, this study proceeded in three phases. First, the research team assessed priority technologies through an organically assembled EDT Innovation Matrix, which ranks EDTs that the overall alliance should prioritize based on five key factors (time, need, cost, policy challenges, and impact). The assessment’s scope was confined to dual-use technologies, which are least understood and most contested within the Alliance, and yet extremely valuable and practical, given their diverse applications. Dual-use capabilities have the benefit of consistent potential revenue from defense organizations, coupled with the accelerating impact of commercial funding, which makes them most viable. More specifically, the assessment examined such technologies with near-term application timelines (i.e., currently deployed or will likely be deployed within five years), which are most relevant for immediate NATO and EU planning. This study also assessed the Alliance’s capabilities as a whole, with supplemental analysis of comparable Russian and Chinese capabilities to understand NATO’s threat environment.
Based on these parameters, the research team identified and assessed five technologies as top priorities for the Alliance’s strategic edge: space-enabled capabilities, unmanned systems, hypersonics, edge computing, and cognitive influence capabilities. 7 These were selected due to NATO’s relative need 8 based on the current and foreseeable threat environment as well as Russian and Chinese capabilities in those areas, feasibility for realization, and the transformative potential of these technologies to impact the Alliance’s capabilities as a whole vis-a-vis China and Russia in future warfare. As explained in this section of the paper, the research team decided not to focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) due to the extensive research, analysis, and literature that already exists and the fact that the authors fundamentally view AI/ML as a key enabler for all the above EDTs, rather than as a standalone capability. For further discussion, there is an additional section on excluded technologies later in this paper.
Second, the research team developed a common strategic framework to address policy divergences by formulating nine key policy pillars to guide transatlantic defense tech cooperation. Third, the researchers set out next steps for policymakers. This component of the project includes 50 short-term, concrete recommendations under each policy pillar to help nations and institutions implement the strategic framework. Finally, the research team developed a conceptual roadmap that includes one-year, three-year, and five-year key performance indicators (KPIs) to provide quantitative indicators to measure progress in implementing these recommendations as they evolve. It should be noted that the roadmap and KPIs which feature in appendix 1 of this paper represent only a working concept that will require further development and refinement over time.
This project was designed to have immediate policy relevance for NATO and EU member government officials, helping to spur discussion, unite thinking, and motivate the development of a transatlantic strategy for defense technology. The assessment’s five-factor EDT matrix provides a consistent and replicable process that transatlantic policymakers can use to reassess priorities as new technologies emerge. The assessment will offer compelling data for why these technologies should be prioritized, providing a pragmatic basis to drive further Allied consensus around these priorities in the future. The findings of the assessment seek to inform future defense strategies, budget decisions, and investments in Allied capitals and Brussels. The study’s strategic principles for a common policy framework will provide a foundation and shared language for Allied leaders to bridge divergences between US and European tech policies. By outlining a list of short-term policy recommendations in support of the framework, the study also provides a clear roadmap for Allied government officials to harness defense technology to strengthen NATO’s collective defense and strategic edge for the years to come.
III. Context and State of Play
In recent years, EDTs have quickly become integral to discussions about strategic competition and future warfare. As these technologies have advanced and proliferated, transatlantic policymakers and defense planners have begun to recognize the importance of these capabilities to the West’s strategic edge over its adversaries and competitors. While the term “innovation” has become ubiquitous, making its way into nearly every speech, strategy, and policy document, Euro-Atlantic nations and institutions have much work to do to effectively harness EDTs for collective defense and deterrence. Undoubtedly, the transatlantic community has made significant, rapid progress over the last three to five years to this end. However, significant gaps in progress remain due to a confluence of factors. To adequately understand and address these challenges and chart the way ahead, recent progress and remaining issues are explored below.
From the Global War on Terror to Strategic Competition: The Evolution of NATO, Russian, and Chinese Defense Tech Capabilities
After the Cold War, the US, NATO, and the world at large shifted focus to combating terrorism and capacity building in fragile states. 9 As a result, the urgency to develop and field new systems to combat potential near-peer competitors eroded. Without this motivation, NATO and its allies – especially larger ones – continued to develop and acquire complex, bespoke platforms which assumed permissive operating domains, such as billion-dollar satellites, multi-billion-dollar aircraft carriers, and GPS-dependent ground and air assets. This approach yielded incrementally better capabilities, but no truly game-changing technologies. 10 Concurrently, several of NATO’s largest allies drastically cut funding to their militaries and defense sectors, severely degrading previously robust capabilities. While this approach was sufficient for fighting technologically inferior non-state actors in the global war on terror, it has left NATO vulnerable in today’s renewed era of great power competition with Russia and China. 11
In the meantime, Russia and China have taken advantage of NATO’s pause in defense innovation to develop differentiated and comparatively more cost-effective area denial capabilities designed to mitigate NATO’s traditional strengths. Over the last decade, China has risen as a scientific and technological powerhouse, while Russia has more creatively and assertively pursued asymmetric advantages. Both the Kremlin and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have invested in innovation programs and EDTs that are beginning to change the character of modern warfare to their benefit. 12
Leveraging their highly centralized systems of government, Russia and China have facilitated cooperation between defense and commercial establishments to develop technologies that have already proven advantageous across military and civilian contexts. Because these authoritarian states can mobilize all elements of national power toward their technological goals, they have moved much faster than NATO or the EU, which comprise several sovereign nations bound by slow-moving, transparent, democratic, and open-market processes. China, and to a lesser extent, Russia have made major strides in artificial intelligence, military robotics, and autonomous systems, for example, which lower the cost and operational risk for Russia and China in a potential fight against NATO, whose greatest advantages are high-end, complex capabilities with high opportunity costs for their usage (e.g., manned aircraft carriers). 13 This has significant implications for NATO as a whole, creating operational challenges and rapidly narrowing its traditional capability gap. Beyond these technologies, there are several key areas where Russia and China individually have managed to gain parity or even exceed NATO capabilities or develop tools to mitigate NATO advantages. Most notably, this includes hypersonic and anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons or counter-space capabilities. 14
Russia and China have developed and deployed hypersonic cruise missiles (HCM) ahead of the US and other NATO nations. In Europe, Russia has created similar anti-access area denial (A2AD) bubbles over key areas near the Baltic and Black Seas that would restrict NATO’s navigation and operation in those critical regions. Its hypersonic weapons, such as the 3M22 Zircon, can fly so fast and low that they can penetrate NATO’s traditional anti-missile defense systems and leave insufficient time for Allied response. 15 These weapons provide Russia with a means of contending with NATO’s size, mass, and key capabilities like aircraft carriers. However, some of the limits of Russia’s military and technological capabilities have been revealed by its failures during the war in Ukraine. 16 China, in particular, has ramped up investment in hypersonics to develop enhanced A2AD bubbles which would prevent the ability of the US and its allies to project power in an expanding area. 17 The proliferation of China’s HCM arsenal is intended to mitigate the US’s blue-water navy advantage. An array of carrier-killer weapons such as the DF-26 and CH-AS-X-13, at a cost of less than $100 million can disable or even, in the event of multiple strikes, sink a $13.3 billion US aircraft carriers with over five. 18
ASATs have similar, but even farther-reaching implications. NATO capabilities are highly reliant on space-enabled capabilities including GPS, satellite communications, and geospatial intelligence for situational awareness, conducting operations, and engaging in conflicts. Without these, the ability to understand the battlespace, coordinate, and react is completely disrupted. Knowing this, Russia and China have separately developed and successfully tested ASATs multiple times over the last fourteen years to counter NATO in space. 19
These weapons pose a threat to commercial, civil, and defense assets ranging from telecommunications to the International Space Station to bespoke intelligence satellites. In the latter case, a $60 million ASAT from Russia or China can readily destroy $2 billion in national security satellites, for example. Further, as ASATs are used, particularly if on low-earth orbit (LEO) based satellites, they significantly increase the chance of a cascading effect, which could destroy dozens or even hundreds of satellites, functionally turning LEO into a dead zone. 20 This would be an economic catastrophe for the West (and the world at large). It would also render most, if not all, of NATO’s space capabilities inoperable, leaving the Alliance operationally deaf and blind.
Nevertheless, in some ways, tight government control has stifled radical innovation in Russia and China, compared to Western countries that encourage creative thinking, dissent, and risk-taking. In fact, to compensate for shortfalls in indigenous innovation, both Russia and China have orchestrated cyber espionage, hacks, and intellectual property theft from NATO countries in order to reverse engineer their own version of key EDT capabilities. 21 At the same time, their authoritarian approach has allowed the Kremlin and the CCP to actively set spending priorities, manipulate talent programs, promote national champion companies, and accelerate the development and deployment of EDTs more effectively than the free market, open systems in the US and NATO countries. 22
Unlike NATO Allies, Russia and China have also avoided constraining their innovative efforts by establishing ethical standards, legal principles, and political consensus around tech governance. Development of technology based on shared democratic values is key to ensuring that the deployment of such technologies does not undermine the strategic standing of democracy on the international stage. However, the development of such technology requires a proactive and deliberate approach to ensuring that these values are upheld. How they are to be integrated into EDTs requires prioritizing them as early as possible in the tech development cycle to ensure final products inherently embody democratic values in a way that allows them to quickly and effectively be deployed.
Looking ahead, Russia’s defense innovation efforts will likely suffer gravely as a result of its unprovoked war in Ukraine, which is ongoing at the time of writing, as well as the increasing pressure from Western sanctions that are severely damaging Russia’s economy and defense industry. While the longer-term impacts of these dynamics on Russia’s overall military and technological capacity are not yet fully understood, this creates a larger window for NATO to elevate its own technological edge. Chinese state-driven innovation efforts, however, are set to expand, intensifying the growing techno-strategic competition between Beijing and the transatlantic alliance. To ensure China does not continue to disrupt this competition in its favor, the transatlantic alliance must work together to boost cooperation on defense tech issues.
Over the last few years, US and European officials have recognized the need to cooperate around EDTs to enhance collective defense and more effectively compete with Russia and China. 23 NATO, for its part as the premier collective defense forum for Euro-Atlantic allies, has moved remarkably quickly to sharpen its focus on technology. It has emphasized EDT-related issues through its public messaging, 24 collaboration with think tanks and civil society, 25 and the 2030 reflection process. 26 In the past three years, NATO has also devised an EDT strategy, released a major report tracking defense tech trends, 27 boosted projects through the Innovation Hub at Allied Command Transformation (ACT), 28 and released the first comprehensive AI strategy for the Alliance in October 2021. 29 Perhaps most notable has been the creation of NATO’s Defense Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA), whose chartered goals are to “harness new academic, commercial, and entrepreneurial start-up technology; test and develop it as potential defense capability; and connect it more quickly to military end-user operational requirements.” 30 DIANA is intended to operate alongside the NATO Innovation Fund, the world’s first multi-sovereign venture capital fund slated to invest 1 billion euros in early-stage startups and other investment funds developing dual-use technologies relevant to NATO. 31
The Madrid Summit in June 2022 built on this progress, as the Alliance focused on the Russian threat, enhancing capabilities, and, most critically, on EDTs to aid in doing so. This EDT focus was underscored in its new Strategic Concept, released at the Summit. The Strategic Concept states: “Emerging and disruptive technologies bring both opportunities and risks. They are altering the character of conflict, acquiring greater strategic importance, and becoming key arenas of global competition. Technological primacy increasingly influences success on the battlefield.” 32 Russia’s actions in Ukraine have brought a new sense of urgency to the Alliance and highlighted the need to focus on EDTs to support the mission of deterrence and defense in Europe. The Concept places particular emphasis on space, not only as a critical technology area but more explicitly as a “warfighting” domain. Prior to 2019, NATO had avoided characterizing space in this regard in all policy documents. NATO’s new strategy clearly places emerging tech as a core element of its approach to the current and future security environment.
While NATO has a critical role to play as the core transatlantic defense organization, it is important to recognize the EU’s litany of complementary resources and mandates related to funding, regulation, and legislation around EDTs. These have also had a massive impact on the innovation ecosystem in Europe. The EU operates entities such as the European Defense Agency (EDA), European Defense Fund (EDF), Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), and more that complement NATO’s mission. It has also developed its own technologies roadmap, 33 aimed to create synergy between various European defense, civil, and space industries. Importantly, the EU recently launched the Hub for EU Defense Innovation (HEDI) 34 within the EDA. 35 The EU-US Tech and Trade Council, established in June 2021, also provides a transatlantic forum to coordinate on technology and related economic policies rooted in shared democratic values. 36 Additionally, NATO-EU collaboration on projects such as the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats 37 and the publishing of various joint declarations identifying emerging tech as a key area of collaboration for the two organizations prove the utility and necessity of working in tandem on these issues.
Aside from NATO and EU efforts, individual nations have also played a crucial role in advancing EDT and innovation initiatives. Various countries have prioritized technology as part of their own national security, having developed their own national EDT and AI strategies, as well as defense accelerators. A few examples of emerging national defense accelerators within NATO include but are not limited to: the British Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA), 38 the Portuguese Department of Innovation and Transformation (DIT), 39 the Spanish Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), 40 the French Defense Innovation Agency (AID), 41 the Leonardo-funded Italian Business Innovation Factory (BIF), 42 and the nascent German Accelerator. 43
Beyond this, some nations have also created several multilateral frameworks, such as the French Canadian-led Global Partnership on AI, and the US-led AI Partnership for Defense, which bring together willing and capable nations to coordinate on certain issues or technologies. 44 The trilateral partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the US (AUKUS), which was established in 2021, has talked of “accelerat[ing] respective defense innovation enterprises and learn[ing] from one another, including ways to more rapidly integrate commercial technologies to solve warfighting needs.” 45 AUKUS has announced specific cooperation on AI, cyber, autonomous vehicles, quantum computing, and hypersonic capabilities moving forward. 45 Each of these platforms are useful in their own right and could benefit from NATO and the EU joining to add their institutional weight. The risk with the current approach, however, is the rapid fragmentation of transatlantic efforts on EDT. If this trend continues, the result could be a diffused smattering of multilateral frameworks, each focused on a particular tech issue with a different small group of countries.
Despite this progress, much work remains to be done to ensure these new initiatives are effectively implemented, remain coordinated and largely complementary across several nations and institutions, and receive adequate resources, staffing, and empowerment. Otherwise, these efforts risk appearing as innovation theater — i.e., giving the appearance of innovation through rhetoric and surface-level efforts — as opposed to fundamental organizational change. What is desperately needed is a coordinated transatlantic strategy for competing in defense technologies.
In achieving this, part of the challenge for the Alliance is that transatlantic governments are no longer driving R&D spending for EDTs. For example, compared to the late 1980s, when US Department of Defense (DoD) R&D and business R&D were nearly equal, business R&D is now over four times greater (see graph). 46 This has left DoD, and other governments of NATO member states, incapable of setting the pace for the private sector’s innovation priorities. 47 By comparison, Russia and China, through their state-driven innovation efforts discussed above, have managed to mobilize the entirety of their military and civilian sectors and all elements of national power to set technological priorities and rapidly achieve key advancements. As a result, NATO has begun falling behind in key emerging technology areas.
As Allied governments work to regain their collective advantage over Russia and China, there are two, multi-faceted challenges in developing a transatlantic approach for defense technology.
First, NATO and EU member states are each focused on somewhat different technologies, while innovating and investing at radically different levels and speeds, with no central authority or coordinating function for all relevant stakeholders. To remedy this, NATO and the EU have worked to align their members’ tech priorities, with each organization outlining their overarching focus areas. NATO’s include AI, data and computing, autonomy, quantum-enabled technologies, biotechnology and human enhancements, hypersonic technologies, space, novel materials and manufacturing, and energy and propulsion. The EU’s key enabling technologies include advanced manufacturing, advanced materials, life-science technologies, micro/nano-electronics, and photonics, AI, and security and connectivity. The differences between these lists are understandable due the different core missions of NATO and EU. However, both should look for synergy to collaborate on common technologies of interest.
Beyond this, various Euro-Atlantic states have their own priority technologies lists catering to differing national needs, some of which overlap with the NATO and EU lists, as well as with the lists of other nations. The creation of these lists, even if not completely identical, is an important step that illustrates political will among allies to work together on defense innovation. Nevertheless, because there is no central political, financial, or legal authority to fully harmonize and enforce a focused, single set of shared priorities across all these actors, the result is by and large a patchwork of broad defense innovation efforts. 48
Adding to this lack of a single shared list is the reality that nations are innovating at drastically different levels and speeds based on budgets, talent, industrial and legal capacities, economic interests (which are often competing), and the maturity of each national innovation ecosystem. For instance, according to European Union (EU) innovation scores, Denmark performs 20% higher than the EU average, while Bulgaria performs well below 50%. 49 These scores are based on ten key dimensions 50 that provide a comparative assessment of research and innovation performance across EU members, the majority of which are also NATO Allies. The discrepancies revealed in this assessment underscore the difficulty in establishing shared defense tech priorities and getting allies to direct similar levels of resources in the same direction.
This is why NATO and the EU have established several common funds and other mechanisms to pool resources in pursuit of shared defense tech projects. 51 However, even when countries channel proportionate resources toward similar technologies, they may not necessarily focus on the same use cases, which further slows progress. This is particularly relevant across autonomous systems and space capabilities, where allies have developed new hardware for different use cases, and where they could have leveraged common platforms or buses. In short, while the Alliance may have a general list of some commonly prioritized technologies, it still lacks sufficient shared technology goals, desired end states, and specific common use cases (like those proposed as part of the 2021 NATO AI Strategy), as well as a way to enforce and implement them. 52
Second, Euro-Atlantic allies diverge, most severely between the United States and Europe, on key policy issues surrounding the defense application of EDTs, such as technology governance, data-sharing, and supply-chain issues. 53 The lack of a common policy framework impedes the Alliance’s ability to ideate, develop, and deploy defense technologies quickly enough to compete with Russia and China. Further, export controls (such as International Traffic in Arms Regulation) and data and hardware restrictions among allies prevent the development of a coherent, streamlined allied defense industrial base. These dynamics thus erode internal cohesion inside NATO and the EU and prevent the Alliance from setting a clear path to elevate its strategic edge. Additionally, it results in duplication of effort across the Alliance.
In an environment of strategic competition, transatlantic defense investment must do far more to reduce duplication and maximize return on investment (ROI). Although steps taken by NATO to develop a common strategic approach is a great step forward, more is needed to bring coherence to allied efforts. A more comprehensive common framework to assess, prioritize, enable, and accelerate the development and deployment of EDTs is needed to ensure NATO achieves greater progress in the development and fielding of these technologies to strengthen deterrence and defense. Without this, the Alliance may end up fighting the last war rather than the next one.
IV. Priority Technologies
As mentioned above, NATO, the EU, and their member nations have made progress in identifying common defense tech priorities. However, to further refine these into a more focused set of specific shared goals and provide compelling data to help enforce these priorities across allied nations, this study has developed an EDT Innovation Matrix. The EDT Innovation Matrix is a five-factor graph to assign a holistic prioritization level to individual EDTs. The Matrix assesses technologies based on five key factors: the time it will take to develop the technology, the immediate need for the technology, an educated estimation of cost, presumed policy challenges to development and implementation, and the transformative potential of each EDT. This approach ensures that EDTs are examined through a similar lens and works to prevent recency bias.
This is a tool that can be used by NATO and the EU to identify and rank priority technologies for the institutions, but nations can also use it to determine where their national priorities converge and diverge with multinational focus areas. The Matrix allows for concrete quantitative analysis of EDTs, which can help institutions and nations align perspectives and build consensus around tech priorities. This framework can also help nascent bodies such as the NATO Innovation Fund and DIANA chart their strategic direction and develop project selection criteria.
Importantly, the EDT Innovation Matrix is not just a static ranking of current technologies. Rather, it provides a replicable framework for allies to assess and balance future tech priorities. For example, as new technology suites – particularly those centered around AI – come online, the Matrix can act as a basic framework to conceptualize future strategies and prioritization across the Alliance. The EDT Innovation Matrix can help ensure that the Alliance’s EDT strategy and priorities remain relevant as the threat environment and technological landscape rapidly evolves.
The EDT Innovation Matrix below uses five variables, coded qualitatively and quantitatively by way of a cross-sectional literature review of the following:
- Time: How long it will take to develop and deploy a technology (low, medium, high).
- Need: Whether that technology: (a) meets a current met need (b) meets a current unmet need, or (c) meets a future capability need for the Alliance, compared to Russia and China in the threat environment and current landscape.
- Impact: The potential for the EDT to act as a core solution (existing solution to an existing problem) with relatively low risk and generating low impact, an adjacent solution (existing solution to a new challenge) possessing medium risk and producing medium impact, or a truly transformational solution (new solution, new challenge) with high risk and potential for high impact.
- Cost: Whether it will take a limited, medium, or a significant amount of capital to develop, deploy, and sustain the technology in question.
- Policy Challenges: Whether there are limited, medium, or significant policy barriers associated with the technology’s realization.
To demonstrate the utility of the framework and exemplify the EDT Innovation Matrix, this study selected and ranked five technologies that can give the Alliance the most strategic ROI and elevate its competitive edge.
This assessment was scoped to focus on EDTs that are principally dual use in nature, in line with NATO’s current list of priorities. Least understood and most contested within the Alliance (with respect to how they can be deployed), dual-use technologies bring more value to governments due to their diverse applications and serve as key enablers for the Alliance across a wide spectrum of military and civilian capabilities. They are also easier to fund, from both government and private-sector sources, given their broader commercial potential. While this study focuses on the military applications of these technologies, these attributes make dual-use technologies particularly attractive and practical as priorities for the Alliance. This assessment also focused on technologies with near-term military application timelines (i.e., currently deployed or will likely be deployed within five years), which are most relevant for immediate NATO planning and require urgent attention.
Within these parameters, this study identified the following five technologies as key priorities for the Alliance: space-enabled capabilities, unmanned systems, hypersonics, edge computing, and cognitive influence capabilities. 54 These were selected due to their relative need, feasibility (based on required time, cost, and policy barriers), and potential for transformative impact on the Alliance’s overall capability vis-à-vis Russia and China in future warfare. 55
1. Space-Enabled Capabilities
Space-enabled capabilities such as geospatial intelligence, GPS, and satellite communications, provide better, more real-time intelligence to decision-makers. They also enable military headquarters to effectively manage battlespaces and constitute the core capability connecting platforms and warfighters across the globe. 56 In recent years, the use of these capabilities has proliferated across the defense, commercial, and civil arenas. In turn, NATO’s dependence on these capabilities, both as enablers and core technologies, has drastically increased.
The establishment of space forces across adversaries and allies over the last decade is a key contributor to this, along with the growing democratization of these technologies, which were previously only under the purview of major state actors. More players mean more risks for the Alliance, which has become accustomed to having the upper hand in the space domain. Exacerbating the challenge is the growing ability of commercial tools to replicate national defense capabilities – a phenomenon that will only accelerate with the broader space market predicted to exceed $1 trillion by 2038. 57 At the same time, Russia and China are leading new efforts to develop and employ space capabilities apart from NATO-driven international space arrangements, 58 and have demonstrated their ability to manipulate commercial activities for their own geopolitical gain. 59
Russia and China have different capabilities and legacy technologies, but similar aims. First, they have recognized space as a warfighting domain longer than the US or NATO and, thus, believe space is critical to their own future operations and broader great power competition. 60 Beyond that, both have also learned that while the US and NATO were able to dominate key warfighting domains during the West’s global war on terror, the vast majority of their capabilities rely on access and freedom to act in space. Russia and China would like to dominate space, but in the near term, their aims are focused on the ability to mitigate the West’s positioning. Further, if tensions escalate, they want to be able to readily disrupt tools, such as GPS and satellite communications, which NATO relies on to pursue operations. US forces have detected evidence of Russia using local GPS jamming during the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022. 61 It is yet to affect their operations but it is unknown what the effects have been on local forces on the ground. 62 63
2. Unmanned Systems
Unmanned systems (UxS) have traditionally been key sources of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities, while more recently providing the ability to directly strike targets. They provide this capability at an order of magnitude with lower cost than manned aerial assets while minimizing risk to pilots’ lives. 64 This makes them attractive in terms of feasibility and impact, especially to Russia and China which rely on these asymmetric, low-cost tools to upend NATO and US high-end capabilities. Their use is increasingly transformative, as they have had a significant force-multiplying effect when paired with other assets. This was evidenced in the recent Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which showcased new applications of drones with which Allies are still grappling. 65
Unmanned aerial vehicle’s (UAVs) have played a significant role in Ukraine’s fight against Russia, with Ukrainian forces aiming to build an “army of drones” that will allow for constant monitoring of the frontline. This is coupled with the thousands of commercial drones that are used for real-time battlefield intelligence. 66 UxS, particularly unmanned aerial systems (UAS), also have several valuable civil and commercial uses, including delivering packages and supplies 67 and transporting critical medical aid, 68 which can support allied civilians and militaries. This adds to their appeal as low-cost, low-risk, high-reward capabilities.
The need for NATO to harness these capabilities is rising, especially as UxS continue to evolve and gain new and enhanced features as individual platforms, swarms, and augmentation to existing operations. Beyond UAS, unmanned surface vehicles, unmanned underwater vehicles, and unmanned ground vehicles are coming online across the world with relatively short timelines. 69 Many of these also have commercial uses similar to UAS and will benefit from significant revenue growth from the private sector, from retail customers to power companies. While some doctrinal and regulatory issues have yet to be addressed, there are already some policy initiatives underway for UxS, which can facilitate quicker adoption. As these capabilities continue to shape the competitive space, whoever harnesses them quickest and most effectively will have an important advantage, especially on the side of counter-UxS.
Hypersonics are game-changing due to their ability to impact decision-making and mitigate adversaries’ capability advantages. At their core, hypersonic weapons are high-speed weapons that allow for a combination of greater maneuverability, range, survivability, and transformative responses. 70 As they mature, these weapons will be able to render even current state-of-the-art defense systems largely ineffective. Hypersonics have the potential to shift the global balance of power and transform the existing capability gap between NATO and near-peer competitors, as well as potential emerging powers. Furthermore, hypersonic propulsion systems developed by the military could be adapted to meet civil and commercial needs for space capabilities or even commercial transport. 71 This increases their overall strategic value.
The forthcoming generation of hypersonic weapons will drastically shorten decision and reaction times at both tactical and strategic levels. Compared to traditional intercontinental ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, hypersonics combine speed exceeding that of intercontinental ballistic missiles, along with the high-end maneuverability of a cruise missile. If used by adversaries, these two factors can mitigate the US’s and NATO’s capability advantage in areas such as its blue-water navy, overseas bases, and associated power projection.
Because next-generation hypersonics do not need to travel a straight line to their targets, they are harder to defeat once airborne. They exacerbate the risk or increase the likelihood of success of high-impact events, particularly decapitation strikes, as their trajectory – unlike ballistic trajectories – cannot be predicted. There is an urgent need for developing defense capabilities for hypersonic weapons. Further, it is difficult to determine who fired them, which also makes it challenging to deter or retaliate against a hypersonic attack. 71 This increases the risk of miscalculation and unintended escalation, underscoring the need for NATO to focus on these capabilities.
4. Edge Computers
Edge computing brings mobile computing and data processing solutions to the network’s edge, where the users and devices are located in the field. Because this data does not have to travel back to a center to be processed, it enables faster analysis and more timely and relevant insights. 72 Edge computing has high-impact effects on issues spanning homeland security, civil emergency response, crisis management, and multi-domain military operations which make it extremely valuable to the Alliance’s wide range of activities. In the latter case, it has enormous benefits for militaries, supporting more seamless joint command and control (C2), connecting sensors to shooters, enhancing situational awareness, providing real-time data to personnel in the field, and enabling rapid response. 73
Edge computing also provides a foundation to empower lower-level commanders to make decisions in time-sensitive situations, particularly where decision speed is critical. As reach back cannot be guaranteed in today’s contested environment, flattening the “sensor to shooter” architecture and pushing data forward is a game changer. The results of this will have a profound impact on the way NATO fights and reacts to conflict and pre-conflict scenarios. These capabilities also provide the foundation for multi-domain operations, which is the future framework for US and NATO operations. 73
Edge computing systems are quickly becoming more available at lower costs, in part to keep up with commercial and industrial needs. 74 They are in turn becoming more integral to military activities, underscoring the need for the Alliance to keep up. Disagreements over data-sharing, privacy, and intellectual property regulation will inhibit the rapid adoption of edge technologies at the transatlantic level. However, the need may outpace the policy challenges. The ability to generate insights and rapid response at both the tactical and strategic levels is critical to winning the next fight. 75 Edge computing could be a key enabling capability for NATO’s intent to strengthen deterrence and defense, especially forward presence in the East, announced at the Madrid Summit. 76 Without the capabilities edge computing brings, NATO would be left operating on a Cold War hub-and-spoke model that cannot keep up with the changing character of warfare.
5. Cognitive Influence Capabilities
Cognitive influence capabilities combine information warfare and cyber tools to target a population to alter how they think, and consequently, how they act. 77 The ability to manipulate foreign societies from within and quietly infiltrate their leaders’ decision-making processes can determine the result of hostilities before they ever conventionally start. In today’s hyper-connected world of individual devices, apps, and myriad media sources, it has never been easier to influence public opinion, elections, information flows, and even behavior inside adversary countries. 78 Already, Russia and China have actively used cyber espionage, data hack-and-release tactics, disinformation, psychological operations, and similar tools against the transatlantic community, creating pervasive threats that fall below NATO’s traditional threshold of armed conflict and impede swift response. 79 These methods provide a low-cost, relatively quick option with high impact. For example, they allow Russia and China to destabilize NATO from within without ever firing a shot. This is the Alliance’s greatest shortfall, and a key vulnerability affecting strategic competition with Russia and China. 79
As adversaries continue to push the limits of these capabilities, NATO must develop cognitive influence superiority. In the Cold War, NATO maintained a robust set of cognitive influence capabilities, which it subsequently lost as great power competition subsided. 80 As technology has advanced in the cyber and information domains, the Alliance must urgently relearn how to take back the initiative and rebuild an innovative toolbox to shape its adversaries’ mindsets. The policy challenge for Allies will be to develop and deploy these tools in a way that is consistent with NATO’s shared values and principles such as human rights and the rule of law. 81 As has been clearly demonstrated in Russia’s recent full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the ability to win the war of hearts and minds will be at the center of any future conflict.
EDT Innovation Matrix
The five selected technologies were assessed within the stated parameters. A demonstration of the replicable EDT Innovation Matrix may be seen below. Both visuals provide alternative ways in which the assessment can be presented.
For a chosen EDT, an assessment is made using the five variables identified. 1) Time: Low, Medium, High; 2) Need: Met, Unmet, Future; 3) Impact: Core, Adjacent, Transformational; 4) Cost: Limited, Medium, Significant; 5) Policy Challenge: Limited, Medium, Significant. The five colors represent the level of challenge regarding that specific variable. The colors can be seen as a visual representation of a scale of 1-5 (1= dark green and 5 = red).
It must be noted that the color is a distinct assessment from the word. For example, although unmanned systems (UAS) meet a current need, it is coded as red because there are significant gaps within UAS such as the lack of effective counter-UAS systems and operating ability in denied environments.
In the chart format each of the five variables of the EDT Innovation Matrix are represented visually. 1) Time and 2) Need are shown on the axes, and 3) Impact is on the background of the chart. The 4) Cost is represented by the size of the circle and 5) Policy Challenges is represented by the color of the circle.
A key technology excluded from this assessment is machine learning (ML) as a subset of artificial intelligence (AI). AI and ML capabilities hold transformative potential for expanding knowledge, increasing prosperity, enhancing security, and enriching the human experience. This technology will be a source of enormous power for countries that harness them, fueling competition between governments and companies racing to employ them for strategic ambitions. 82 However, as governments have placed an increasing emphasis on the development and adoption of AI, including for security and defense, a vast new body of literature has emerged on these technologies. 83
Policy discussions on the security applications of AI and ML have become commonplace across Washington, DC; Brussels; and Allied capitals, and national strategies for AI have already been released. 84 As a shared understanding of these issues grows, the research team decided not to focus on AI/ML as a technological priority in isolation, but rather as an enabling technology present across virtually all emerging technology suites, including the five outlined above.
Other key technologies excluded from this particular assessment that could be prioritized in the slightly longer term include quantum-enabled technologies, synthetic training environments, CRISPR-enabled biological warfare, strategically effective cyberattacks, civil information integration (e.g. smartphones used for targeting in Ukraine), and directed energy, among others.
V. Toward a Transatlantic Policy Framework for Defense Tech Cooperation
Perhaps even more important than identifying common transatlantic technological priorities is the need to develop a shared policy framework to act upon these priorities. NATO, the EU, individual nations, and industry leaders all have unique roles to play in helping the Alliance more effectively harness emerging technologies for its own defense, deterrence, and strategic advantages. However, one critical element is missing: a shared transatlantic policy framework to help align actions across all these stakeholders. Such a policy framework would provide a common lens through which NATO, the EU, and their member nations can conceive, discuss, coordinate, and implement all efforts to enhance the Alliance’s technological edge. This blueprint would serve as a basis for stronger cooperation with industry practitioners – who are the key drivers of innovation – as well as stronger coordination with other like-minded nations outside the Euro-Atlantic area, including those in the Indo-Pacific. Such coordination will be critical for competing against China’s technological rise.
As with all policy frameworks, they are only as valuable as their implementation. The authors recommend developing an accompanying roadmap with key performance indicators (KPIs) to help measure the progress and implementation of the recommendations. An initial idea is provided in Appendix 1.
The following core pillars should serve as the foundation for this transatlantic policy framework for defense tech cooperation:
1. Forge a Common Assessment of the Technology Competition
While most Euro-Atlantic governments and institutions acknowledge the importance of investing in defense tech, differing views on how to approach Russia and China drive disparate budgetary priorities, policy development, and levels of political will to act. To harmonize collective efforts, Euro-Atlantic allies and partners need a deeper, shared threat assessment of the tech competition. This would also provide a basis to cooperate with like-minded partners outside NATO and the EU. To be more proactive, allies and partners must shift their mindset away from examining tech threats and toward exploring tech opportunities. The Alliance cannot afford to be reactive, waiting to see how Russia, China, or other actors may weaponize emerging technologies. Instead, it must shape the competition and anticipate future needs to stay ahead of the curve.
- EU member states and Allies must utilize the EU Strategic Compass and NATO Strategic Concept as starting points to develop a shared understanding and assessment of the tech competition and create a sense of urgency for policymakers to act. Russia’s war in Ukraine should be a stark reminder of the need for the Alliance to compete and win across all domains and the imperative to invest early in the right capabilities.
- The US and EU should use their ongoing dialogue on security and defense to align approaches to Russia and China. This should include candid discussions and evaluations of each actor’s strategic aims, technological capabilities, doctrine, exercises, recent activities, and associated policies.
- NATO should leverage its political guidance and Defence Planning Process to encourage a forward-looking approach to defense tech investment. Empower the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) and the Science and Technology Organization (STO) to drive capability development priorities that push the Alliance to create strategic dilemmas for its competitors, not just respond to current threats.
- Based on a shared threat assessment of the tech competition, NATO must adapt its doctrine, training, and warfighting techniques, drawing on the NATO Warfighting Capstone Concept managed by NATO Allied Command Transformation and led by the Military Committee. These efforts must be mainstreamed across the Alliance to create a common intelligence and operational picture of the strategic environment.
2. Facilitate Faster Adoption of Technology
Many Euro-Atlantic nations and institutions have their own lists of priority technologies and nascent tech strategies, some of which overlap with each other. However, many of these plans are too focused on the technologies themselves (i.e., investing in AI because it is important), as opposed to the desired effect (i.e., what exactly the AI will be used for). If transatlantic entities channel their efforts into solving a few specific collective problems with tech, they could better align R&D funds and maximize results. Tying innovation projects to specific use cases and direct paths to production contracts would facilitate faster adoption of technology. This requires a shift in focus from individual technologies to a more holistic focus on desired capabilities and outcomes. While an over-emphasis on use cases can constrain innovation in the private sector, this approach can be effective for multilateral cooperation.
- Nations must avoid stocking the shelves with “technology for technology’s sake” by focusing on specific desired effects. Allies should agree to work on three to five key use cases for each of NATO’s nine priority technologies and develop, procure, and deploy based on that.
- NATO, the EU, and member nations should focus funding on supporting procurement and adoption, as opposed to strictly R&D. For example, the majority of the European Defense Fund (EDF) goes toward development, and there is limited follow-up to get nations to buy capabilities that have been created. Adoption-dedicated funding initiatives would help address the “valley of death” between concept and production. The recently endorsed NATO Innovation Fund should consider how to promote Allies’ procurement and adoption of capabilities proven feasible and promising through successful R&D efforts.
3. Improve the Regulatory Environment
Despite the stated desire to increase transatlantic tech cooperation, many governments have failed to sufficiently adjust the regulatory environment to better facilitate such collaboration. Major legislative barriers such as International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which governs export controls and tech transfer, as well as complex, slow-moving contracting processes hinder innovation. They impede multinational collaboration, complicate intellectual property (IP) management, and make it costly and time-intensive for the industry to do business with governments. The current regulatory environment not only reflects a general distrust of industry, it also underscores the ongoing competition for economic interests among transatlantic nations over industrial base issues. This is particularly the case with private businesses that seek a profit to advance the interests of the nation, also known as “national champions,” many of which are still owned in part by various European governments. A greater sense of urgency among nations to put the long-term collective good of the alliance above short-term economic gains would help find ways to relax or work around legislative barriers that impede allied interests in the tech competition with Russia and China.
Another regulatory priority is the need to establish shared transatlantic principles to govern how defense and dual-use tech is deployed, in order to shape the rules of the road before Russia and China do so. A lack of shared transatlantic principles to govern EDTs will have a direct impact on collaborative innovation, interoperability, and the ability to create a unified value proposition for a democratic technology model to compete with the authoritarian model of Russia and China.
- The US ought to strengthen its defense industrial base by opening it to more close, trusted allies. At the same time, European nations must reduce protectionist policies which favor “national champions” at the expense of both domestic startups and allied nations. Leveraging NATO and the EU’s collective technological expertise requires a ‘best in breed’ approach, not a best of political backing.
- The US and EU could catalyze a new dialogue on export controls through the US-EU Tech and Trade Council, with NATO involved, to reduce barriers to multinational tech cooperation. This could involve creating a transatlantic tech access clearing center focused on dual-use exports, tech transfer, research protection, and creating a shared certification system for trustworthy vendors (e.g., if a company gets verified to work with one member nation, they would be automatically certified through this system to work with other NATO and EU members). 85 Lessons should be drawn from the tech-sharing aspects of AUKUS which established tri-lateral cooperation on AI, cyber and quantum computing, hypersonic capabilities, and information sharing to examine if these mechanisms can be applied to other international frameworks.
- For companies from trusted NATO Allies, the US should streamline the process for establishing a proxy board, which is required for foreign tech companies to do business in the US through a US holding. This would open the door to new companies offering innovative capabilities.
- The US should create a corps of top tech talent (US citizens) who may maintain their security clearances even if they leave government or classified contracts. Currently, clearances are difficult to gain sponsorship for and often go inactive shortly after an individual leaves government service or stops supporting the classified contract to which they are attached. This cadre model would ensure experienced tech experts can support classified work on a short-term basis or with limited notice, rather than having to go through lengthy (often a year or longer) hiring and/or security clearance processes. This would make it easier for key personnel to transfer across public and private sector positions without having to go through a new (re)investigation, an onerous process that stifles the mobility of tech talent.
- Euro-Atlantic nations should make it more difficult for Russia and China to access Western commercial tech (through legal and illegal means), which they can manipulate for military and security purposes. This would involve deeper coordination to tighten export controls, foreign investment screening, foreign research partnerships, etc.
- Europe and the US need to work together to offset major defense tech supply chain vulnerabilities created by economic dependence, particularly in manufacturing and semiconductors, on China. Allies should coordinate to illuminate vulnerabilities and develop legislation and common approaches to promote chain resilience, transparency, and security of supply, particularly for micro technologies and rare earth materials. 86 Examples of this would include developing a transatlantic open-source intelligence database that identifies and tracks investors and companies with links to the Chinese state or state-backed enterprises. To make this most impactful, the analytic frameworks and tools should be deployed via an expert cadre using a training-of-trainers methodology.
- which could be done at the working level under the next Joint Declaration on NATO-EU Cooperation. Furthermore, these principles must be developed with input from other relevant bodies such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and United Nations (UN). Guiding principles for defense technology use and deployment could include proportionality, lethality/precision, reciprocity, verification, and the human element of tech. These can build on what already exists in the industry, including NATO’s AI strategy, the EU’s digital strategies, etc.
4. Incorporate Nontraditional Partners to Inspire Radical Innovation
Current government procurement and innovation cycles tend to favor large traditional defense companies, or “primes,” which have the knowledge, experience, and capital to navigate lengthy and complex contracting procedures. This makes it difficult for new players, such as start-ups driving radical innovation, to break in. Bureaucracies are often naturally risk-averse and hesitant to work with nontraditional players which can be more volatile. Yet there is a longer-term risk in not exploring these options, specifically that without them, Western governments could be left behind. To stimulate real innovation, governments must make big bets, embrace failure as an option, and commit to engaging these partners, especially those housing dual-use technologies outside of the defense realm. Pushing start-ups to be sub-contractors under primes does not always create mutually beneficial arrangements, therefore governments should also provide more agile contract models for nontraditional companies.
- Rather than prescribing a solution and over-specifying requirements, governments should present a challenge to industry and academia with competitions and let them develop a wide range of possible solutions. Governments should also allocate funding to these competitions in a manner similar to the XPRIZE Foundation’s approach and NavalX and DARPA hackathons.Government support would encourage investors to innovate around competitions using their own independent research and development (IRAD) and allow different kinds of players to participate.
- Competitions and early awards must be linked to funds for procurement. They should also have clear pathways to transition to full contracts. To encourage scaling and further production opportunities, governments could establish an incentive program in which, if a new capability succeeds beyond the first procurement to a second customer, the first is paid back or rewarded monetarily for taking the initial risk.
- Euro-Atlantic governments should also convince more venture capital (VC) firms to invest in defense startups, recognizing the returns will not be immediate but can have major long-term payoffs. VCs should be able to contribute to and beef up early awards from governments, where they see opportunities for scaling between prototyping and production (see RDER Fund as an example). At the same time, governments should provide more matching of VC funds for smaller companies and convertible loans and grants.
- Governments should utilize more agile contract models that have quicker award timelines, more money upfront, and more flexible milestones for evaluating progress and measuring deliverables, especially to accommodate start-ups.
- One mechanism for doing this is the US’s Other Transaction Authority (OTA), which should be backed up with more funding. Other options include using more small business research grants which have shorter phases and quicker transitions to higher resource levels. The NavalX Tech Bridges is a model that can be adopted by NATO and the EU. This model provides Small Business Innovation Research grants (SBIRS) to start-ups without the means to break into the defense industry.
- More flexible contracts should also be utilized in government-to-government R&D partnerships, which often require fully fledged concepts that require lengthy approvals in advance. This not only constrains innovation by over-prescribing the methods and final product but also disincentivizes multinational tech collaboration. Instead, governments should use memoranda of understanding (MOUs) which allow the participating organizations and companies something closer to “carte blanche,” where they get to decide how best to achieve the objective presented. The US DoD Defense Innovation Unit provides a good example of a possible model that allows for this flexibility. 87
- Governments and military services should look to national special operations forces for more flexible models for engaging with the tech industry.
- As part of more flexible contracts, governments should find ways to lease intellectual property associated with new tech, as opposed to needing to buy it outright. Because IP is often the only profitable asset start-ups can claim, this is a disincentive for them to do business with governments.
- Governments should make it easier for their contracting officers to take risks on new companies and nontraditional players. One way to do this is to create a specific category of awards for nontraditional companies which are capped at a certain value to minimize risk for the program manager if the project fails.
- Large companies or primes should offer more programs for nontraditional players (with whom they often partner or subcontract) in which they offer to hold their security clearances, provide workspaces, and give tutoring for navigating government contracting, without onerous terms for the startups.
- The EU should provide a platform for small, innovative companies to demonstrate their technologies to multiple countries at the same time. This would provide new opportunities and visibility for start-ups who do not have the resources and capacity to travel to each individual country to do demos and pitch their capability several times.
- The US and larger European countries should explore lessons learned from small countries such as Latvia and Estonia who have never had massive traditional defense primes. As governments, they work directly with start-ups and nontraditional organizations striving to create new legal and contracting mechanisms that comply with EU-level legislation. These practices could be applied elsewhere across the transatlantic community.
- Nontraditional players who have been through government contracting processes should collaborate on a book of best practices to help future start-ups. The NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG) could offer to develop similar books of best practices on how to work with NATO procurement agencies, such as the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA) and the NATO Supply and Procurement Agency (NSPA).
5. Continuously Scout for Tech Solutions and Talent
The private sector spends five times as much on R&D as the public sector and thus has outpaced it in driving innovation priorities. Transatlantic governments and institutions often struggle to understand what solutions exist on the market to solve their most pressing problems – especially when those solutions exist outside the defense realm. Part of the issue stems from the lack of key technical talent inside governments and institutions who understand their organizations’ needs and have the time, network, and expertise to scrape technology from the field and share that information among NATO Allies. While it is difficult to compete with private-sector salaries, NATO, the EU, and governments must better recruit, retain, and fund these roles.
- Governments should educate civil servants and military officers on tech issues earlier in their careers. They also need to have realistic pathways and roles to use these skills as they move up the value chain. Governments should provide more opportunities for short assignments for civil servants and military officers in tech companies. One good example of this is the US Secretary of Defense Executive Fellows Program which sees senior officer serve in the C-Suite of Fortune 100 firms for up to a year.
- NATO and the EU should create an accessible set of shared definitions of key technologies, ensuring all parties are aligned when discussing needs and searching for solutions
- NATO, the EU, and their nations should host more “pitch days” and innovation contests with rapid, commercially significant awards attached to discover potential new solutions and talent.
- NATO and the EU could also create a shared database of relevant startups discovered through these innovation contests so people across the organizations can benefit from this knowledge.
- NATO, the EU, and their nations must employ more people dedicated to scouting tech that comes from the field, scanning the horizon for tech opportunities, and sharing that information among allies. Governments should create and fund more billets for these types of roles across Euro-Atlantic ministries of defense and NATO and the EU for technical experts to do this work. These individuals could be aggregated into a network of tech experts across transatlantic countries. This is an opportunity to draw in intellectually rich countries across the Alliance, specifically those that may be financially poor but offer talent and personnel that can contribute to transatlantic innovation efforts as part of a broader ecosystem. This is something the West can leverage over Russia and China.
- At the same time, more “tour of duty” assignments should be made available and accessible to leading tech and business talent to bring their expertise into government for one to three-year stints. This should take place outside of traditional, slow-moving hiring mechanisms such as USAJOBS or the NATO hiring process.
- Governments also need to work together, through screenings of research partnerships and university collaborations, to prevent foreign malign influence through tech talent. The US and Europe ought to keep Chinese government-affiliated organizations from using Western talent, grants, and resources to outcompete NATO and enhance its own technological edge.
6. Increase Testing and Evaluation
Another pressing challenge is encouraging governments to invest in testing and evaluation procedures and facilities that enable companies to better demonstrate the value of their technology, allowing them to adapt to institutional needs, help operators become comfortable with new systems, and ultimately lead to easier integration. NATO, the EU, and their governments should create more incentives, pathways, and resources to help industry get to, and through, the prototyping and testing phase.
- Governments should provide more sustained, long-term, fungible resources to support innovation – not just to support R&D, but rather to support prototyping, testing, procurement (funding for which is largely taken up by legacy systems), and private sector engagement initiatives. As part of these incentive packages and processes, they should also facilitate more industry-warfighter contact, which allows companies to adjust and deliver more quickly and accurately and get operators more comfortable with the tech. US Fifth Fleet Task Force 59 is a successful model of operators working closely with industry, academia and other experts to provide real world feedback and driving the innovation process forward. 88
- NATO and the EU should develop shared parameters across Allies to evaluate tech performance, success, and risk.
- NATO should give nations more opportunities to test advanced technologies (beyond TRL-5/6, where nations have already done initial testing) in large-scale, field exercises. The value of contact between maturing advanced technologies, commanders, and operators and feedback from the latter are priceless to industry and warfighters alike.
- Governments and institutions should undertake more tabletop exercises and wargames with emerging tech components. NATO must establish test and evaluation facilities and capabilities that enable live-fire testing where needed but also takes advantage of the promise of synthetic environments to test new technologies jointly.
- This could be done by establishing physical facilities to improve the ability of development partners (government, academia, and industry) to test early prototypes and host large-scale technological integration events. These facilities would reduce the risk to startups by providing locations to test new, and potentially dangerous, technologies and systems.
- Synthetic environments can be a core element of the innovation process, allowing technical teams to experiment together as they design and build new capabilities. Virtual mockups of future weapon systems or platforms can aid and de-risk acquisition decisions, helping to condense timelines and speed the delivery and fielding of new capabilities. These facilities could later be used by military units to evolve the tactics, techniques, and procedures needed to best employ new technological systems.
- The promise of combining live-fire and synthetics environments for test and evaluation is being actively explored by US Army Test and Evaluation Command as they look to speed up development cycles and reduce costs. 89 The US Navy demonstrated the value of synthetic environments in enabling large-scale exercises. They completed a first-of-its-kind large-scale exercise in 2021 using both simulated environments as well as ships at sea, engaging 25,000 personnel and over 25 ships (some in port using simulation while others were at sea) across 17 time zones, 3 global combatant commands, and more than 12 command staffs. 90
- Governments should provide more implementation pathways from testing and evaluation. Contracts should allow for the immediate selection or down-selection (in competitive events) for future development of technologies proven successful in testing and evaluation. Competing industries, especially startups, are most interested and incentivized when testing and evaluation is part of or will lead to a contract or purchase of end products or services.
- NATO should develop a more robust internal architecture for digitizing the Alliance. This is crucial for future mission networking and linking NATO forces and capabilities to deter and defend at speed. Importantly, this would allow for more rapid testing, evaluation, and eventually networking and integration of emerging capabilities across all domains during exercises, indications and warnings, and times of need. 1
7. Enhance Data-Sharing Among Allies
Data-sharing is an integral aspect of the Alliance’s ability to compete with China and Russia from tech development all the way through to deployment. Allies and partners should be able to share sensitive technologies, data, and intellectual property that can enhance their collective advantage. Major capabilities, such as joint all domain command and control (JADC2), and the technologies that enable them, such as AI algorithms, hinge on data moving across stakeholders and networks. Yet, this remains challenging. In part, this is due to technical issues, regulatory constraints, classification, and bureaucratic tensions that prevent sharing. But it is also due to a lack of trust among governments that shared data or IP will be protected and used for mutually beneficial purposes. Additionally, in light of the increasing reliance on dual-use technologies, more work must also be done to understand the impact of data-focused legislation, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Digital Services Act (DSA), and Digital Markets Act (DMA), on NATO’s ability to leverage technology for military purposes.
- At the technical level, the transatlantic community must develop more resilient systems for data collection, sharing, and storage, as well as common standards for data formats, classifications, and transfers.
- At the political level, nations must build more trust around risk mitigation surrounding data-sharing. Small multinational projects that involve data-sharing across borders and companies could be helpful confidence-building measures to start. Officials in allied capitals should work more closely with national intelligence chiefs to support and enforce data-sharing agreed upon at the political level and increase understanding of who sees and retains data. This would be supplemented by the security procedures already in place. The default approach must be for nations to share as much as possible, with justifications required for not sharing. As others have suggested, one approach to increasing sharing could include creating tiers of Allied countries that are cleared for different levels of sharing, although this could damage allied cohesion, which is critical to NATO’s functioning.
- NATO and its Allies should invest in new technologies that support intelligence activities and streamline or secure information gathering, storage, and sharing processes. NATO would benefit from more industry engagement here to understand what solutions exist in this space. This should include leveraging economies of scale to acquire solutions or data that multiple nations need, such as Earth observation imagery.
- As a part of industry engagement, the impact of data-focused regulations needs to be explored. Vast amounts of data needed for effective tech development are no longer controlled by governments but rather by private companies. Data-sharing and “dual-use” data mechanisms must be explored and established.
- Governments should provide start-ups with some way to test their capabilities with government data prior to contract. This would create a more streamlined mechanism to sample capabilities for their designed use, allowing the governments interested in acquiring the technology to see it in action and the respective companies to adapt accordingly.
8. Improve Interoperability and Standardization
Interoperability is critical to ensure allies and partner technologies, capabilities, and forces can work together. Several useful interoperability initiatives and standards exist, especially within NATO, but they are sometimes difficult to implement, evaluate, and enforce. Transatlantic institutions should explore how to empower existing mechanisms and monitoring committees to assist with enforcement in multinational contexts. Going forward, interoperability must be integrated from ideation to development and eventual deployment, rather than as an afterthought.
- NATO should invest in and empower monitoring committees for enforcement and implementation of interoperability standards across its Allies. This could involve strengthening existing NATO bodies and authorities and developing a reporting mechanism requiring NATO Military Authorities to regularly inform the North Atlantic Council of progress and issues in interoperability. Simultaneously, encouraging the EU to adopt these standards remains critical as well.
- While NATO’s interoperability standards are already robust, NATO and the EU should consider developing more materiel standards at different places along supply chains, especially for new defense and dual-use technologies. Significant funding should be dedicated to these efforts. As an example, Allies could create a log of NATO-approved design patterns for technologies like AI. If companies follow these patterns in developmental stages, they should remain interoperable with NATO systems.
- Allies should more effectively leverage national training centers to practice interoperability with new technologies at tactical levels.
- Euro-Atlantic nations must take stock of lessons learned from Russia’s war in Ukraine regarding the need for rapid production and delivery of interoperable systems. The recent hikes in defense spending due to the war must be effectively channeled to produce the most critical, highly interoperable systems and equipment that are needed now.
- Develop a NATO capability to integrate diverse non-NATO military units and equipment into coalition efforts. The Ukrainian example of integration of US, Russian, German, and UK equipment into its combat efforts is instructive and a harbinger of future requirements.
9. Connect and Better Align Existing Tech Efforts
The growing focus on emerging tech across the transatlantic community has led to the proliferation of innovation funds and bodies, but many of them lack the right authorities, mandates, resources, structure, or talent. Allies and partners have diverging views on how these frameworks should be used. There is a risk of fragmented efforts, duplication, and innovation theater. Different funding instruments across NATO, EU, and member nations should be brought together to better leverage joint scaling opportunities. Innovation and investment cycles across governments should be aligned and accelerated. Current entities should be properly empowered and staffed.
- NATO’s Defense Innovation Accelerator (DIANA) should embody a flexible approach aimed at creating multiple innovation ecosystems across countries for different fields of technologies. DIANA should have a managing director (similar to DARPA) that has budgetary authority to spend on projects with high potential that meet the established selection criteria.
- NATO could task its military authorities (International Military Staff), who are responsible for military budgets, to serve as coordinators for all efforts across the Alliance related to prioritizing technological capabilities and concepts for further development and operational experimentation. The IMS could provide updates and guidance to strategic commands and ensure nations have a voice in these efforts while keeping all NATO bodies and tools connected and informed.
- To bring together nations, the EU, NATO, and industry players, the transatlantic community’s innovation efforts could be based on a “stone soup” model, in which each stakeholder offers what they are best suited to do creating stronger overall tech capabilities.
- Nations could also collaborate multilaterally as they see fit. This can be combined with a more explicit division of labor to create key technological capabilities. For instance, a small group of countries would focus on developing a certain technology and would agree to share it with the Alliance once developed. At the same time, a different group of countries would focus on another technology and share it with the other nations in the first group once developed.
- Leading NATO
- Allies and partners could also explore a G7-style framework where the different nations, institutions, and entities (including critical industries) come together via a special envoy to establish innovation benchmarks and tech initiatives among cooperative nations. The goal would be to better align existing efforts through a voluntary convening, not to create a new structure.
- Governments should also make more dedicated efforts to establish cross-governmental coordination on technology, linking their defense personnel working on tech issues with their economic, finance, trade, and political personnel.
- The NATO ACT Innovation Hub could create a more open forum that involves other NATO entities in the development stages of their activities (rather than in larger stages). They could hold more meetings that give nations, Allied Command Operators, DIANA, and the CNAD additional opportunities to take part in conversations and provide inputs before final projects are formulated.
Although the military technological capability gap enjoyed by the US and other NATO Allies over their adversaries has substantially shrunk in recent years, it is not completely closed. To elevate its edge in today’s era of intensifying strategic competition, the transatlantic alliance must work together to increase its ability to drive the development, deployment, operational and — most importantly — conceptual integration of emerging technologies.
To accomplish this goal, the Alliance must focus most urgently on transformational, dual-use technologies with near-term application timelines. This study suggests five key technologies for the Alliance to prioritize that can provide the most return on investment. These include space-enabled capabilities, unmanned systems, hypersonics, edge computing, and cognitive influence capabilities – the first three of which align with NATO’s current nine priority areas. Successful pursuit and exploitation of these technologies will help define the role of the transatlantic alliance for the generation to come. Notably, this study also offered a replicable mechanism to assess new technologies as they emerge, which will help the Alliance adapt its priorities in the ever-evolving tech landscape.
NATO, the EU, their nations, and private industry all have unique roles to play in helping the transatlantic community compete in defense technologies. To help these stakeholders work together, this study provided one critical element missing from current debates: a shared policy framework for defense tech cooperation. This strategic approach is built upon nine core policy pillars: 1) forge a common assessment of the threat competition; 2) facilitate faster adoption of tech; 3) improve the regulatory environment; 4) incorporate nontraditional partners to inspire radical innovation; 5) continuously scout for tech solutions and talent; 6) increase testing and evaluation; 7) enhance data-sharing among Allies; 8) improve interoperability and standardization; and 9) connect and better align tech efforts.
Importantly, this study offered fifty distinct recommendations under each of these pillars to help policymakers implement the proposed framework. This is accompanied by a working concept for one-year, three-year, and five-year KPIs in the following appendix to help measure progress over time.
Together, these three elements – a repeatable mechanism for assessing and prioritizing key technologies across the alliance; a policy framework to align and coordinate actions across NATO, the EU, nations, and industry; and short-term targeted recommendations for policymakers to implement the policy framework – comprise a compelling transatlantic strategic concept for competing in defense technologies. The time to think and act boldly is now. Policymakers throughout the transatlantic community should urgently adopt this framework and help elevate the Alliance’s strategic edge by winning the twenty-first century race for technological innovation.
VII. Appendix 1
Roadmap for Implementing the Strategic Framework: KPIs for Policymakers
The following table on KPIs is an early draft of what the authors view as a useful and necessary tool for planning and measuring success within EDTs. At present few government organizations use available best practices, primarily from the tech sector, to measure progress and success in advance of developing and implementing new strategies and/or policies. While the KPIs provided are largely qualitative in nature and require further refinement, which is planned in a potential future piece, they provide a good starting point for how success in developing and deploying EDTs can be measured, which is critical in multi-stakeholder, international environments.
To encourage the policy community to move the dial forward in each of the priority technology areas, the research team developed series of working draft KPIs under each policy pillar to help measure progress and implementation of the recommendations.
KPIs are broken out into one-year, three-year, and five-year markers. In the most optimal situation, each ally would declare a specific “focus area,” choosing a singular pillar or group of recommendations and working to facilitate implementation. However, NATO could utilize these indicators as a roadmap to assess defense tech progress and overall Allied cohesion on a larger level.
Each pillar is found in the tables below, subdivided into its individual recommendations, and populated with a one-year, three-year, and five-year KPI for each.
VIII. Appendix of Interviewees
*The list below is not exhaustive of all individuals consulted for this project, as some preferred to remain anonymous. The ideas expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect the views of any individual listed below.
- Gordon B. “Skip” Davis Jr., Center for European Policy Analysis
- Brian Michelson, Center for European Policy Analysis
- Joanna van der Merwe, Center for European Policy Analysis
- Diego de Ojeda Garcia Pardo, European Commission
- Michalis Ketselidis, European Commission
- Daniel Calin, European External Action Service
- Araud Migoux, European External Action Service
- Brig. Georgios Bikakis, EU Military Staff
- VADM Herve Blejean, EU Military Staff
- CAPT Lars Schumann, EU Military Staff
- Benjamin Oppermann, European Parliament
- Olli Ruutu, European Defence Agency
- Jan Joel Andersson, European Defense Agency
- Tania Lațici, European Parliamentary Research Service
- ADM Rob Bauer, NATO Military Committee
- Benedetta Berti-Alberti, Policy Planning Division, Office of the NATO Secretary General
- Ruben Diaz-Plaja, Policy Planning Division, Office of the NATO Secretary General
- John Manza, Operations Division, NATO
- David Cattler, Joint Intelligence and Security Division, NATO
- MG Jurgen Brötz, Joint Intelligence and Security Division, NATO
- David van Weel, Emerging Security Challenges Division, NATO
- Camille Grand, Defense Investment Division, NATO
- Robert Trabucchi, NATO Standardization Office
- Dale Reding, NATO Chief Scientist’s Office
- James Hursch, US Mission to NATO
- COL Philippe Rogers, US Mission to NATO
- Matthew Warren, US Mission to NATO
- LTC John Gerlach, US Mission to NATO
- Dave Helvey, US Mission to NATO
- RADM Jens Nykvist, Swedish Delegation to the EU and NATO
Experts & Industry
- Raluca Csernatoni, Carnegie Europe
- Bruno Lete, German Marshall Fund of the United States
- Chris Lombardi, Raytheon Technologies
- Edin Koco, Gideon AI
- Jan Pie, AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe
- Dylan Macchiarini Crosson, Center for European Policy Studies
- Kim Stollar, Boeing
- Niklas Novaky, Wilfred Martens Centre for European Studies
- Tsiporah Fried, French Joint Staff
- COL Philippe Le Carff, French Ministry of Defense
- COL Sebastien Gay, French Ministry of Defense
- Representatives from the Innovation Division, French Ministry of Defense
- Representatives from the French Defense Agency
- Representatives from the French Joint Staff
- COL Andrew Hamann, US Embassy Paris
London, United Kingdom
- William Green, Defence Innovation Unit, UK Ministry of Defence
- Ben Parish, UK Ministry of Defence
- Joe Robinson, Improbable Defence
- Matthew Chuter, Improbable Defence
- Nick Childs, International Institute for Strategic Studies
- Franz Stefan Gady, International Institute for Strategic Studies
- Rob Basset Cross, Adarga
- Christian Saeer, BAE Systems UK
- Tom Tugendhat MP, Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom
- Oliver Lewis, Rebellion Defense
- Alex Burton, Rebellion Defense
- Samantha Clark, Rebellion Defense
- Mike Rogers, former US Cyber Command
- Steven Walker, former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
- Andre Loesekrug-Pietri, Joint European Disruptive Initiative
- Michael Punke, Amazon Web Services
- Brig. Jason Rhodes, UK Embassy Berlin
- Matt Schleuter, Boston Consulting Group
- Peter Selfridge, SAP
- Izabela Albrycht, European Cybersecurity Forum
- Sophia Besch, Center for European Reform
- Matt Cordova, US National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence
- Sean Duggan, Anduril Industries
- Bill Echikson, Center for European Policy Analysis
- Dennis Göge, Lockheed Martin
- William Greenwalt, American Enterprise Institute
- David Hagebölling, German Council on Foreign Relations
- Omar Hashmi, Lockheed Martin
- Jim Hasik, Center for European Policy Analysis
- Justin Hedges, Prevail Partners LTD
- Scott Kindsvater, former NATO Military Committee
- Timo Koster, former Netherlands Ministry of Defense
- Philip Lockwood, Emerging Security Challenges Division, NATO
- Margus Matt, Estonian Ministry of Defense
- Jennifer McArdle, Improbable Defence
- Holger Mey, Airbus Defense and Space
- Chris Meserole, Brookings Institution
- Paolo Messa, Leonardo US
- Megan Milam, Anduril Industries
- Jessica Miller, Rebellion Defense
- Andrea Nativi, Leonardo
- David Pappalardo, French Ministry of Defense
- Martijn Rasser, Center for a New American Security
- Giorgio Rutelli, Formiche
- Michael Ryan, former US Department of Defense
- Nancy Ziuzin Schlegel, Lockheed Martin
- Emma Schroeder, Atlantic Council
- Melanie Sission, Brookings Institution
- Simona Soare, International Institute for Strategic Studies
- Daniel Soller, Orbital Insight
- Daniel Tarshish, Improbable Defence
- Anna Tobur, Raytheon Missiles & Defense, Raytheon Intelligence & Space
- Matthew Turpin, Palantir Technologies
- Sarah Wiseman, UK Ministry of Defense
- Vera Zakem, Institute for Security and Technology
- Representatives from NATO Allied Command Transformation
We are extremely grateful for the advice and expertise of Lauren Speranza, former Director of the Transatlantic Defense and Security program at CEPA, and MG (Ret.) Gordon B. “Skip” Davis, CEPA Senior Fellow, who served as a core senior advisor on this project. We are also thankful to Col (Ret.) Brian Michelson, CEPA Senior Fellow, and Joel Hickman, Deputy Director of the Transatlantic Defense and Security program at CEPA, who served as key project contributors. We owe debts of gratitude to the many senior officials, experts, and industry practitioners who shared their time and insights with us through interviews, consultations, and workshops hosted by CEPA. We also thank Krista Viksnins, CEPA Program Assistant, and Gabrielle Moran, former CEPA Program Assistant, for their efforts in coordinating this project.
About the Authors
James G. Foggo III is a Distinguished Fellow with the Center for European Policy Analysis. Foggo is a 1981 graduate of the US Naval Academy. He is also an Olmsted Scholar and Moreau Scholar, earning a Master of Public Administration at Harvard University and a Diplome d’Etudes Approfondies in Defense and Strategic Studies from the University of Strasbourg, France. He commanded the attack submarine, USS Oklahoma City (SSN 723) in 1998, which was awarded the Submarine Squadron (SUBRON) 8 Battle Efficiency award and the Commander Fleet Forces Command Admiral Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy for being the most improved ship in the Atlantic Fleet. Foggo served as Commodore of SUBRON-6 in 2007.
Over the last decade in Naples, Italy, he served in multiple major commands as Commander, Naval Forces Europe/Africa; Commander Allied Joint Force Command, Naples; Commander, US Sixth Fleet; Commander, Submarine Group 8; and Commander, Submarines, Allied Naval Forces South. During this period, he also served as the Operations Officer (J-3) for Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn (Libya). Additionally, Foggo was a NATO Task Force commander in Joint Task Force Unified Protector (Libya). In 2018, he commanded Exercise Trident Juncture (Arctic Circle), the largest NATO exercise since the Cold War with over 50,000 personnel.
Ashore, he has served in a variety of assignments, most notably as Executive Assistant to the Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion (NAVSEA 08); Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Executive Officer to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and Commander, European Command (EUCOM); and Director, Navy Staff.
Foggo’s awards include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, and NATO Meritorious Service Medal. In addition, he was awarded the 1995 Adm. Charles A. Lockwood Award for Submarine Professional Excellence and the State of Oklahoma Distinguished Service award by the adjutant general. In 2006, he was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre National de Merité and in 2017 he was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French Government. In 2020, he was awarded the Canadian Meritorious Service Cross, Commander of the Order of Merit of Italy, and Commander of the Cross of Saint George from Portugal. In 2021, he was awarded the Grand Cross of Naval Merit of Spain. Foggo is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Explorer’s Club of New York, and has served on Advisory Boards to the Naval Submarine League, Olmsted Foundation Board, and US Naval Institute Board. He is currently an active member of the Marine Corps University Editorial Board in Quantico, VA.
Nicholas Nelson is the Senior Fellow for Emerging Tech and Policy with the Transatlantic Defense and Security Program at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). He is an experienced leader in aerospace and defense (A&D), working at the nexus of innovation and national security. In addition to his work at CEPA, Nelson is the Senior Technology Advisor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, focused on emerging defense and dual-use technologies. He also advises a range of venture-backed startups. Previously, he was the Director of Strategic Development at a seven-billion-dollar A&D and technology company, leading strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate venture capital initiatives. Prior to this, Nelson worked in management consulting and technology scouting in Europe and North America, as well as civilian roles with the U.S. Department of Defense.
His research and writing are focused on emerging defense technology, hypersonics, unmanned systems, and great power competition. His analysis and writing have been featured in Defense News, National Defense Magazine, DefenceiQ, and SpaceNews. Nelson is an elected Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce in London.
Joanna van der Merwe is a Non-resident Fellow with the Defense Tech Initiative at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Joanna holds an MA in International Relations and Global Conflict in the Modern Era and a BA in International Studies from Leiden University. Joanna is currently a Senior Policy Advisor at the Centre for Innovation at Leiden University and a Fellow at the International Strategy Forum hosted by Schmidt Futures and the European Council on Foreign Relations. She has conducted her research in collaboration with the Land Warfare Centre of the Netherlands Ministry of Defence, focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) and the future of combat. This research built on her previous experience at the Netherlands Army looking at big data on the future battlefield. She has also worked on early warning systems for mass atrocities at the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. She also continues to advise and speak on data and AI in contexts such as policy-making and the future of warfare and defense.
Nico Luzum is a consultant with Deloitte Consulting Government and Public Sector focused on emerging technology. Prior to this, he served as a Defense Tech Consultant on the Transatlantic Defense and Security (TDS) team at the Center for European Policy Analysis. His background and expertise lie at the intersection of innovation, emerging and disruptive technology, and international security. Luzum is an alumnus of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in International Affairs and Modern Languages with a concentration in Chinese. He also earned a Master of Science in International Security. In addition to his work at CEPA, Luzum led two research teams in conjunction with the NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) Hub.
- The authors attribute these ideas to LTG (Ret.) Scott Kindsvater, Distinguished Fellow at CEPA.
- John Steinbruner, “Problems of Predominance: Implications of the US military advantage,” Brookings Institution, September 1, 1996, https://www.brookings.edu/articles/problems-of-predominance-implications-of-the-u-s-military-advantage/.
- “NATO 2030: United for a New Era: Analysis and Recommendations of the Reflection Group Appointed by the NATO Secretary General,” North Atlantic Treaty Organization, November 25, 2020, pp. 29-30, https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/2020/12/pdf/201201-Reflection-Group-Final-Report-Uni.pdf.
- “Hub for EU Defence Innovation Established within EDA,” European Defence Agency, May 17, 2022. https://eda.europa.eu/news-and-events/news/2022/05/17/hub-for-eu-defence-innovation-established-within-eda.
- NATO’s innovation activities currently focus on nine key areas: artificial intelligence (AI), data and computing, autonomy, quantum-enabled technologies, biotechnology and human enhancements, hypersonic technologies, space, novel materials and manufacturing, and energy and propulsion. See “Emerging and Disruptive Technologies,” NATO, February 2021, https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_184303.htm.
- See appendix of interviewees at the end of this report.
- According to NATO Allied Command Transformation, cognitive warfare capabilities are defined as information and computing tools combined with cyber tools. See François du Cluzel “Cognitive Warfare,” NATO ACT Innovation Hub, 2021, https://www.innovationhub-act.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/20210113_CW%20Final%20v2%20.pdf.
- These EDTs were selected before the publication of NATO’s focus areas, “Emerging and Disruptive Technologies,” NATO, February 2021, https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_184303.htm.
- “The National Security Strategy of the United States of America,” The White House, September 2002, https://2009-2017.state.gov/documents/organization/63562.pdf.
- Jamie Shea, “How is NATO Dealing with Emerging Security Challenges?,” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, July, 25, 2013, https://www.georgetownjournalofinternationalaffairs.org/online-edition/how-is-nato-dealing-with-emerging-security-challenges-by-jamie-shea
- Wayne Schroeder, “NATO at seventy: Filling NATO’s critical defense-capability gaps,” Atlantic Council, April 4, 2019, https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/in-depth-research-reports/report/nato-at-seventy-filling-nato-s-critical-defense-capability-gaps/.
- Terri Moon Cronk, “Defense Innovation Leaders Stresses Importance of U.S, China Technology Race,” DoD News, March 25, 2021, https://www.defense.gov/Explore/News/Article/Article/2549916/defense-innovation-leader-stresses-importance-of-us-china-technology-race/.”
- Samuel Bendett and Elsa B. Kania, “Chinese and Russian Defense Innovation, with American Characteristics? Military Innovation, Commercial Technologies, and Great Power Competition,” RealClear Defense, August 2, 2019, https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/08/02/chinese_and_russian_defense_innovation_with_american_characteristics_113681.html.
- Nicholas Nelson, “Understanding Hypersonics in an Era of Great Power Competition,” Defence iQ, May 21, 2020. https://www.defenceiq.com/air-land-and-sea-defence-services/articles/understanding-hypersonics-in-an-era-of-great-power-competition.
- Blake Stilwell, “Why Russia’s Hypersonics Missiles Can’t Be Seen,” Military.com, Dec 2020, https://www.military.com/equipment/weapons/why-russias-hypersonic-missiles-cant-be-seen-radar.html.
- Seth G. Jones, “Russia’s Ill-Fated Invasion of Ukraine: Lessons in Modern Warfare,” Center for Strategic and International Studies CSIS, June 1, 2022. https://www.csis.org/analysis/russias-ill-fated-invasion-ukraine-lessons-modern-warfare.
- Paul Bernstein and Dain Hancock, “China’s Hypersonic Weapons,” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, January 27, 2021, https://gjia.georgetown.edu/2021/01/27/chinas-hypersonic-weapons/.
- Reilly, Kevin, “The true cost of the most advanced aircraft carrier,” Business Insider, September 27, 2021, https://www.businessinsider.com/cost-of-navy-uss-ford-aircraft-carrier-2021-9.
- Gertz, Bill. “China ASAT Test Part of Growing Space War Threat,” Free Beacon, February 23, 2018, https://freebeacon.com/national-security/asat-test-highlights-chinas-growing-space-warfare-capabilities/
- Nelson, Nicholas. “Space Congestion Threatens to ‘Darken Skies,’” National Defense Magazine, June 28, 2018, https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2018/6/28/viewpoint-space-congestion-threatens-to-darken-skies
- “Intellectual Property Theft in China and Russia: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property of the Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives,” US Congress, May 17, 2005, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-109hhrg21217/html/CHRG-109hhrg21217.htm.
- Alina Polyakova and Chris Meserole, “Exporting digital authoritarianism: The Russian and Chinese models,” Brookings Institution, 2019. https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FP_20190827_digital_authoritarianism_polyakova_meserole.pdf.
- EDTs are those technologies which have a rapid and major effect on technologies that already exist and disrupt or overturn traditional business methods and practices.
- “Speech by NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană on NATO and innovation at HumanAIze, an online forum on Artificial Intelligence and public-private sector collaboration,” North Atlantic Treaty Organization, September 28, 2020, https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_178354.htm?selectedLocale=en.
- “NATO 2030: NATO—Private Sector Dialogues with GLOBSEC,” GLOBSEC. https://www.globsec.org/projects/nato-2030-nato-private-sector-dialogues-with-globsec/.
- “Secretary General appoints group as part of NATO reflection process,” North Atlantic Treaty Organization, June 9, 2020, https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_174756.htm.
- “Science & Technology Trends 2020-2040: Exploring the S&T Edge,” North Atlantic Treaty Organization, 2020. https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/2020/4/pdf/190422-ST_Tech_Trends_Report_2020-2040.pdf.
- “Innovation Hub,” North Atlantic Treaty Organization. https://act.nato.int/innovationhub.
- Zoe Stanley-Lockman and Edward Hunter Christie, “An Artificial Intelligence Strategy for NATO,” NATO Review, October 25, 2021, https://www.nato.int/docu/review/articles/2021/10/25/an-artificial-intelligence-strategy-for-nato/index.html.
- Lee Willett, “NATO Details Diana Technology Programme,” Janes, April 11, 2022. https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/nato-details-diana-technology-programme.
- NATO, “NATO Launches Innovation Fund,” NATO, June 30, 2022. https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_197494.htm.
- “NATO 2022 Strategic Concept,” NATO, June 29, 2022, https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/2022/6/pdf/290622-strategic-concept.pdf
- “What are ERA Common Industrial Technology Roadmaps?“ European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/info/research-and-innovation/research-area/industrial-research-and-innovation/era-common-industrial-technologies-roadmaps_en
- “Hub for EU Defence Innovation Established within EDA,“ European Defence Agency, May 17, 2022, https://eda.europa.eu/news-and-events/news/2022/05/17/hub-for-eu-defence-innovation-established-within-eda#:~:text=The%20establishment%20of%20HEDI%20is,the%20benefit%20of%20European%20Defence%E2%80%9D.
- “Hub for EU Defence Innovation Established within EDA,” European Defence Agency. EDA, May 17, 2022. https://eda.europa.eu/news-and-events/news/2022/05/17/hub-for-eu-defence-innovation-established-within-eda.
- “U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council,” International Trade Administration, https://www.trade.gov/useuttc#_blank
- “Hybrid CoE,” Hybrid CoE – The European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats, March 21, 2022. https://www.hybridcoe.fi/.
- “Defence and Security Accelerator,” Gov.uk, https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/defence-and-security-accelerator.
- “Emgfa Cria Departamento Para a Inovação e Transformação,” República Portuguesa (SGMDN, January 7, 2020. https://www.defesa.gov.pt/pt/comunicacao/noticias_fa/Paginas/EMGFA-cria-Departamento-para-a-Inovacao-e-Transformacao.aspx.
- “CDTI,” Gobierno de España, 2006. https://www.cdti.es/index.asp?MP=14&MS=59&MN=1.
- Matt Swayne, “France’s Up to 400-Million Euro Investment in Defense Innovation Fund to Include Quantum Tech,” The Quantum Insider, December 6, 2020. https://thequantuminsider.com/2020/12/06/frances-up-to-400-million-euro-investment-in-defense-innovation-fund-to-include-quantum-tech/.
- Charles Alcock, “Leonardo Launches Technology Start-up Accelerator Program,” FutureFlight, January 25, 2022. https://www.futureflight.aero/news-article/2022-01-25/leonardo-launches-technology-start-accelerator-program.
- “Empowering German Startups to Scale Globally,” German Accelerator, June 24, 2022. https://www.germanaccelerator.com/.
- “Launch of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence by 15 founding members,“ Ministère de l’Europe et des Affaires étrangères, June 15, 2020. https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/french-foreign-policy/digital-diplomacy/news/article/launch-of-the-global-partnership-on-artificial-intelligence-by-15-founding
- The White House Briefing Room, “FACT SHEET: Implementation of the Australia – United kingdom – United States Partnership (AUKUS), April 05, 2022. FACT SHEET: Implementation of the Australia – United Kingdom – United States Partnership (AUKUS) | The White House
- Enrico Moretti, Claudia Steinwender, and John Van Reenen, “The intellectual spoils of war: How government spending on defence research benefits the private sector,” Vox EU, December 18, 2019, https://voxeu.org/article/how-government-spending-defence-research-benefits-private-sector.
- Vivienne Machi, “NATO leader: Allies must avoid capability gaps while investing in disruptive tech,” Defense News, February 15, 2021, https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2021/02/15/nato-leader-Allies-must-avoid-capability-gaps-while-investing-in-disruptive-tech/.
- “Emerging and Disruptive Technologies,” NATO, February 2021, https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_184303.htm.
- “Innovation Scoreboards: The innovation performance of the EU and its regions is increasing,” European Commission, 2019. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/QANDA_19_2998.
- The ten dimensions of the EU’s Innovation Scores are: human resources; attractive research systems; innovation-friendly environment; finance and support; firm investments; SME innovators; linkages; intellectual assets; employment impacts; sales impacts. “Innovation Scoreboards: The innovation performance of the EU and its regions is increasing,” European Commission, 2019. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/QANDA_19_2998.
- “Emerging and Disruptive Technologies,” NATO, February 2021. https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_184303.htm.
- Summary of the NATO Artificial Intelligence Strategy, October 22, 2021. NATO – Summary of the NATO Artificial Intelligence Strategy, 22-Oct.-2021
- Thomas Holt, “Data privacy rules in the EU may leave the US behind,” The Conversation, January 23, 2019. https://theconversation.com/data-privacy-rules-in-the-eu-may-leave-the-us-behind-110330.
- These are hypothesized key EDTs and are subject to change based on the results of our research. Cognitive warfare capabilities are defined by NATO Allied Command Transformation as information tools combined with cyber tools to affect how a target thinks and acts. See François du Cluzel “Cognitive Warfare,” NATO ACT Innovation Hub, 2021, https://www.innovationhub-act.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/20210113_CW%20Final%20v2%20.pdf.
- These technologies hold the potential to impact the Alliance’s capabilities as a whole, as well as the future of warfighting and the Alliance’s operational concepts, including Joint All-Domain Operations (JADO).
- Tom Wilson, “Threats to United States Space Capabilities,” Commission to Assess US National Security Space Management and Organization. https://fas.org/spp/eprint/article05.html.
- Jeff Foust, “Trillion Dollar Space Industry will Require New Markets,” Space News, July 5, 2018, https://spacenews.com/a-trillion-dollar-space-industry-will-require-new-markets/.
- Marianne Guenot, “Russia Threatens to Leave International Space Station,” Business Insider, April 22, 2020. https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-threatens-to-leave-international-space-station-build-own-2021-4.
- Steven Stashwick, “Chinese Military Experiments with Using Commercial Vessels as Bases,” The Diplomat, August 28, 2020, https://thediplomat.com/2020/08/chinese-military-experiments-with-using-commercial-vessels-as-helicopter-bases/.
- “China attempting to militarise space as it seeks to modernise its military power,” The Economic Times, 2020. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/china-attempting-to-militarise-space-as-it-seeks-to-modernise-its-military-power/articleshow/77851406.cms?from=mdr
- Theresa Hitchens, “‘Local’ Russian GPS jamming in Ukraine hasn’t affected US support ops, so far”, March 01, 2022. ‘Local’ Russian GPS jamming in Ukraine hasn’t affected US support ops, so far – Breaking Defense
- “The Space Ambitions of China, Russia and USA,” School of International Service, American University, August 31, 2020. https://ironline.american.edu/blog/space-ambitions-china-russia-usa/.
- ”Above Us Only Stars: Exposing GPS Spoofing in Russia and Syria,” C4ADS, 2019 https://www.c4reports.org/aboveusonlystars
- Abe Peck, “Inside Unmanned Systems,” Inside Engineering, April 22, 2021. https://insideunmannedsystems.com/checking-in-on-uas-innovation/.
- Shaan Shaikh and Wes Rumbaugh, “The Air and Missile War in Nagorno-Karabakh: Lessons for the Future of Strike and Defense” CSIS, December 8, 2020. https://www.csis.org/analysis/air-and-missile-war-nagorno-karabakh-lessons-future-strike-and-defense.
- Chris Vallance, “Ukraine sent dozens of ‘donations’ to build army of drones”, July 08, 2022. https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-62048403
- Annie Palmer, “Amazon Prime New Drone Delivery Fleet Gets FAA Approval,” CNBC, August 31,2020. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/31/amazon-prime-now-drone-delivery-fleet-gets-faa-approval.html
- “Zipline Begins US Medical Delivery with UAV Program Honed in Africa,” Tech Crunch, May 27, 2020. https://techcrunch.com/2020/05/26/zipline-begins-us-medical-delivery-with-uav-program-honed-in-africa/.
- “Hypersonic Weapons: Background and Issues for Congress,” Congressional Research Service, December 2020, https://fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R45811.pdf.
- Mark McWhinney, “The Risks of Hypersonic Weapons,” Ploughshares Fund, 2020, https://ploughshares.ca/pl_publications/the-risks-of-hypersonic-weapons/.
- Keith Shaw, “What is edge networking and why it matters,” Network World, May 31, 2022. https://www.networkworld.com/article/3224893/what-is-edge-computing-and-how-it-s-changing-the-network.html.
- Ki Lee, Greg Dupier, John Pisano, “How the US Military is Using Edge Computing,” Booz Allen Hamilton, 2020. https://www.boozallen.com/s/insight/blog/how-the-us-military-is-using-edge-computing.html.
- David Greenfield, “Does Edge Computing have to be expensive,” Automation World, June 14, 2018, https://www.automationworld.com/home/blog/13318780/does-edge-computing-have-to-be-expensive.
- Mark Kempf, “Edge Computing Helps Warfighters Maximize Data’s Impact in-theater,” Modern Battlespace, May 4, 2020. https://modernbattlespace.com/2020/05/04/edge-computing-helps-warfighters-maximize-data-impact-in-theater/#.YIbaxJNKhTY.
- Sean Monaghan and Colin Wall, “What Happened at NATO’s Madrid Summit?,” The Center for Strategic and International Studies, Jul. 2022, https://www.csis.org/analysis/what-happened-natos-madrid-summit.
- “Cognitive Warfare,” NATO Innovation Hub, 2020, https://www.innovationhub-act.org/cognitive-warfare.
- Franklin D. Kramer and Lauren Speranza, “Meeting the Russian Hybrid Challenge,” Atlantic Council, June 2, 2017. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/natosource/meeting-the-russian-hybrid-challenge-a-comprehensive-strategic-framework-2/.
- Lauren Speranza, “A Strategic Concept for Countering Russian and Chinese Hybrid Threats,” Atlantic Council, July 17, 2020. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/in-depth-research-reports/a-strategic-concept-for-countering-russian-and-chinese-hybrid-threats/.
- “George F. Kennan, ‘The Inauguration of Organized Political Warfare’ [Redacted Version],” April 30, 1948, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Obtained and contributed by A. Ross Johnson.
- Ross Babbage, “Winning Without Fighting: Chinese and Russian Political Warfare Campaigns and How the West can Prevail, Volume I”, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, 2019.
- The United States National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, Final Report, March 1, 2020, https://www.nscai.gov/2021-final-report/.
- Lauren Zabierek and Julia Voo, “The Case for Increased Transatlantic Cooperation on Artificial Intelligence,” Harvard Belfer Center, Aug. 2020, https://www.belfercenter.org/sites/default/files/2020-08/TransatlanticAI.pdf.; Josh Meltzer, Cameron F. Kerry, and Alex Engler, “The Importance and Opportunities of Transatlantic Cooperation on AI,” Brookings, Jun. 2020, https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-importance-and-opportunities-of-transatlantic-cooperation-on-ai/.; “Machine Learning and AI: A Transatlantic Conversation,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, https://carnegieendowment.org/2020/01/21/machine-learning-and-ai-transatlantic-conversation-event-7250.
- Vivienne Machi, “AI Leads NATO’s Strategy for Emerging and Disruptive Tech,” Defense News, March 14, 2020, https://www.c4isrnet.com/artificial-intelligence/2021/03/14/artificial-intelligence-leads-natos-new-strategy-for-emerging-and-disruptive-tech/.
- The authors attribute this idea to Tyson Barker of the German Council on Foreign Relations.
- “Securing Defense-Critical Supply Chains An action plan developed in response to President Biden's Executive Order 14017,“Department of Defense, February 2022. https://media.defense.gov/2022/Feb/24/2002944158/-1/-1/1/DOD-EO-14017-REPORT-SECURING-DEFENSE-CRITICAL-SUPPLY-CHAINS.PDF
- See Defense Innovation Unit. Defense Innovation Unit (diu.mil)
- NAVCENT Public Affairs. ”Fifth Fleet Commander Explains the Role of Unmanned, A.I. in Middle East,” U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, May 25, 2022. Fifth Fleet Commander Explains the Role of Unmanned, A.I. in Middle East > U.S. Naval Forces Central Command > Display (navy.mil)
- Jen Judson, ”Army Test and Evaluation Command pushes to reduce live-fire tests,” Defense News, July 12, 2022, Army Test and Evaluation Command pushes to reduce live-fire tests (defensenews.com)
- Sam LaGrone, “Large Scale Exercise 2021 Tests How Navy, Marines Could Fight a Future Global Battle,“ USNI News, August 2022, https://news.usni.org/2021/08/09/large-scale-exercise-2021-tests-how-navy-marines-could-fight-a-future-global-battle.