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Joint Air & Space Power Conference 2018

The Fog of Day Zero – Joint Air & Space in the Vanguard

Conference Thesis

When Deterrence Fails

The issue of deterrence was raised extensively in previous JAPCC Conferences: 2015 in the context of “Air Power and Strategic Communications”, 2016 with regard to “Joint Air Operations in a Degraded Environment”, and 2017 under the headline of “The Role of Joint Air Power in NATO Deterrence”. It is therefore entirely appropriate that this year´s Conference is dedicated to examining the indicators of failing deterrence, along with the situation when deterrence fails and Joint Air & Space Power is needed as part of NATO´s response to a crisis and/or war. Hence “The Fog of Day Zero – Joint Air & Space in the Vanguard” was adopted as this year´s Conference theme.

The Definition of Day Zero

The Conference will discuss what it means for Joint Air & Space Power to be able to fight on „Day Zero“. While „Day Zero“ is not an official term, it can be thought of as the early phase of a confrontation in which both overt and obscure application of instruments of national power may be undermining the Alliance and setting conditions for armed action by an adversary. The „Fog of Day Zero“ implies that there might be difficulty not only in recognizing these activities, but in determining how to respond with NATO air and space power to hostile actions that are recognized but remain below the threshold for an Article V response. This phenomenon becomes evident in a hybrid threat environment, when a hostile actor intentionally exploits ambiguity. The actions behind hybrid threats are difficult for a state to identify as coercive uses of force because they are designed to stay below certain legal, detection or response thresholds. Unclear situational awareness and uncertain situations may prevent or slow down NATO authorities’ ability to respond to a threat. An adversary prepared to combine subversive activities with the use of force falling below the level of intensity of an armed attack may advance its strategic interest without provoking a response from the Alliance.

Air and Space in the Vanguard

Airpower’s speed, agility, and flexibility make Joint Air Power a preferred employment option as NATO´s first responder to any crisis or war situation when deterrence has failed. Joint Air & Space Power provides the preponderance of combat force against extremists and terrorists, provides intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) to decision-makers and protects the joint force. When hostile forces challenge the security and territorial integrity of a NATO nation, deployed combat and mobility joint air power, ISR and space platforms, and cyberspace assets will spearhead the ground reinforcements which will flow into the crisis/war region.

Read Ahead Material

As a lead-in to the Conference, the JAPCC staff prepared some concept papers as Read Ahead material prior to the Conference. The Read Ahead booklet will introduce into the Conference topic and will prepare you for discussion. It will include articles on Threat Awareness, Russia´s conventional forces, Space, Cyberspace, Force Protection, Resilience, Logistics, Exercises & Training and NATO-EU Cooperation.

Panel Topics

Over a two-day period, experts from the political arena, military, academia, and industry, guided by a moderator, will discuss the various aspects of the Conference theme in four panels:

  1. The ‘Day Zero’ Threat Environment: Modern Threat Vectors, Adversary Shaping Operations and the Article V Threshold
  2. Joint Air Power in the Vanguard of NATO´S Response: Capabilities, Vulnerabilities, and Challenges
  3. Does NATO Have the Required Mind-Set to Fight on Day Zero?
  4. How Can NATO Address Emerging Security Challenges Using Air and Space Power?

Event Location

The Joint Air and Space Power Conference 2018 will take place from 9 to 11 October 2018 in Essen/Germany. The Conference will start on 9 October with an Icebreaker and Industry Showcase. At the beginning of each day´s discussions on 10 and 11 October distinguished high-ranking keynote speakers will set the scene for the panel discussions. The Conference will end on 11 October around lunch time.