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Joint Air & Space Power Conference 2017

The Role of Joint Air Power in NATO Deterrence

Is Deterrence a Lost Art?

2014 was a turning point in NATO’s security environment. Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the change of borders in Europe by force yanked NATO’s attention away from Assurance and Projecting Stability and back to Deterrence.

Military build-ups and armaments programmes, both conventional and nuclear in nations worldwide, along with the challenge of hybrid warfare, have fuelled the debate about how to best deter these growing threats. Unfortunately, in the euphoria after the Cold War and the subsequent expansion of NATO, the focus on existential threats faded, as did much knowledge and understanding of old-school, traditional deterrence.

The Evolving Threat Environment

It is not only the challenge from a resurgent Russia and other states that threatens NATO. In recent years the European neighbourhood has been plunged into turmoil and violence by various actors. The so-called Islamic State and other terrorist and extremist groups sow violence abroad that threatens Western nations directly, and exacerbate conditions at home that drive millions of refugees into Europe and the Americas, straining resources and threatening internal security and stability. Compounding these problems is the ever increasing threat of attacks and disruption through the Cyber domain, which can be utilized by both state and non-state adversaries. These threats add a new dimension to our security environment and cannot all be overcome by the solutions of the past.

 Who and What Must NATO Deter?

If the Alliance is to transition from its recent posture of Assurance back to a posture of Collective Security and Deterrence, there are a number of fundamental questions that need to be addressed:

  • What is traditional Deterrence?
  • Who and what are the threats that NATO needs to deter?
  • Which threats can be deterred using traditional means?
  • How can NATO deter contemporary non-state threats?
  • What role does NATO Joint Air and Space Power have to play in each instance?

Addressing these questions lays a foundation for discussions about capabilities needed in the Air and Space and supporting domains; assessment of the fitness of NATO to respond in real time; and of the most urgent priorities NATO should address in Air and Space to restabilize the Alliance and areas on our borders.

Agenda Overview

The Director of the JAPCC, General Tod D. Wolters, will kick off the Conference and two Keynote Speakers will set the stage for panel discussions addressing Deterrence writ large and the role of NATO Air and Space Power in the future.

Day One

  • Keynote Address
  • Panel 1: Today’s Security Challenges and Threats to NATO and Partners
  • Panel 2: Political Cohesion and Decision-Making:  Is NATO Fit for Deterrence?
  • Panel 3: Deterring from the 3rd Dimension – NATO’s Current Capabilities

Day Two

  • Keynote Address
  • Panel 4: Joint Air Power – Urgent Priorities
  • Wrap-up and Director’s Closing Remarks

Why Should You Attend the Conference?

Top experts from the political, academic, military and media spheres will debate, in four themed panels, the threats and questions raised inside this trifold, and how the Alliance and its partners might best evolve and leverage air and space capabilities to enhance Deterrence and sustain NATO’s three core tasks of Collective Defence, Crisis Management, and Cooperative Security.

This is your opportunity to hear from senior military and civilian leaders from across NATO and the nations on this topic of extreme importance, and to engage and contribute to a robust discussion aimed at strengthening and enhancing the Alliance.