by U.S. Air Force Maj. Kimberly Garbett
PfPC operations staff
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Published: July 31, 2013) -- The Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes’ Emerging Security Challenges Working Group’s second workshop convened at the National Defence University, Warsaw, Poland, July 8-10.
The workshop included 25 experts from 11 countries including: Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Areas of expertise included current and former members of national security councils, irregular warfare, cyber, history, international relations, counterterrorism, politics, technology development, peace institutes, technological risk assessments, think tanks, and emerging security challenges division leadership, among others. Discussions were conducted on the strategic, operational and tactical levels.
Focus areas for the Warsaw workshop included:
- Emerging technologies;
- Technological innovation and its dual use nature; and
- Societal changes/challenges to democratic society;
Topics and case studies included:
- Remote war fighting and vulnerabilities;
- 3-D printing and robot wars;
- Military technology, war fighting and challenges to democratic society;
- The political context: budget constraints and cost saving strategies; and
- Creation and identification of policy options.
Over the next year, working-group outputs are expected to include policy recommendations and selected publications from workshop topics. Creation and development of educational programs for NATO and partner defense institutions is being explored as well.Dr. Detlef Puhl, co-chairman for the working group and senior adviser for NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges Division in Belgium, said the group addressed the fundamentally important link between technological innovation in the security sector and its overall impact on democratic policy-making.
“We’re off to a good start identifying policy-relevant issues and in shaping a sound educational program in response to these challenges,” Puhl said.
Most of the experts agreed the holistic approach toward emerging security challenges is difficult but absolutely necessary. Dr. Sven Gareis, deputy dean for resident programs, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, felt the workshop achieved major progress in conceptualizing emerging security challenges by analyzing more thoroughly how risks are identified and assessed.
“We also discussed ways to cope with those risks both on the national and international level,” Gareis said. “One of the major findings is that comprehensive efforts must be taken in order to properly differentiate opportunities and challenges resulting from new developments in technology, economy and politics.”
Dr. Graeme Herd, a senior program adviser at the Geneva Center for Security Policy and co-chair of the Emerging Security Challenges Working Group, stressed the potential policy impact of the group. “I was particularly struck by our Bulgarian and Turkish colleagues recommending ESC posts be created in their national structures," he noted.
Michael Edward Walsh, President of the Emerging Science and Technology Policy Center, felt encouraged by the existence of a forum like the ESC working group.
In the international arena, Walsh said, “there remain few Track I/II topics that bring together senior academics, government civilians, military leaders, policy wonks, consultants, and others to discuss appropriate policy responses. The [ESC working group] fills this void in the international security architecture.”
Future meetings for the working group are currently tentatively scheduled for mid-November and April 2014.
The PfPC’s senior advisory council is chaired by retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith W. Dayton, director of the Marshall Center, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The mission of the Marshall Center is to create a more stable security environment by advancing democratic institutions and relationships, especially in the field of defense; promoting active, peaceful security cooperation; and enhancing enduring partnerships among the nations of North America, Europe and Eurasia.
The PfPC Operations Staff is co-located with the Marshall Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The PfPC is a voluntary association of institutes of higher learning and defense and security affairs linking more than 800 defense academies and security studies institutes in 59 countries.