Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – NATO’s new “Joint Air Power Strategy” (JAP) will maintain the aerial superiority that makes victory over Russia in the next war possible by establishing a coordinated cyber force to ensure this dominance.
The eleven-page strategic document delineates the path of the alliance’s future air power development in the event of war against Russia. It acknowledges that NATO air power, which relies heavily on the U.S. Air Force, might no longer guarantee air superiority in complex environments pervaded by intense electronic and cyber warfare.
Its key solution to this future conundrum is to establish a coordinated cyber force that can defeat electronic and networked attacks. JAP discusses network and information security in 13 of the document’s 54 articles of. It envisions 29 NATO member states enhancing cyber-attack and defense coordination and cyber force training to improve NATO’s cyber security.
“In the future, the successful use of Joint Air Power (JAP) will be more dependent upon a robust and securely networked environment,” according to the document. “The systems … need to be included in prevention, detection, resilience, recovery and defense from all forms of cyber-attack. The effective integration of Cyber into JAP operations will leverage the Alliance multi-domain approach.”
In May, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on NATO member states to include cyber-attack as part of a NATO’s mutual defense clause, which means that a cyber-attack against any member state will be considered a military attack against all of NATO.
Cyber security should enable the more effective use of NATO air power against Russia. JAP, however, notes that “the Alliance is faced with threats and challenges, from state and non-state actors, military forces, terrorism, as well as from hybrid attacks and cyber-attacks, which are more diverse, complex, rapidly evolving and demanding than at any time since the end of the Cold War”.
“As a result, the future operating environment may be one in which air superiority can neither be assured at the onset of operations nor, once obtained, be an enduring condition.”
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