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Our annual NATO C2COE C2 seminar in Bratislava, Slovakia, was postponed to November 2020 and turned into a webinar, due to COVID19 restrictions. Besides the sad fact that we could not meet the participants in person, this new set-up had multiple positive effects. The number of participants tripled and the open interaction in the chat deepened the discussion between people that wouldn’t have taken place in a physical environment.

The topic “Multi-Domain Operations: Keys to Master Complexity” was spot on. Within NATO, both from a military as well as an academic perspective, the use and application of the term MDO in practice, is characterized by differences in interpretation. It maybe even lead to a form of “mission creep”. This seems to be driven by the need to come up with an overarching concept for current and future operations across the spectrum from competition to conflict to operation (or, in familiar terms, from peacetime to crisis to war). Numerous articles are written about why the MDO concept requires significant increases in new equipment for a particular service. In our view, MDO is not all about gear, but it is a new way of thinking on actions and effects; it’s a concept. Although we didn’t reach to final definitions, we did get the input to feed the NATO doctrine and definitions processes. The first changes are visible and there is more to come.

The full seminar overview is available on NATO C2COE´s homepage´s Library section. Please note that this report is a product of the NATO C2COE. It does not necessarily reflect the policy or the opinion of the Centre, its Sponsoring Nations or NATO.

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