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The 2014 Command and Control seminar was planned and prepared at the C2COE located in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The seminar was executed in Tallinn, Estonia, 4-6 March 2014. The title, “Exploring Command and Control in an Information Age,” reflects the support and cooperation provided by the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence (CCDCOE), located in Tallinn. The CCDCOE highlighted opportunities and threats present in the cyber world and its influence on Command and Control.
The two and a half day seminar featured Command and Control perspectives from 13 presenters. The 114 personnel in attendance represented 17 nations, as well as, 62 different NATO and non-NATO institutions. Presenters were challenged right start of the seminar to identify the information age. One presenter identified it as beginning with the strategic surprise of the 1957 launch of the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik, by the Soviet Union. Others chose the exponential growth of web sites and internet users. The challenges associated with this evolution were discussed. The seminar looked at how the growth of the cyber domain has influenced hackers and politically motivated actors to engage in cyber espionage. It was clear that the cyber threat to Command and Control was not only a hardware issue but a frame of mind issue for operators stuck in an Industrial age where kinetic operations prevail. Cyberspace has expanded the traditional battlefield prompting the need for a new way to orient and navigate. New and evolving methods of secure information exchange must be developed to ensure Commanders receive information they need to make timely decisions. Operations in cyber-space also bring a new legal dimension to warfare which currently is not addressed. New institutional constructs, such as the Estonian Cyber Defence Unit, made up of volunteer IT-specialists must be considered to effectively defend our networks. Also with the shrinking of the NATO Command Structure, advances in network science will be crucial to maintaining effective C2.
The following pages will address these aspects in more detail. There were two main topics covered by the presenters: Command and Control in the Information Age and mitigating the threats to Command and Control. Wherever possible, exact quotes were incorporated to indicate the author’s thoughts and expressions.