Cloud Computing in Defence

Information superiority is critical to modern combat, and in a changing digital landscape, investment in cloud technology is paramount to maintaining these defence capabilities. During warfare, military forces must gather and analyse extensive data to stay ahead of adversaries. However, warfare has evolved from traditional battles on land, sea and air to encompass various interrelated types of war, including cyberwarfare, information warfare, and space warfare. The evolution of warfare is compounded by the effects of technology, which increase the speed at which war is fought and managed. However, the success of decision-making that modern warfare requires relies on the ability of information technology systems to rapidly process large amounts of data (Defence One, n.d.). New technology is outperforming these older IT systems, and European militaries must adopt new technology, specifically Cloud computing to maintain information superiority which underpins successful warfare. Cloud will likely serve as the backbone of all future digital defence capabilities; thus, investment in this technology is fundamental to maintaining information superiority. Cloud is more than just a storage platform as it can host various computing tools that assist in information superiority through situational awareness, contributing to efficient decision-making during conflict. In 2019, the European Defence Agency financed a study about cloud computing for the defence sector (European Defence Agency, 2024). The EDA’s study, Cloud Intelligence for Decision-Making Support and Analysis (CLAUDIA), ended this January (European Defence Agency, 2024). The study was run in collaboration with GMV, a private capital technology business group (GVM, n.d.), and The Information Processing and Telecommunications Center (IP&T Center) (European Defence Agency, n.d.). This paper explores the notion of cloud computing, and using the case studies of CLAUDIA, NATO and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), it delves into three uses of cloud in the defence sector, including source analysis, edge computing and multi-domain operations. Finally, the analysis discusses challenges associated with cloud technology, including digital sovereignty and the need for cultural shifts within the defence sector.

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The Crime of Genocide: an Analysis of the Legal Framework and the Srebrenica Case

In light of the horrific events of the Holocaust, which lacked a legal definition and regulation, the International Community and therefore the Nuremberg Tribunal recognised the urgent need of finding an adequate solution to this legal vacuum. Following several attempts of codification, finally in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the Genocide Convention. Said Convention defined genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” (Art. II, Genocide Convention, 1948). The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (1998) replicated the definition, but prosecuting the perpetrators of said actions and proving the required factual and mental element still poses challenges. After a brief overview of the International and European Community’s inadequate response to the Bosnian War (1992-1995) and the outcome of said inadequacy, the paper will analyse the relevant legal framework of genocide, focusing on the crime's codification and challenges in proving the intent above. Finally, the paper will present Ratko Mladić’s case before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which led to the individual's prosecution and life sentence for the crime of genocide in the Srebrenica massacre.

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Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Warfare

The field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is evolving quickly. New artificially intelligent technologies are being developed continuously, and sometimes they can be ground-breaking. These technologies are increasingly incorporated into diverse aspects of everyday life and are becoming crucial for commercial, economic and scientific development and innovation. It is not surprising that the defence sector is also seeking to take advantage of AI and introduce these new technologies into the security arena. As explained by Murugesan (2022, p. 4), AI can be used, among other things, “for repetitive tasks to free up security staff for projects that require human ingenuity.” Furthermore, testifying to the benefits of AI, “NATO Member States have already started to invest in this technology and have incorporated it in their defence strategy” (Carlo, 2021, p. 269). Despite its benefits, AI is expected to bring “dramatic changes in the strategy, operational art, tactics and doctrines of the warring sides” (Ploumis, 2022, p. 1). On this line, changes need to be carefully considered and studied to prevent the risks they could engender. For example, AI technologies “have a substantial impact on cyber warfare, but could have an adverse effect and significantly increase the number and threat level of cyber-attacks in the future” (Kline et al., 2019). AI systems are thus expected to impact “the conduct of warfare, bring new capabilities into being, and alter power equations” (Singh Gill, 2019, p. 169). Drawing from these assumptions, this paper aims to study how AI can impact the nature of conflicts. In particular, the paper seeks to better understand the benefits and risks associated with the introduction of AI technologies in the security sector for military joint operations, considering technological compatibility and ethical considerations. How do developments of Artificial Intelligence Systems in the defence sector affect military cooperation? What are the benefits and risks associated with the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence in the defence sector?

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European Defence giants Leonardo and Rheinmetall form a 50/50 Joint Venture for the development of the next Land Defence Systems

The Italian manufacturer Leonardo and the German arms maker Rheinmetall signed a strategic partnership on 3 July 2024 to establish a 50/50 joint venture for the industrial development and the subsequent commercialisation of a new battle tank for the Italian Army’s ground system programs. The new-born entity will be based in Italy, where 60 % of the overall production will take place (Leonardo, 2024). Over the next ten years, the two industrial groups aim to win contracts worth an estimated 20 billion euros from the Italian Army (Dragoni, 2024). The terms of the agreement will have a positive impact on the Italian supply chain as a whole and could capitalise more than 50 billion US dollars on the European market, as preannounced by Rheinmetall CEO Armin Papperger (Reuters, 2024). The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two counterparts is now subject to approval by the European Commission and national competition authorities.

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The Impact of Regional and Bilateral Defence Cooperation Agreements (DCA) on EU Security and Defence Cohesion: Causing Divisions or Promoting European Defence?  The Cases of the Nordic Defence Cooperation and US-Nordics DCAs

Between 2016 and 2023, the US signed extensive bilateral Defence Cooperation Agreements (DCAs) with Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway as part of a strategy conceived to ensure regional security. The evolving security challenges in the Nordic and Baltic regions, exacerbated by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, paved the way for the conclusion of the DCAs. These agreements were crucial to Finland and Sweden’s entry to NATO, as they had already legitimised and governed US presence on their territories. Under the DCAs, the US Armed Forces have been granted unrestricted access to almost all military infrastructures and bases of these countries (Edvardsen, 2023). In addition to that, these agreements aim to enhance defence capabilities through joint exercises, training missions and logistical support. From the jurisdictional point of view, all Nordic countries renounced their right to exercise their criminal jurisdiction over US military personnel. The Nordic countries are not the only ones who have signed bilateral agreements in the field of defence with the United States. For instance, Poland and the Baltic states have both recently concluded similar treaties. Consequently, it is necessary to consider this phenomenon not as a series of isolated events but as a part of a broader pattern of bilateral defence cooperation agreements designed to increase the American presence in the Nordic-Baltic region. This, in turn, facilitates the deployment of equipment and personnel in the event of an emergency. This paper will analyse the influence of bilateral defence cooperation agreements on the European Union’s security and defence framework, with a focus on those between the US and Nordic countries,. In this regard, some argue that this kind of cooperation undermines the Union’s efforts to advance towards a real common security and defence policy through separate negotiations with the Transatlantic partners. Others claim that the DCAs with the Nordic states enhance European security. In fact, leveraging their EU membership / as EU Member States, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland could act as catalysts for a more cohesive European Defence integration framework. The paper also examines the evolution of Nordic countries’ relations with the United States in the defence field, as well as their type of regional cooperation within the Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO). In any case, the purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that, due to the current challenges and the slow advancement of the EU in the field, the Nordic countries did not have other choice but to pursue this course of action, even though this system can lead to several inefficiencies at the European level.

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