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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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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Episode 3: Is Conscription Returning to Europe?

Since the end of the Cold War, most European countries have suspended compulsory military service, reducing their militaries to a relatively small force of volunteers. The consequences of the cuts…

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Restoring Conscription in Germany: Lessons from Scandinavian Models and Key Considerations

The Russo-Ukrainian War has heightened security concerns across Europe. In response, European countries are not only looking to enhance their capabilities to face modern types of warfare but also experiencing a resurgence of interest in traditional security measures such as military conscription. This shift is evident as nations reassess their defence capabilities, both within multinational alliances such as NATO and by bolstering their national defence. In response to these evolving security needs, the German government has turned its attention to the recently restored Scandinavian conscription systems as a role model to embark on the process of reintroducing conscription. The success of these Scandinavian systems, which makes them attractive to other European countries, lies in adapting to their changing societies by presenting innovative models of conscription. Furthermore, this type of draft is based on choosing the best and most motivated people. The highly selective draft is helping these countries to move from military service as something men were forced to do to something now people select to do for their personal and professional growth. Following the success factor of Scandinavian models in reflecting changing societies and making it attractive for professional growth, the reintroduction of conscription in Germany presents significant challenges, with wider social implications in terms of making the Bundeswehr an inclusive and attractive model for professional and personal growth for youth. A reformed conscription system in Germany can be achieved by focusing not only on intermediate security needs but on how the military can provide opportunities for youth. Germany’s government should consider including the essential elements that make Scandinavian models successful, such as being highly selective or competitive in the job market. Moreover, in Germany’s particular case, an essential element to reflect its social reality is the inclusion of migrants or inhabitants with a “migrant background”. This would help to foster greater social cohesion and counter recent events where nationalist sentiments have resurfaced. The latter is of paramount importance given Germany’s historical context and the risk of the military’s potentiality to fuel nationalist sentiments. The careful management of nationalist discourse within recruitment campaigns is essential. The first section of this paper provides an overview of the Swedish and Norwegian conscription models highlighting the elements of success that are necessary to achieve a renovated conscription system in Germany. The second section briefly presents the context of conscription in Germany. Then the paper outlines a key consideration for restoring conscription in Germany when trying to reflect their current social reality.

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