Written by Colonel Jean-Michel Millet, French Army, Head Transformation Delivery Division, Joint Warfare Centre
Given the current and future operational environment, Alliance leaders will have to apply sufficient resources and focused attention on warfare development to ensure NATO remains relevant and ready to successfully prevail against all potential adversaries and threats.
Although warfare development has no officially agreed definition, a NATO working definition might include: "warfare development represents the synthesis of operational-level analysis, lessons identified through observation and coaching of exercises, doctrinal and technological developments, and capability integration and experimentation in all domains to ensure the Alliance remains relevant in current and future operational environments."
If warfare development is increasingly necessary, it is also difficult and fraught with risk. The cumulative effects of globalization, near instantaneous information flow, the acceleration of technological development, and the merging relationship between man and machine combine to create a new and permanently changing security environment. This fluid environment blurs clear, legal delineation between peace, crisis, and war.
A symbiotic relationship exists between exercises and warfare development. Large-scale strategic/operational-level exercises enable the Alliance and participating Nations to evaluate new concepts. Additionally, these same exercises provide a mechanism to test the integration and interoperability of technology and organizational changes in the face of the most likely and most dangerous threats.
Exercises also represent a unique way to infuse new mindsets, organizations and concepts into headquarters and forces, without the need for real-world combat operations.
Fostering the symbiotic relationship between training exercises and warfare development requires a deliberate effort to resource an organization with the unique capability of creating a suitable training environment, such as the Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) in Stavanger, Norway.
As the Alliance is planning increasingly higher levels of ambition over the next series of Command Post Exercises with the TRIDENT JUPITER Series, the relevance of warfare development products depends heavily on the ability to create a "controlled" environment for warfare development efforts.