NATO's Strategic Warfare Development Command

Artificial Intelligence – A Game Changer for the Military

October 25, 2019

Artificial Intelligence - A Game Changer for the Military

34th TIDE Sprint concludes in Virginia Beach, USA

The 34th Think-Tank for Information Decision and Execution (TIDE) Sprint took place from October 21-25 in Virginia Beach, USA.

386 operators, engineers, scientists, academia and industry representatives used this bi-annual event to collaborate and contribute to current and future command and control solutions.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence and its implications were dominant topics throughout the week. “Where could Artificial Intelligence take us and what measures need to be considered as AI become more
developed and challenges the human decision-making process”, asked Brigadier General Poul Primdahl, Assistant Chief of Staff for Requirements in his opening speech. Two panel discussions
responded to this call. In the first panel, three experts from Amazon, Microsoft and the George Mason University painted the future shaped by Artificial Intelligence, highlighting the implications, opportunities and risks for the military. In a second panel,  experts in philosophy, law, and psychology discussed the impact of Artificial Intelligence on people and society as well as making ethical choices about military employment of technology based on understanding the interaction between humans and machines.

Those key themes repeated throughout the week and included the strategic imperative to improve NATO’s use and understanding of Artificial Intelligence, adapt our processes for implementing new technology, and be more diligent about developing the non-materiel aspects of capability.

Data Centric Security

Data Centric Securities can be seen as the future framework in managing and sharing information in the military environment. Without it, evolving threat technology would put missions at risk due to data breaches. Through a Data Centric Securities-protected network, a user no longer relies on multiple networks. Instead, access to information is granted through one interface, regardless of security classification or releasability. Data Centric Securities utilizes security applied directly to individual data objects instead of entire networks, enforcing the “need to know” principle. It applies protection that prevents the release of information to anyone not authorized. This capability of securing data and not just networks is viewed as an enabler as networks evolve into a single common cloud enabled Information Technology environment.


TIDE Sprints also showcase ‘hands-on’ experiments and demonstrations to better understand the challenges ahead of us. In the communications domain, multinational satellite service providers displayed cutting-edge equipment, showcasing how NATO can adopt advances from the commercial space sector providing performance and resilience to the warfighter. Technology based on High Throughput SATCOM will be critical to the success of future NATO operations. This technology helps make time-sensitive operational decisions in light of massive amounts of information, delivered with low latency and high security. Additionally, High Throughput SATCOM technology supports rapid deployment of military Command & Control and consultation elements with short notice, which is one of the requirements of day zero interoperability.

ACT as NATO’s Warfare Development Command

Allied Command Transformation as NATO’s Warfare Development relies on events like TIDE Sprints.

In his key note speech, Vice Admiral Paul Bennett, Chief of Staff at NATO Allied Command Transformation, highlighted the importance of Warfare Development for the Alliance so it “becomes more than the sum of its parts”. The range of today’s and especially tomorrow’s challenges make the transformation of policies, strategies, concepts, doctrine and capabilities essential. NATO’s Allied Command Transformation develops warfare by adapting the people, equipment, doctrine, procedure and technology to the changing security environment.

The next iteration of TIDE Sprint will take place on March 30th until April 3rd, 2020 in Stockholm, Sweden.