15 April 2019

Special guests at the Defence and Security conference “Transatlantic security bridges over increasing security vision gaps- Romania’s perspective”

Mihai Draghici

Defence and Security Monitor organizes, on Tuesday, the conference “Transatlantic security bridges over increasing security vision gaps- Romania’s perspective”, among the special guest being also CIA and Pentagon analysts, as well as Romanian specialists.

Image source: Mediafax

The increasingly complex, interconnected, and transnational nature of the huge challenges the international system established after the World War II is facing highlights the utter importance of continuing the transatlantic cooperation and building new bridges between people and nations that share the same values and major security concerns.

It is extremely important for Europe to remain at the core of the transatlantic security and Central and Eastern Europe to play a key role in shaping European security’s future. Particularly, NATO’s Eastern flank members need to be permanently secured and have consistent arrangements for an increased military presence in the region. On the Eastern side, EU is concerned about the break of the European security order and the Black Sea Region embodies high complex security issues, being “a critical intersection of east-west and south-north corridors”. Romania is at the crossroads of all these insecurity rifts, therefore a strategic player for any global European and transatlantic security strategy.

Conference’s topics are related to security’s challenges in a world of “firsts”, from establishing the national, regional and global security architecture to (in)security factors and the way emergent technologies are shaping the new geopolitical system.

Among the personalities invited at the conference we have the American General Charles Wald, former Deputy Commander of U.S. European Command, Carol Rollie Flynn, associate professor of the National Security Program of the US Research Institute for Foreign Policy, Anthony Pfaff, military ethic expert at the Strategic Studies Institute, Cristian Diaconescu, ambassador and former Foreign Affairs Minister, Silviu Rogobete, Philosophy Professor at the  West University from Timisoara, Adrian Curaj, former Education Minister, former presidential counsellor Iulian Chifu, George Ciamba, the Deputy Minister for European Affairs and Flaviu Turcu, associate professor at the “Babes-Bolyai” University from Cluj-Napoca.

Charles Wald, MAS Conference guest: The United States and NATO will need to defend the energy resources in East Europe.

“The United States and NATO will need to have a military presence in the East Mediterranean to protect the energy resources in the region” proposed in 2017 the retired American General, Charles Wald, former Deputy Commander of U.S. European Command, invited at the MAS conference that will take place on Tuesday.

Talking about Russia cutting of Europe’s energy, the General stated: “In fact what they did was they shut off gas to Europe because the pipeline went through Ukraine and it demonstrated the vulnerabilities of the European continent to energy dependence on somebody like Russia. And the fickle nature of the fact that it becomes a geopolitical issue when you cut the energy off”, stated Charles Wald, quoted by the New Europe agency, calling on the mobilization of American and NATO military troops to protect the energy resources in East Europe and East of Mediterranean Sea.

General Wald has a significant experience in both military and business ventures and is a highly-regarded subject matter expert in aircraft and weapons procurement and deployment; counterterrorism; national energy and international security policy. During his distinguished career, he served as Deputy Commander, Headquarters U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, responsible for all U.S. forces operating tens of countries throughout Europe, Africa, Russia, parts of Asia and Middle East.

Carol Flynn: The trigger of cyber-attacks by terrorist groups are a major concern

The trigger of cyber-attacks by terrorist groups are “a major concern”, was stating back in November 2018 Carol Rollie Flynn, specialist of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in counter terrorism, invited at the MAS Conference to take place on Tuesday.

“The threat posed to the U.S. homeland by terrorists may seem of lesser import in terms of numbers of persons affected than other threats such as the opioid epidemic or even infectious disease. However, the possibility that a terrorist group or individual could gain access to WMD or the means to trigger a widespread cyber-attack that cripples our major financial systems and critical infrastructure continues to be a major concern.(…) Preventing these types of attacks is very, very hard because the tools of law enforcement and the IC to detect and pre-empt attacks don’t work if the terrorist is not connected in any detectible way to a known terrorist or terrorist group” stated in 2018 Carol Rollie Flynn, former director of the CIA Center for Terrorism Combat and researcher across the National Security Program of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

Anthony Pfaff, Military Ethic expert, invited at the MAS Conference: ”The moral peril of proxy war”

Conflicts through proxies are generating major moral concerns, and military systems’ development with artificial intelligence must follow the ethical standards, says Anthony Pfaff, specialist in Military Profession and Ethic and one of MAS Conference’s guests to take place Tuesday.

“Proxy conflicts are complicated in ways that are not fully accounted for by standard moral frameworks”, says, in an interview, Anthony Pfaff, research professor for Military Profession and Ethic. „It’s not an accident that U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen has been a humanitarian disaster.(…) Proxy conflicts are complicated in ways that are not fully accounted for by standard moral frameworks”, says Anthony Pfaff in an interview published with Patrick Granfield in Foreign Policy, April 2019, called “The moral peril of proxy war”.

In another article, published in March 2019 in RealClearDefence.com, called “Respect for Persons and the Ethics of Autonomous Weapons and Decision Support Systems”, Anthony Pfaff was calling on respecting the moral standards, including when developing the military systems that are using artificial intelligence technologies.

“The ethical problems associated with lethal autonomous weapons are not going to go away as the development, acquisition, and employment of artificially intelligent systems challenge the traditional norms associated not just with warfighting but morality in general.[4] Among the many concerns associated with developing lethal autonomous weapon systems driven by artificial intelligence is that they will dehumanize warfare.[5] On the surface this seems like an odd case to make. War may be a human activity, but rarely does it feel to those involved like a particularly humane activity, bringing out the worst in humans more often than it brings out the best. Moreover, lethal autonomous weapons and decision support systems are often not only more precise than their human counterparts, they do not suffer from emotions such as anger, revenge, frustration, and others that give rise to war crimes. So, if these systems can reduce some of the cruelty and pain war inevitably brings, then it is reasonable to question whether dehumanizing war is really a bad thing”, says Anthony Pfaff.

“What this analysis has shown is the arguments for considering military artificial-intelligence systems, even fully autonomous ones, mala en se are on shakier ground than those that permit their use. It is possible to demonstrate respect for persons even in cases where the machine is making all the decisions. This point suggests that it is possible to align effective development of artificial-intelligence systems with our moral commitments and conform to the war convention. Thus, calls to eliminate or strictly reduce the employment of such weapons are off base. If done right, the development and employment of such weapons can better deter war or, failing that, reduce the harms caused by war. If done wrong, however, these same weapons can encourage militaristic responses when other non-violent alternatives are available, resulting in atrocities for which no one is accountable and desensitizing soldiers to the killing they do. Doing it right means applying respect for persons not just when employing such systems but also at all phases of the design and acquisition process to ensure their capabilities improve our ability not just to reduce risk but also to demonstrate compassion”, concluded Anthony Pfaff.

Dr. Anthony Pfaff is currently the research professor for Military Profession and Ethic at the Strategic Studies Institute (SSI), U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA. A retired Army colonel and Foreign Area Officer (FAO) for the Middle East and North Africa, Dr. Pfaff recently served as Director for Iraq on the National Security Council Staff.

Arnold Dupuy, Pentagon analyst: The cyber and energy fields are related and are crucially important.

“The cyber and energy fields are related and are crucially important”, says Arnold Dupuy, consultancy expert for the Booz Allen Hamilton and analyst for Pentagon, one of the Defence and Security Monitor’s conference guests, to take place on Tuesday.

“In today’s world, the centralities of cyber and energy are incontrovertible. This is trues across practically every domain of human activity, which includes warfare, economics and politics”, states Arnold Dupuy, in a study called “The cyber-energy nexus: military operational perspective”, made together with Daniel Nussbau, president of the US Energy Academic Group.

Hans Lothar Domröse: EU’s endowment with nuclear weapons would open “Pandora’s box”/ EU can conventionally defence

Sources quoted by The New York Times were stating back in March 2017 that the European Union leaders were considering launching a community nuclear program built around the atomic arsenal of France. According to this plan, the nuclear French arsenal will be reconfigured to protect the rest of Europe. The nuclear program would enter under European commander, with a community military doctrine and funding. The idea of creating a Europea nuclear arsenal would have been analyzed only thinking that the European Union would not want to be dependent anymore on the US in defence. Even if none of the countries would get nuclear armament through this plan, the implementation of this model would be an unexampled escalation of Europe’s collective power and a radical separation of the US led by the Trump Administration, was quoting The New York Times. But the Berlin Government denied the existence of such plan.

Also, General Hans-Lothar Domröse has stated, quoted by the Bild and The Telegraph: “We would open Pandora's box and start an arms race. It would make it even more difficult to prevent other countries like Iran from getting the bomb. But we must necessarily acquire conventional armament, without questioning the atomic armament; we can defend ourselves without atomic armament”.

In February 2017, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the conservative party Law and Justice, governing in Poland, has called on the consolidation of the military role in Europe, stating that he is for the idea of a European “nuclear superpower” Union. “I would welcome a Europe as an atomic superpower, one to keep up with Russia”, stated Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the governing party from Poland, Law and Justice (rightist).

The “Transatlantic security bridges over increasing security vision gaps- Romania’s perspective” conference, an event organized by the Defence and Security Monitor will take place on 16th of April.

The event will be available live on https://monitorulapararii.ro/www.mediafax.rowww.gandul.info and the Facebook pages of the mentioned products.