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NATO can benefit from five ways synthetic environments can be beneficial

NATO can benefit from five ways synthetic environments can be beneficial

There is no agreement about what Russian President Vladimir Putin might do next in Ukraine. Senior government officials have differing expectations. Some warn that there might be a change in the future. Invasion seems probableOthers expressing hope. Diplomacy might prevail. Experts do agree that it is still difficult to discern the Kremlins true intentions.

This highlights a larger problem within NATO: Predicting the intentions and operational goals of an adversary remains a difficult challenge. Contingency planningThis climate of uncertainty makes it difficult to be successful. As Russia becomes increasingly unpredictable and revanchist, the transatlantic alliance may need to rely more on simulation.

Here are five possible ways synthetic environments can help NATO and the U.S.

  1. Enhance collective experimentation and planning. Synthetic environments are a way of creating artificial environments. Experiment and planAround the NATO’s current and future actions and the Kremlins. Synthetic environments are similar to a videogame. They allow users to visualize and assess scenarios in real-time, allowing them the opportunity to examine the cascading effect of different stimuli on a target, such as sanctions against the Russian government. Faster-than-real-time simulationsIt is possible to run thousands of simultaneous scenarios simultaneously. This allows you to see the full range and potential outcomes of the current Ukrainian crisis, from a diplomatic truce up to the use of force. These simulations give leaders predictive insights that can be used to build cross-alliance consensus as well as inform future decision-making.
  2. Transform trainingRecent Russian operations have shown that the Kremlin regards electronic, information, and cyber warfare as key tools to gain an advantage in conflict and competition. Despite Russia’s efforts to undermine, subvert, or degrade NATO platforms, systems, and information, the alliance must continue to operate effectively. Training is required to maintain the alliance at this time. degradation dominanceAlthough it is not possible to use live cyber or electronic effects in a real environment, there are potential safety risks for warfighters and civilians. Synthetic environments offer A path forward. These virtual spaces are less risky than live NATO exercises. They would allow the alliance to train together in a more informationized battlespace and also provide operational security in a way live environments don’t.
  3. Increase interoperability throughout the allianceNATO’s credibility rests on Article 5, its common defense guarantee. An attack on any member is considered an assault on all. This deterrent is dependent on the collective willingness, capacity, and lethality of NATO’s response. Interoperability among the alliances improves its ability respond. However, in practice it is difficult to achieve an interoperable combat force. It depends on a variety of factors, including realistic multinational military training, a history involving military cooperation, as well as equipment and technology that can connect and communicate effectively. While programs such as Smart Defence and Connected Forces have helped to improve interoperability, there is still much more that can be done. Although synthetic environments do not have the wartime experience, they can help strengthen the alliance’s ties by providing a cost-effective, risk-free environment that allows for cooperation, military experimentation, and training.
  4. Explore and test new technologies and technical concepts.The alliance announced a slew of initiatives in 2021 to encourage innovation in core technologies like hypersonics, space, and artificial intelligence. Programs like NATOs DIANA are rooted in the recognition that the alliance may lose its technological edge if it doesn’t promote technical innovation pathways within its organization. This innovation process can include the creation of synthetic environments that allow technical teams to collaborate in developing new capabilities. Virtual mockups of future platforms and weapon systems can be used to aid in making acquisition decisions. This will reduce acquisition timeframes and speed up the delivery and fielding new capabilities.
  5. It is better to assess readiness across all forces:It is difficult for states to maintain and assess military readiness, let alone an alliance with 30 member states. Most models and assessments of military preparedness use. resource inputsAs a corollary to being ready, you can also count flying hours. This is illustrated by NATO’s Readiness Initiative. Only in the best circumstances can objective decisions be made. Ready outputsThis is used to assess readiness. More could be doneNATO can help achieve this goal by using synthetic environments. Synthetic environments capture every tick of a simulation to collect descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and predictive indicators for readiness. This information can be used to help drive objective readiness appraisals. This data could be used to inform a more comprehensive assessment and build consensus around NATO’s overall readiness.

The U.S. Department of Defense, U.K. Ministry of Defence and NATOs Modelling & Simulation Centre of Excellence all have embraced simulation, but there is still a lot of potential in these capabilities. The U.S., NATO, and other nations should increase their adoption of simulation to better prepare for and win the future battlefields.

See Also

Lauren SperanzaDirector of the Transatlantic Defense and Security Program at The Center for European Policy Analysis. Jennifer McArdleImprobable U.S. Defense and National Security is his research head. He is also an adjunct senior fellow with the Center for a New American Security.

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