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Add to Calendar 10/12/2020 15:00 11/12/2020 19:00 Africa/Casablanca Game Changers 2020: A New Future Dawns on International Security *Live broadcast* Not specified OCP Policy Center false DD/MM/YYYY
Thursday, December 10, 2020 - 15:00 to Friday, December 11, 2020 - 19:00

Game Changers 2020: A New Future Dawns on International Security

Live broadcast

The panorama of international security is changing in a profound way. International security is experiencing an unprecedented rise in complexity because, on the one hand, all usual issues that have arisen after the end of the Cold War remain current (instability, insurgencies, regional wars, proxy conflicts, peacekeeping intervention, nuclear proliferation, terrorism etc.). On the other hand, issues that are crosscutting and involve both public and private actors have an increasingly growing importance in the international agenda and are confirming a long-standing evolution of security towards a multidimensional nature, including societal resilience.

Three subjects stand out for their concrete relevance: Climate Change with competition for scarce resources, Health in its transatlantic implications and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

While each subject merits a full conference on its own, the goal of this event is to put them with more clarity in the international security context and sketching some of their reciprocal correlations.

Climate change and resources scarcity is much more than protest movements. The first panel will discuss: how foreseeable climate change will influence strategic variables relevant for military operations; the impact of these changes on the control and competition for water resources in crisis areas and, finally, how crop scarcity, land grabbing and droughts can affect migratory crises and regional conflicts (a practical case is the controversy on the new Nile dam).

The second panel will try to assess the impact and the consequences of the pandemic on the Euro-Atlantic collaboration and relationship. The NATO Strategic Concept (para 15) had already anticipated health emergencies that need a protection of health beyond national borders, while affecting the Alliance’s planning and operations. Reality has at the same time confirmed and overcome the intuition. The panel will on the one hand see how the pandemic has affected transatlantic relationships, how they can be enhanced and what lessons can be learned, also at operational level, where contingents in out of area operations are called to alleviate complex emergencies while protecting their force in fragile countries.

AI (among other initiatives, the projects of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience), apart from media hype, is beginning in its early stages to have an impact on political and hence on security processes. Clear examples are: computer-controlled processes in influencing electoral audiences, recognise visual patters for intelligence and security tasks and systems capable to correlate intelligently vast amounts of unstructured data. The third panel will explore in a lively debate the pros and cons of Artificial Intelligence and its impact on international security, among which deterrence management, autonomous systems and cyber operations, etc.

Three agile conversations, over two days, addressing these topics, trying to sketch the ways ahead.

According to the current rules, there will be no audience in the conference room. Only the speakers will be set on stage and the discussion will take place and be live streamed on a new engaging, interactive digital arena. To follow the event, please register here.


15:00 – 15:10

Welcome Remarks

. Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, President, NATO Defense College Foundation, Rome **

. Olivier Rittimann, NATO Defense College, Rome **

15:10 – 15:20

Opening Remarks

Ian Lesser, Vice President; Executive Director, Transatlantic Center, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Brussels *

Conversation : Climate change and scarce resources: rising conflicts

15:20 – 16:40

Climate change and resources scarcity are two scenarios that become increasingly relevant. The effects of climate change, like rising sea waters, desertification and increasing heat in wide geographic areas, and frequency of extreme thunderstorms, may have significant influence on essential logistics and combat operations. Water is the next paramount issue, traditionally linked to the control of flows on major rivers and now creating possible flashpoint around new dams. Finally, the control of arable land and associated basic crops recreates another important object of international and subnational contention, as it was for centuries when agriculture was man-intensive.

Moderator: Roberto Menotti, Editor in Chief, Aspenia online; Deputy Editor of Aspenia and Senior Advisor for

International Activities, Aspen Institute Italia, Rome

  • Stefano Silvestri, Vice President, NATO Defense College Foundation, Rome **
  • Mahmoud Karem, Professor, British University; former Ambassador to NATO and the EU, and Commissioner, Human Rights Council, Cairo *
  • Kidane Kiros, Senior Fellow, Policy Center for the New South, Rabat *
  • Jan Kickert, Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to Italy **

Q&A Session

 Conversation : The Security-Health nexus and The Transatlantic Relationship

18:00 - 19:30

The NATO Strategic Concept includes health risks as factors that will further shape the security environment and potentially

affect NATO planning and operations. What are the main political and operational lessons from the pandemic crisis? How can

contingents deployed operations alleviate complex health emergencies in fragile countries? How is the pandemic affecting the USA-Europe relationship and how to enhance this multifaceted and historical cooperation after the crisis?

Moderator: Stephen Mariano, Dean, NATO Defense College, Rome **

. Frediano Finucci, Journalist, La7 Television **

. Daniele Riggio, Press Officer; and former NATO Political Advisor in Afghanistan, NATO HQ, Brussels *

. Cathryn Clüver Ashbrook, Executive Director, The Future of Diplomacy Project; and Executive Director, The Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge (USA) *

. Andrew Spannaus, Journalist and Political Commentator **

Q&A Session

19:30 – 19:40

Concluding Remarks

Nicholas Burns, Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; and Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge (USA)


Debate: Pros vs. Cons

Artificial Intelligence And Global Security: the cutting edge

15:00 – 16:30

AI promises to change deeply not only the way decision makers and organisations will operate in future political and security environments, but even the way international politics and conflicts will be conceived. The effect of Artificial Intelligence can be particularly disruptive in three strategic areas: the way deterrence is exercised and upheld, how autonomous weapon systems will combat in support of conventional forces or alone, and by which means can enhance the complexity and tempo of offensive and defensive cyber operations.

Moderator: Laura Carpini, Cybersecurity Coordinator, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Rome

. Peter Nielsen, Associate Professor, Aalborg University, Denmark *

. Andrea Gilli, Senior Researcher in Military Affairs, NATO Defense College, Rome  **

. Roberto Manca, 4th Department of the Air Force Staff, Rome **

. Stéphan Brunessaux, Senior Expert in Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics, Airbus Defence and Space, Elancourt, France *

Q&A Session

16:30 – 16:40

Concluding Remarks

Piero Fassino, President, Foreign Affairs Committee, Chamber of Deputies, Rome



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