NATO must keep up with high-tech developments seen in military conflicts of the last few years, said Minister of Defense Sven Mikser today in his opening remarks at the ABCD security conference.
“Pinpoint military strikes, remote-controlled equipment and analysis of mountains of data are all inseparable parts of modern warfare,” said Mikser at the one-day conference in Tallinn.
“We’ve seen all of these trends in Ukraine, from information warfare to drone-controlled heavy artillery fire from Russia.”
Mikser said so far, NATO has been keeping up with the military technology arms race. “This is shown by NATO's unmanned aerial vehicle project AGS and the alliance’s progress in the field of cyber defense.”
Mikser noted that Estonia signed an agreement at the Wales summit that places its cyber range at the use of all of its NATO allies.
The minister also noted that no matter how much high technology is deployed on the battlefield, there is no substitute for people who have to control the technology.
“In the end, technology was created for defending people,” he said.
Participants in the conference include Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation Gen. Jean-Paul Paloméros, Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister, Rear Admiral (Ret.) Ihor Kabanenko, former Norwegian Chief of Defense Gen. (Ret.) Sverre Diesen, and many renowned analysts, officials and military from Estonia and other countries.
ABCD was first held in 2006 at as a regional forum at the Baltic Defence College to discuss security and defense matters in the focus for NATO and the EU. Over the years, a number of high-ranking military officials, influential international security and defense policy planners, experts and journalists have attended.