Programme 2014

ABCD 2014

Technology Race and Defence:
The future of Western technological dominance in military affairs

Wednesday, 24 September


Welcoming reception
Welcome address by Taavi Rõivas, Prime Minister, Estonia (confirmed)

Thursday, 25 September

8:00-9:00 Registration of participants
9:00-10:40 Opening session: Strategic context
Introductory remarks by Tomas Jermalavičius, ICDS

Welcome speech by Sven Mikser, Minister of Defence, Estonia

Keynote speeches by

Ine Eriksen Søreide, Minister of Defence, Norway (confirmed)
General Jean-Paul Paloméros, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (confirmed)
Jim Thomas, Vice President, Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for Resources and Plans, United States (confirmed)

Discussion with keynote speakers moderated by Andres Vosman, Director, Policy Planning Department, Ministry of Defence, Estonia (confirmed)


10:40-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-12:40 Session 1: Technology Happens
What are the main contemporary technological trends and their drivers? What are the associated risks and opportunities for security and defence? Do we have the right tools and capacities within NATO and the EU to anticipate those trends, and then harness and exploit them to the benefit of security and defence? How are non-Western nations such as Russia and China catching up with the West in terms of technological power? Is the West able to prevent diffusion of most critical civilian and military technologies, in order to maintain strategic superiority, while at the same time some NATO and EU individual members pursue their own commercial and strategic interests? Can it do so without undermining its own strategic influence or industrial competitiveness?

Christopher Coker, Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), United Kingdom (confirmed)

Mica R. Endsley, Chief Scientist, US Air Force, United States (confirmed)

Ben FitzGerald, Senior Fellow, Director, Technology and National Security Programme, Centre for New American Security (CNAS), United States (confirmed)

Anna Fröjd, Senior Vice President, Head of Market Area Nordic and Baltics, SAAB AB, Sweden (confirmed)

Michel Rademaker, Deputy Director, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, Netherlands (confirmed)

Jaan Tallinn, Co-founder of Skype, the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk of the University of Cambridge, and Ambient Sound Investments, Estonia (confirmed)

Moderator: Oliver Väärtnõu, CEO, Cybernetica AS, and former Director of Strategy, Government’s Office, Estonia (confirmed)


 12:40-14:00 Lunch
 14:00-15:30 Session 2: Impact on Military Affairs – Endless Revolution?
How are technological developments changing the character of war and warfare? Which emerging and converging technologies have the potential to become game-changers in future armed conflicts? How are they reshaping the fundamental concepts (such as thresholds for using military force, defence vs offense, deterrence, containment, etc.) and military organisations? What legal, ethical, political and doctrinal challenges arise with the introduction of game-changing technologies (e.g. autonomous combat systems and platforms, human enhancement technologies, nanotechnologies, etc.) in future conflicts? What does the conflict in Ukraine tell us about Russia’s military transformation and the role of technology in it? How does China employ technological innovation to bolster its military power? How critical is Western technological superiority in military affairs in dealing with Russia or China and their power projection?

Richard A. Bitzinger, Senior Fellow and Co-ordinator of Military Transformations Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, A Graduate School of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (confirmed)

Marc H. Dalton, Rear Admiral, Deputy Director for Plans, Policy and Strategy, European Command, United States (confirmed)

Mats E. Engman, Brigadier General, Deputy Head of Policy and Plans, Armed Forces Headquarters, Sweden (confirmed)

Ihor Kabanenko, Admiral (ret.), Deputy Minister, Ministry of Defence, Ukraine (confirmed)

Alexander Schnitger, Lieutenant General, Commander of the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Netherlands (confirmed)

Moderator: Jaak Tarien, Colonel, Commander of the Air Force, Defence Forces, Estonia (confirmed)


15:30-16:00 Coffee break
16:00-17:30 Session 3: The Irresistable Lure of Hi-Tech Defence
What must NATO and the EU do in order to stay abreast of rapid technological change? Is constantly maintaining technological dominance in defence even feasible, given the declining budgets, cost and duration of development projects versus the pace and complexity of technological change as well as resourcefulness and adaptivity of our adversaries? What should Europe do to remain technologically relevant to the United States in the transatlantic defence relationships? Can, and should, small allies aspire to stay at the high-tech end of military capabilities, and in what ways? What can the US and Europe do to help maintain technological edge of militarily vulnerable allies, exposed to growing military capabilities and innovative uses of military force by the potential adversaries?

Sverre Diesen, General (ret.), Research Fellow, Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) and former Chief of Defence, Norway (confirmed)

Philip Georgariou, Vice President for Industrial Strategy, BAE Systems, United States (confirmed)
Rini Goos, Deputy Chief Executive, European Defence Agency (EDA) (confirmed)

Martin Hill, Chairman, NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG) (confirmed)

Tomasz Szatkowski, President, National Centre for Strategic Studies, Poland (confirmed)

Moderator: Romualdas Petkevičius, Colonel, Acting Director General for Capabilities and Armaments, Ministry of National  Defence, Lithuania (confirmed)


17:30-18:00 Closing Session

Conclusions by Jonatan Vseviov, Undersecretary for Defence Planning, Ministry of Defence, Estonia (confirmed)

Closing remarks by the organizers

18:30 Farewell reception

Dress code for the entire event is civilian (business suit).

All sessions are conducted under the Chatham House Rule.

The Annual Baltic Conference on Defence 2014 will feature the Special Seminar “Ukraine and Trans-Atlantic Partnership“. Participation during the seminar and the media attendance is only by a special invitation from the ICDS. The seminar participants can access the schedule here (link). Any possible changes to the programme will be posted on the ABCD 2014 website.