October 2009


The Royal United Services Institute (a UK defence thinktank) is holding a conference on “Government and Industry Working Together to Improve Cyber Security”. It is striking to see how many defence contractors are now in the IT security business: Lockheed Martin, Control Risks, NATO, Raytheon and RAND Europe are among those taking on the threats and perpetrators of “cybercrime”.

See conference programme.

To celebrate 10 years of the European Defence and Security Policy (and put its case for deeper integration) the EU has released this online PR brochure. The quote above is from Alexander Weis, Director of the European Defence Agency). Mr Weis has also just given an interview along these lines to AgenceEurope (available here).

edsp

See http://www.esdp10years.eu/e-mag.php.

Superb new report from Scientists for Global Responsibility. See executive summary and full report: Science and the Corporate Agenda: the detrimental effects of commercial influence on science and technology.

sgr

The press release in full:

A new report reveals that the pressure for scientific research to deliver on short-term commercial aims is compromising its ability to yield social and environmental benefits.

The report ‘Science and the corporate agenda’ states that even tax-payer funded research is now less likely to work in the broader public interest. These findings are based on extensive evidence across five sectors: pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, military/defence, biotechnology and tobacco.

The report, from Scientists for Global Responsibility, documents how more than two decades of government policy has driven a corporate agenda into the heart of universities, undermining their openness and independence. It highlights damaging effects in individual research studies, in the agenda-setting process for R&D, and in the communication of science to the public. The effects include:

* Research bias – Commercial funding frequently results in only those research findings favourable to the funder being reported. [3]

* Distorted research agendas – Short-term economic goals often shape academic research priorities. Research with social and environmental goals is frequently marginalised. [4]

* Covert funding of science communication – Interest groups, from climate sceptics to patient groups, have been funded to support an industry-friendly viewpoint.

* Conflicts of interest – Academics are increasingly tied into commercial relationships that are not properly monitored.

* Lack of openness – Commercial restrictions have become much more widespread and are impeding the free exchange of data.

The report makes a series of innovative recommendations, including:

* Measures for improving the transparency of links between researchers, business, and lobby groups;

* Ways to protect funding of blue-skies discovery and social and environmental research;

* Proposals for reviewing the role of the university.

Dr Stuart Parkinson, co-author of the report, says “We have gathered extensive evidence of the damaging effects of the commercial influence on science and technology. Urgent action – by government and others – is needed to resolve these problems. Without this, efforts to tackle climate change, global insecurity and health inequalities will be undermined.”

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International conference organised by Informa Maritime Events “spans the key maritime security issues that are faced by the industry today, ranging from the resurgence of piracy to the modern threat of terrorism”.

See “Threats to Shipping: The Need for a Long Term Strategy”, 14-15 October 2009.

www.SecurityCommunit.eu‘s “in the corridors” reports:

“That DG Enterprise will have to loose some of its big portfolio under a new Commission is an open secret. Now, rumors have it that security research will be transferred to DG Justice Freedom and Security. Or more specifically to DG Freedom and Security, as the old DG may well be split into one for  Justice and one for “internal” policy matters. That would set a different tone for security research in FP7 and its prospective cooperation with the EDA…”

My guess is still that some kind of new defence industry-oriented body will be set-up to oversee the EU security research programme, and ensure cooperation with EDA…

selex

www.defencenews.com reported yesterday that Libya has signed a 300 million euro ($441.3 million) contract with Italy’s Finmeccanica for a border control and security system.

According to the report, the deal between Finmeccanica unit Selex Sistemi Integrati and the Libyan General People’s Committee for General Security, is split into tranches, with the first 150 million euro tranche of work already under way.

“Selex Sistemi Integrati, in line with its mission of prime responsibility for the architecture of large systems within Finmeccanica, will design, install and integrate all the subsystems of the program,” the firm said in a statement.

“In addition, the company will provide all the typical functionalities of a [command, control and communication] system, such as command decision support tools, information processing, integration of data gathered by different sensors – provided by Selex Sistemi Integrati itself – and emergency management,” according to the statement. “Selex Sistemi Integrati will also be responsible for the training of operators and maintenance staff as well as the completion of all the civil infrastructures required.”

A triumph for EU policy

The links between this deal and EU policy are abundantly clear. Colonel Gaddafi was welcomed back into the ‘international community’ in 2003 in return for agreeing to Libya’s cooperation in Europe’s ‘migration management’ programme (the arms embargo was lifted a week later), while Finmeccanica has been one of the key players in the development and implementation of the European Security Research Programme.

Finmeccanica is rapporteur for the EU working group on border controls in the European Security Research and Innovation Forum, and Finemeccanica/Selex ‘research’ in this area has been supported by numerous EU contracts (see for example SOCBAH, OPREMAR, MARISS and BSUAV (among others) – all of which are detailed in the NeoConOpticon report – see pp. 33-41. The report also details the kinds of integrated border controls that are envisaged for clients like Libya).

Migrants and would-be refugees bound for Europe already suffer appalling conditions at the hands of the Libyan authorities. See for example “Pushed Back, Pushed Around: Italy’s Forced Return of Boat Migrants and Asylum Seekers, Libya’s Mistreatment of Migrants and Asylum Seekers,” a Human Rights Watch report examining the treatment of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees in Libya through the eyes of those who have managed to leave and are now in Italy and Malta.

Ballistic missile threats of all types continue to expand in 2009. North Korea and Iran have both demonstrated short
as well as intermediate range missiles, highlighting the increasing threat to the United States, NATO, and Europe.
What does the increasing threat mean for European missile defense?
What is the political outlook for this US anti-missile system, not only in terms of public opinion in the U.S. and Europe
but also in light of NATO’s new Strategic Concept? Is there potential for a linked missile defence system for the US,
NATO and Europe, and if so, what are practical steps towards achieving that goal?

“Ballistic missile threats of all types continue to expand in 2009. North Korea and Iran have both demonstrated short as well as intermediate range missiles, highlighting the increasing threat to the United States, NATO, and Europe. What does the increasing threat mean for European missile defense?

What is the political outlook for this US anti-missile system, not only in terms of public opinion in the U.S. and Europe but also in light of NATO’s new Strategic Concept? Is there potential for a linked missile defence system for the US, NATO and Europe, and if so, what are practical steps towards achieving that goal?”

Join SDA and Boeing on 3 November 2009 to find out…

solana
Speech by Javier Solana (EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, head of the European Defence Agency and Secretary-General of the Council of the EU) to the informal meeting of EU defence ministers in Gothenborg, Sweden, on 28 and 29 September 2009.

Points to note include:

particularly the work being carried out in the Baltic Sea region. There is a great deal that the
European Union can learn from this effort, in which Sweden is taking a leading role. It is in all our
interests to develop the collection and sharing of maritime information across borders and between
authorities and agencies, including customs, coast guards, police and fisheries.
I should like to thank all the Member States and all the institutions and agencies that are working so
hard in this field, particularly the European Commission, the FRONTEX border agency, the
Satellite Centre and the European Defence Agency (EDA). I look forward to the report on the
European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) aspects of maritime surveillance being drawn up for
the EDA by the five admirals or “wise pens” and I welcome the EDA’s work on the Future
Unmanned Aerial System.

MARITIME SURVEILLANCE

I am very impressed by the ongoing and evolving cooperation in the field of maritime surveillance, particularly the work being carried out in the Baltic Sea region. There is a great deal that the European Union can learn from this effort, in which Sweden is taking a leading role. It is in all our interests to develop the collection and sharing of maritime information across borders and between authorities and agencies, including customs, coast guards, police and fisheries.

I should like to thank all the Member States and all the institutions and agencies that are working so hard in this field, particularly the European Commission, the FRONTEX border agency, the Satellite Centre and the European Defence Agency (EDA). I look forward to the report on the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) aspects of maritime surveillance being drawn up for the EDA by the five admirals or “wise pens” and I welcome the EDA’s work on the Future Unmanned Aerial System.

Everyone agrees that we will all benefit from pulling together all these efforts and sharing accurate information and situation awareness as part of a global, comprehensive approach that only the EU is capable of developing, in order to tackle the threats and dangers that face us all.

CIVIL-MILITARY CAPABILITY DEVELOPMENT
We should start with the four potential key areas that have been identified as providing added value, and then see whether we can progressively expand. These are: protection, transport, communications and information. Of course, we aim to ensure that dual-use technologies respond to military and civilian needs and provide more value for money.

The European Defence Agency (EDA) is exploring ways to connect Defence Research and Technology Investment with Technology Investment in the civil sector in order to increase interoperability.

BATTLEGROUPS

We have discussed battlegroups at a number of meetings in the past. I should like to thank the Swedish Presidency for focusing the discussion today on some specific points. We devote a great deal of effort to maintaining our battlegroups in a state of readiness and we must ensure that we make full use of this potential, without reducing our level of ambition. Any battlegroup deployment must meet the operational needs of the moment. We want to explore ways of developing our flexibility so that our battlegroups can be deployed rapidly when needed for operational purposes.

Read the full speech here.

According to a report from the “CaliforniaWatch” project of the Center for Investigative Reporting, government spending on Homeland Security has been characterised by “wasteful spending, purchasing violations, error-prone accounting and shoddy oversight”.

Among the findings:

• Inspectors identified more than $15 million in questionable costs. The Lincoln Police Department in Placer County spent $47,000 on computer software designed to analyze crime reports so officials could better apply resources but, like Marin County, didn’t use what they bought.

• Cities and agencies bought things with grant money that would not make California a safer place. One county tried to use anti-terrorism funds for a lawnmower but it was blocked at the last minute. Another county succeeded in buying a big-screen television.

• Dozens of cities and agencies failed to keep adequate records on how they spent the money. In some cases, the poor record keeping resulted in thousands of dollars worth of overpayments to local agencies. In other cases, agencies were unable to find where they stored their own equipment.

• Communities repeatedly bought large and small-ticket items without seeking competitive bids. Federal procurement rules designed to protect the taxpayer weren’t used on millions of dollars in new communications systems, night-vision goggles and bomb-disposal robots.

Surely it couldn’t happen here in Europe?

Read the CIR report.

space.gif

Last month the European Defence Agency organised a workshop on “Space for Security and Defence: Towards increased synergies among European stakeholders”. According to the EDA press release:

Key note speakers highlighted the need to deepen the already existing dialogue on space and security among the European Defence Agency, the European Commission, the European Space Agency and the Council Secretariat General so as to address the integration of space systems into the wider ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance) and NEC (Network-enabled capabilities) domain based on a capability and user-driven approach.

The workshop also set out a fairly wide-ranging policy agenda for the further militarisation of EU space policy and the development of space-based surveillance systems:

· The ‘Structured Dialogue on space and security’ among EDA, ESA, EC and the Council Secretariat General shall be strengthened and used as a platform to study the scope and conditions for future dual-use capabilities.

· Based on the mandate received by Defence Ministers in May 2009 on a ‘European Framework Cooperation for Security and Defence research’, EDA will look for synergies with the European Commission as well as other institutional players such as the European Space Agency in the wider area of ‘situational awareness’.

· EDA, the European Commission, ESA and the Council Secretariat General will explore civil-military synergies in the field of Earth Observation, incl. GMES and MUSIS and related standardisation issues, in a dedicated task force.

· The security dimension of GMES shall be further developed.

· ESA’s initiative on a European Space Responsiveness System (GIANUS), linking navigation, satellite communications and Earth observation, among others, into one coherent and user-driven system will be further examined by the other European stakeholders, also in view of synergy and complementarity with on-going activities.

· The European SSA (Space Situational Awareness) System will be further developed as a European autonomous infrastructure based on civilian (ESA-lead) and military (EDA-lead) user requirements, while the European Commission and Council Secretariat General will further provide guidance on governance and data policy issues.

See European Defence Agency press release.

For an overview of concerns about the security and defence aspects of EU space policy see pages 52-54 of the report: “NeoConOpticon: The EU Security Industrial Complex”.

See also Frank Slijper’s 2009 briefing paper for TNI “From Venus to Mars: The European Union’s steps towards the militarisation of space“.

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