(submitted by Mr Cunliffe, Rapporteur)
At its meeting in Erfurt on 18 November 1997, the WEU Council, approved inter alia, a recommendation from the Permanent Council on the establishment of the Military Committee and reorganisation of the military structure at WEU headquarters.
This decision undoubtedly represents a qualitative leap of signal importance toward the goal of equipping our Organisation with the instruments and assets necessary to carry out its tasks.
Nevertheless, although WEU now has a Military Committee, a Planning Cell, an Intelligence Section, a Situation Centre and a Satellite Centre, it will still not be possible to conduct military operations under WEU's aegis, without the Organisation first having a basic resource necessary to that effect: namely its own communication and information system, or CIS, for command and control.
The next step, then, is to give thought to the Organisation's need in this connection not just to have access to such systems but have direct control over them.
Military CIS command and control systems carry out tasks on three levels, namely:
the strategic level, corresponding to the politico-military interface. At this level CIS have an input into evaluating the world situation, crisis monitoring and the planning of possible military operations;
the operational level, corresponding to coordination of combined joint military operations. At this level CIS should offer the means of monitoring and integration of military operations and issuing orders.
the tactical level, corresponding to coordination of military operations within an area, usually by the army responsible for that area. At this level CIS should provide the means of command and control over operational support units on the ground, irrespective of whether they belong to an army or allied organisations.
WEU should seek to reinforce the roles that no individual nation can take on by itself. In this context, WEU should operate at the strategic and operational levels while tactical tasks are carried out by nations, possibly under the responsibility of a framework nation.
Furthermore, WEU could provide resources and data not available in the NATO framework to countries involved in joint military action.
II. Command and Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I)
The main aim of C4I activities is to ensure that the required resources are available to those that need them in the place and at that time they are needed. To achieve this is no mean feat as adequate coordination of the activities of many services, which may be located in different places, is essential.
The better to get the measure of the problem, it is necessary at the outset to draw up a list of standard terms. Hence "resources" stands for everything necessary to manage any type of military operation in the most efficient way possible in war or peacetime. More specifically, the word "resources" can refer to information, personnel, hardware, software, money or raw materials.
The meaning of such terms is plain. However, our attention should perhaps focus for a moment on the word "information". In this context it refers to a meaningful set of ordered data, the meaning being given by a process of analysis. Within that definition, the main players involved in the process of information production are:
the sources, that refer the data;
the analysts, who order the data and give it meaning;
the distributors, who convey information where it is needed and where it can be stored;
the users who need information in order to act.
Information is the basis of decision-making and most activities in connection with C4I in fact consist of information management. In addition, information is that particular thing on which all other resources needed rely, for without information transfer it is impossible to know what needs there are and to satisfy them. Moreover, information is also a very vulnerable good.
In the context of military operations, the goal is to achieve so-called "information dominance" i.e. to have better information management than the adversary and the most realistic possible grasp of reality. Military operations carried out to achieve the objective of information dominance are called information warfare (IW).
In particular, when referring to studies in the field of information dominance it is possible, according to Martin Libicki1, to distinguish three levels:
Intelligence, whose role consists in informing the chain of command about the position and characteristics of the adversaries’ troops, and about the battlefield in general;
Command and control, which consists in taking decisions and applying them according to the information gathered through intelligence;
Information warfare, having more realistic and better-managed information than the adversary, while at the same time preventing the adversary from achieving the same.
To summarise, this report will refer to the specific section of IW that deals with the management of information, along with the chain of command, since different depths of information are needed depending on the level - tactical, operational or strategic - of the operation.
C4I architecture is a tool that serves an organisation that produces, exchanges and uses information. For this reason, it is important to tailor the system architecture to the user organisation and to its security needs.
In 1990, our Committee devoted a report to this subject2, but it was during the Gulf war, the first computerised war in history, that issues relating to C4I, particularly linked to extensive use of the space segment, began to emerge. It should be observed, that the space segment is of paramount importance in C4I architecture, basically because it provides real time, worldwide links.
III. WEU CIS and situation evaluation
Tasks to be carried out
To carry out an evaluation of the situation, the Intelligence Section of the Planning Cell, which "monitors and reports on crises designated by the Permanent Council and passively tracks other potential hot spots on the basis of information supplied by nations or other organisations"3, will need to draw up an intelligence plan at European level.
The intelligence plan should meet the common need to detect zones of potential crisis and it should be drawn up so as to exploit to the full the most suitable national facilities and those of the WEU Satellite Centre at Torrej—n.
Intelligence data, once gathered, has to be interpreted. Therefore WEU requires a capability - a data-merge unit - to integrate national independently-gathered data (OSINT or open source intelligence) and data supplied by the Satellite Centre.
WEU's aim is not to create a intelligence super-structure to take the place of national services but to increase their effectiveness, by pooling shared intelligence. To do so, an intelligence dissemination unit needs to be set up which the nations and the WEU Situation Centre can consult.
The functional development of a WEU CIS is summarised in the diagram below:
(not available electronically)
The functional needs identified in the preceding paragraph are the starting point for determining the systems required which can be assembled from commercial products widely available in Europe.
The Intelligence Section needs planning software for the intelligence planning unit, data-merge and processing software for the intelligence data-merge unit and connection to a remote on-line data base via a standard modem.
The processing centre might have shared visual display facilities for data retrieved from the database. Finally the Satellite Centre should be equipped with facilities for receiving images beamed directly from civilian remote-sensing satellites, a topic already raised by this Committee on several previous occasions.
These requirements are summarised in the diagram below:
(not available electronically)
In the longer term, it could be envisaged that WEU would acquire dedicated facilities too costly for any one country to develop. These could be satellite-based facilities or UFVs for imagery intelligence (IMINT) and signal intelligence (SIGIN).
Strategic intelligence requires the use of UFVs capable of high-altitude long-distance flight. Such systems are known as High-Altitude Long-Endurance Systems. Implementation of WEU internal systems would require the installation of WEU CIS systems suitable for monitoring the operational status of platforms.