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NATO & Cyber Defense

On December 17, 2020, the Netherlands Atlantic Youth organized a program with cybersecurity expert Max Smeets, titled:

NATO & Cyber Defense: adapting to a changing security environment

Last year, NATO reached a landmark that went largely unnoticed: there are now more member states which have publicly established a military cyber command than there are member states which have not. Several allies have offered their ‘sovereign cyber effects’ for the benefit of NATO missions. Furthermore, NATO reiterated its commitment to implement the Cyber Defense Pledge and establish the Cyber Operation Center to be fully operational in 2023 at the Brussels & London Summits. But, what does this exactly mean? Can NATO effectively engage in cyberspace the coming years? And what are the main organizational and strategic questions NATO members are currently grappling with?


Max Smeets is Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zürich and co-founder and Director of the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative. He is also an Affiliate at Stanford University Center for International Security and Cooperation and Research Associate at the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs, University of Oxford. Previously, Smeets was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at Stanford University CISAC and a College Lecturer at Keble College, University of Oxford.

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