"Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.”
This quotation from the Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO (1946) is more than relevant in the information age. One cannot imagine a successful operation without clearly defined and efficient strategic communication.
The NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence (NATO StratCom COE) became functional in January 2014. On July 1 the same year, seven member states – Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and the United Kingdom – signed memorandums of understanding on the establishment of the StratCom COE. The centre received NATO accreditation on 1 September 2014, and, as stated in the 2014 Wales Summit Declaration, Allies welcomed, “…the establishment of the StratCom COE as a meaningful contribution to NATO’s efforts…” in the area of strategic communications.
NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence is multi-nationally constituted and NATO-accredited international military organization, which is not part of the NATO Command Structure, nor subordinate to any other NATO entity. We are not part of NATO command structure or funded from the NATO budget and will not speak on behalf of NATO.
The NATO StratCom COE, based in Riga, Latvia, contributes to improved strategic communications capabilities within the Alliance and Allied nations. Strategic communication is an integral part of the efforts to achieve the Alliance’s political and military objectives, thus it is increasingly important that the Alliance communicates in an appropriate, timely, accurate and responsive manner on its evolving roles, objectives and missions.
Mission of the Centre is to provide a tangible contribution to the strategic communications capabilities of NATO, NATO allies and NATO partners. It's strength is built by multinational and cross-sector participants from the civilian and military, private and academic sectors and usage of modern technologies, virtual tools for analyses, research and decision making.
The heart of the NATO StratCom COE is a diverse group of international experts with military, government and academic backgrounds - trainers, educators, analysts and researchers.
The Centre is staffed and financed by its sponsoring nations and contributing participants. As of May 2018, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Netherlands and United Kingdom are signed on as Sponsoring Nations of the StratCom COE. Finland and Sweden have become Partner Countries. Additionally, France and Canada have seconded staff.
Main activities of the NATO StratCom COE in 2018:
- NATO StratCom policy & doctrine development
- Participation in theMultinational Information Operations Experiment (MNIOE)
- Participation in the Multinational Capability Development Campaign (MCDC)
- Report 'Robotic networks in social media'
- Report 'How NATO as organisation and its members can counter hostile influence'
- Report 'Emerging issues in social media'
- Report 'Data exploitation by malicious actors'
- Analysis of visual content in social media
- Report 'Countering abuse of social media platforms'
- StratCom Terminology Improvement
- Report 'Weaponization of Social Media 2040'
Analysis of reactions to NATO presence in eFP and Balkans (Albania, Croatia, Montenegro) focusing in Social Media
Support NATO and NATO nations on enhanced Forward Presence engagements
StratCom education and training support to ACT
- Supporting national and international staff officers education (including BDCOL) with elaboration of StratCom capabilities through participation training activities, lectures and seminars
Seminar focusing on Populism and Propaganda
Support to international strategic level table top exercise
Supporting TRIDENT JUNCTURE 18, NATO HQ CMX, STEADFAST PYRAMID and STEADFAST PINNACLE
Academic journal 'Defence Strategic Communications'
Annual conference 'The Riga StratCom Dialogue'