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Science and Technology to Combat Terrorism

This LibGuide is intended to provide a few starting points to assist you with your research on issues related to science and technology and their roles in fighting terrorism, in particular in the NATO context.

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Recommended Reading on NATO and Science & Technology to Combat Terrorism

  • The founders of the NATO Science Programme in 1958 – the "Three Wise Men", Foreign Ministers Halvard Lange of Norway, Gaetano Martino of Italy and Lester Pearson of Canada –affirmed that “scientific and technological developments can be decisive factors in determining the security of countries and their positions in world affairs.”
  • The opening of NATO’s science programme to partners followed the decision by Allied leaders, at the Rome Summit in November 1991, to enhance non-military scientific cooperation between NATO and countries of the former Warsaw Pact. These countries had also been invited to join the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, a forum for security dialogue and cooperation, which held its inaugural meeting in December 1991. (SOURCE)
  • With the "Defence against Terrorism Programme of Work (DAT PoW)", (approved by NATO leaders at the 2004 Istanbul Summit ), NATO is developing new, cutting-edge technologies to protect troops and civilians against terrorist attacks. The aim of the Alliance’s DAT PoW is to prevent non-conventional attacks, such as suicide attacks with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and mitigate other challenges, such as attacks on critical infrastructure.
  • Enhancing NATO’s partnerships through cooperation in science (4 February 2010)
  • NATO looks at chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear aspects in combating terrorism (14 October 2010)
  • In the run-up to the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, Ambassador Dirk Brengelmann (NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy) stated: "NATO continues to invest in new technologies and scientific solutions, such as sensors to detect suicide bombers in public places, that help to prevent, detect and protect against terrorism. NATO has also developed expertise in the protection of critical infrastructure and of other vulnerable targets. Our Rapid Reaction Teams and Advisory Support Teams can be sent to assist countries that have come under terrorist attack, including attacks with Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear weapons." ([UN] Secretary-General’s Symposium On International Counter-terrorism Co-operation.
  • Also on 8 September 2011 in New York, Ambassador Gábor Iklódy, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, briefed the UN Counter Terrorism Committee, mentioning STANDEX, a scientific project for the development of Stand-Off Detection of Explosives, launched in February 2010 (Briefing to the UN Counter Terrorism Committee). STANDEX is a NATO-Russia Council (NRC) Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme on Standoff Detection of Explosives and Suicide Bombers. NATO has contracted a Consortium to implement the Programme. More info about STANDEX can be found at NATO STANDEX Program Press Points. Successful live trials of the technology took place in real time in an underground station in a major European city in June 2013, marking the completion of the development and test phase of STANDEX – the result of four years of joint work between experts from Russia and NATO countries. (Source: Relations with Russia, 16 June 2017).
  • In September 2011, Ambassador Dirk Brengelmann (NATO Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy) stated: "NATO continues to invest in new technologies and scientific solutions, such as sensors to detect suicide bombers in public places, that help to prevent, detect and protect against terrorism. NATO has also developed expertise in the protection of critical infrastructure and of other vulnerable targets. Our Rapid Reaction Teams and Advisory Support Teams can be sent to assist countries that have come under terrorist attack, including attacks with Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear weapons." ([UN] Secretary-General’s Symposium On International Counter-terrorism Co-operation, 19 September 2011).
  • Applying high-tech to explosives detection (15 November 2011)
  • 20 years of working with partners to bring progress and peace through science (24 October 2012)
  • Since October 2016, in view of the threat posed by ISIL, NATO’s advanced Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft "have been supporting the Coalition with air surveillance and situational awareness. They do not coordinate Coalition air strikes or provide command and control for fighter aircraft. AWACS only fly over international airspace or over Turkey. AWACS can detect aircraft hundreds of kilometers away so they can monitor airspace in Iraq and Syria from inside Turkey". (Fact Sheet - NATO AWACS Surveillance Aircraft Support to the Counter ISIL Coalition (February 2017).
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