The Conference Trailer:

View the Proceedings here:

View the Documentation here:


Dr. Tim Benbow
Dr. Tim Benbow Senior Lecturer, King's College at the U.K. Defence Academy College, Shrivenham
Nick Childs
Nick Childs Senior Fellow Naval Forces and Maritime Security, Institute for International Strategic Studies (IISS)
Prof. Dr. Paul Cornish
Prof. Dr. Paul Cornish Director, Research Group Defence, Security and Infrastructure, RAND Corporation
CDR (BEL N) Kurt Engelen
CDR (BEL N) Kurt Engelen Vice President, Euro-Atlantic Association Belgium
Prof. Dr. Joachim Krause
Prof. Dr. Joachim Krause Director, Institute for Security Policy Kiel University (ISPK)
Prof. Julian Lindley-French
Prof. Julian Lindley-French Senior Fellow, Institute for Statecraft
LtCdr (SWE N) Stefan Lundqvist
LtCdr (SWE N) Stefan Lundqvist Swedish National Defence College
Prof. Dr. Carlo Masala
Prof. Dr. Carlo Masala Professor in International Politics at the University of the Bundeswehr, Munich
VADM (FRA N) Bruno Paulmier
VADM (FRA N) Bruno Paulmier Deputy Commander NATO MARCOM
CDR (GER N) Dirk Peters
CDR (GER N) Dirk Peters Project Officer Maritime Capabilities Support, European Defence Agency
Peter Roberts
Peter Roberts Senior Research Fellow for Sea Power and Maritime Security, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)
CDR (NDL N) Nico Vasseur
CDR (NDL N) Nico Vasseur Director NATO Naval Mine Warfare Centre of Excellence

The Panels

Panel 1: The Role of Sea Power in the Baltic Sea

Woody Allen once famously remarked that "80% of life is showing up". The same holds true for naval forces, which can ultimately influence through presence to high-end operations in ways that air forces and armies cannot. However, presence needs to be framed in a larger political justification, i.e. strategic leverage is the product of political will and operational capabilities. NATO navies, at the same time, are under budgetary pressures to uphold even the modest rotational presence requirements, posing an arguably larger challenge to NATO´s presence than current hostile A2/AD capabilities in any theatre.


  • Prof. Julian Lindley-French, Senior Fellow, Institute of Statecraft, London
  • Dirk Peters, Project Officer Maritime Capabilities Support European Defence Agency, Brussels
  • Lieutenant Commander (SWE N) Stefan Lundqvist, Swedish National Defence College

Chairman: Prof. Dr. Joachim Krause, Institute for Security Policy, University of Kiel

Panel 2: Naval Mines – Curse or Blessing in Hybrid Warfare

In the often busy, narrow and shallow waters of the militarily and commercially significant littorals, the potential risk through mines is elevated. Insidiously, the mere threat of mine deployments can have the same effect as actually establishing a minefield. Since mines can be laid rather easily by many platforms (even coasters and smaller vessels), it makes them ideal for clandestine employment without directly implicating the perpetrator. In other words, mines can be an especially effective (political) tool in low-level conflicts and hybrid scenarios.


  • CDR (NDL N) Nico Vasseur, Director NATO Naval Mine Warfare Centre of Excellence, Oostende
  • CDR (BEL N) Kurt Engelen, Vice President, Euro-Atlantic Association of Belgium, Brussels
  • Nick Childs, Senior Fellow Naval Forces and Maritime Security, Institute for International Strategic Studies, London

Chairman: Peter Roberts, Senior Research Fellow, Royal United Services Institute, London

Panel 3: Influence of Disruptive Technologies on Navies and Operations in a Confined Theatre

With effectors becoming more precise, remotely controllable, and more available, every ship that enters the littorals must be considered expendable. Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance are increasingly mission-critical. On top of that, as more operations depend on the support of unmanned and autonomous systems that engage over-the-horizon, the control of the cyber domain becomes more significant for mission success than ever before. With the threat coming from above, from below, from surface and from ashore, what impact does this have on the way today's navies train and fight for the littorals and how does it affect their mindset and their self-image?


  • Peter Roberts, Senior Research Fellow, Royal United Services Institute, London
  • Prof. Dr. Paul Cornish, Director, Research Group Defence, Security and Infrastructure, RAND Corporation, Cambridge
  • Prof. Dr. Carlo Masala, Professorship, University of the Bundeswehr, Munich

Chairman: Dr. Tim Benbow, Senior Lecturer, King’s College at the U. K. Defence Academy College, Shrivenham

The Kiel Conference was organized by

The Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK) provides research, analysis and commentary on conflicts and strategic issues. ISPK is committed to furthering the security policy discourse in Germany and abroad by way of focused, interdisciplinary, policy-oriented research.

In Cooperation with

The Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters (COE CSW) at Kiel naval base provides Joint and Combined Subject Matter Expertise in the range of operations in confined and shallow waters (CSW) for NATO and the nations participating in the COE CSW in order to advance future developments and in particular to support NATO Transformation.