“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.
The NATO StratCom COE is the twentieth COE contributing to increased NATO capabilities. Centres of Excellence are nationally or multi-nationally funded NATO military bodies that acquire and further expertise and knowledge on specific issues and contribute to its application and dissemination thus supporting the transformation of NATO.
The NATO StratCom COE, based in Riga, Latvia, contributes to improved strategic communications capabilities within the Alliance and Allied nations. The Centre designs programs to advance StratCom doctrine development and harmonisation, conducts research and experimentation to find practical solutions to existing challenges, identifies lessons from applied StratCom during operations, and enhances training and education efforts and interoperability.