Strategic Autonomy for the Masses – CDE4Peace Policy brief
Sometimes hope can come from unexpected places. In this case this could be a syncretic NATO policy process and scientific methodology named Concept development and experimentation (CD&E). CD&E is defined as one of the tools that drive NATO’s transformation by enabling the structured development of creative and innovative ideas into viable solutions for capability development.6 It is a broad framework which includes multiple methods, such as modelling and simulation (M&S), operational analysis, scenario development, exercise-based experiments, alternative analysis etc.
The most important thing in CD&E is that every concept has to be tested through experimentation in order to be validated. In the case of strategic autonomy, the most relevant experimentation method is a participatory experiment in which European citizens participate directly in the political decision on the actual substance, meaning and implications of strategic autonomy. Although not a CD&E method in the strict sense of the word, such a participatory experiment is fully in line with the experimental ‘spirit’ of CD&E.