Overcoming the Challenges of Coalition Data Sharing
Feb 19, 2021
At its highest level, the alignment of strategic objectives, worldviews, and doctrines and the willingness of partner
nations to work cooperatively to adopt and achieve them can make a coalition whole greater than the sum of
its parts. As such, while the United States and other coalition partners necessarily retain
the capability to act unilaterally for their own interests, building, maintaining, and improving allied and coalition
partnerships is now vital for effective mission operations in contested environments.
However, there are, in practice, several challenges to implementing such a solution at scale for a more cohesive
coalition operating environment, especially outside of the Five Eyes nations. Each nation and each level of
command has its own requirements and policies, and as such, a variety of solutions that meet a different set of
these requirements are needed to adequately assure both that the data flow is not disrupted and that unauthorized
data is never leaked or transferred.
Overcoming these challenges is paramount to the U.S. coalition mission, and therefore in the interest of all
coalition partners, including the U.S. This document is intended as both an elucidation of the political, technical,
and operational challenges to secure coalition data sharing, as well as an investigation into the available solutions
and existing models upon which to build a secure shared data environment.