Ensuring secure voice, data and radio communications between NATO allies in a common theatre of operation can be a difficult, even impossible task in forward operations. As encryption codes are secret, country-specific and are not shared, collaborating without risking eavesdropping from unwanted entities is a real threat.
NATO has 29 member nations, and each has circumstances that change from year to year. Geopolitical shifts can mean that a ‘friendly’ country cannot be considered as such permanently. For this reason, sharing encryption keys carries its weight of potential future risks, and understandably, countries want to maintain their independence as much as possible.