Countering Strategic Maskirova
The talk will consider NATO’s changing strategic environment, the scope and nature of hybrid threats, NATO’s pol-mil responses to hybrid warfare, and NATO’s military response to hybrid warfare. Hybrid warfare is defined as the denial of and defection from standard norms and principles of international relations in pursuit of narrow interests. Contemporary hybrid warfare is strategic in its ambition and employs a mix of disinformation, destabilising gambits and intimidation to force an adversary to comply with those interests. The essential purpose of hybrid warfare is to keep an adversary politically, militarily and societally off-balance. Whilst much of the debate concerns the military aspects of hybrid warfare the need for a tight pol-mil relationship is now seen as the essential pre-requisite for effective Allied engagement of the threats posed. Hybrid warfare exploits political seams within the Alliance and societal seams within open societies. Therefore, if NATO is to successfully adapt and adjust strategy, capability and resiliency it is vital that such threats are defined and properly understood and thereafter early indicators established as effective conventional and nuclear deterrence remains the first order principle of Alliance action and high readiness (and high responsiveness). However, in the event deterrence fails NATO must have the capacity and capability to fight war. That in turn entails the strengthening of societal cohesion within NATO nations, the forging of close links between the civilian and military aspects of security and defence. The future NATO must be built on good intelligence, knowledge, robust command and control, rapid response allied to the capacity to urge to mass via a big, agile reserve.