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Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. Foundations of Effective Influence Operations: A Framework for Enhancing Army Capabilities. Set up a giveaway. Pages with related products. See and discover other items: In practice, a more realistic and effective counterstrategy would need to combine policy elements across the quadrants. So, even if improving the effectiveness of the NATO Response Force is listed as a recommended policy response to hybrid warfare quadrant A , a more realistic strategy to counter such a threat would involve drawing on tools such as capacity building in partner nations quadrant B and improved intelligence sharing quadrant C.
An effective response will require reaching an understanding on a scaled-up and revised allocation of resources that takes into account the divergent interests of NATO allies, guided by differences in their threat perceptions. But even more importantly, NATO should refrain from becoming hostage to the growing divisions in Western democracies ushered in by the rise of populist movements. If left untamed, these movements could easily cripple the ability of the transatlantic partners to ensure peace and stability in and beyond the alliance.
In military theory, hybrid warfare is defined as a multimodal form of war that incorporates—and systematically mixes—irregular tactics, conventional capabilities, terrorist activities, criminal activities, and low-intensity conflict. More generally, hybrid warfare involves the integration and fusion of regular and irregular approaches to war. A more distant scenario would involve the threat of hybrid warfare linked to nonstate actors with state-like capabilities and aspirations, most notably the Islamic State. Indeed, confronting such threats is not an easy task.
An optimal strategy for defeating hybrid threats would combine efforts designed to disrupt and defeat the actors that pose these threats with a longer-term plan to tackle the root causes of the conflict. Those pillars are territorial defense, cooperative security, and management. The alliance has varying degrees of competence and preparedness to fully address large-scale hybrid warfare scenarios. On cyberwarfare, the alliance is expected to broaden its ambit by recognizing cyberspace as a new operational domain at the NATO summit in Warsaw in July Going forward, the alliance is expected to switch from a purely defensive stance focused on ensuring that key NATO assets and infrastructure are resilient to cyberthreats to the development of a more tangible deterrence posture that will involve elements of cyberwarfare.
A short deployment time is key to framing an efficient military strategy for the South. When it was established in , the NRF was designed to perform a wide array of missions including immediate collective defense, peace-support operations, and crisis management, as well as critical infrastructure and disaster relief.
At its September summit in Wales, the alliance decided to upgrade its NRF capabilities to address the challenges emanating from both of its flanks, Southern and Eastern, under the Readiness Action Plan. The brigade-level dynamic force comprises five maneuver battalions around 5, troops supported by maritime, air, and special forces elements. The primary advantages of the force are its short deployment time and wide, flexible mission portfolio.
Some units of the VJTF are planned to be deployable within forty-eight hours, while the whole unit, at full size, will be deployable in less than seven days. NFIUs are not military bases, but they function as enablers of transportation, logistical, and support infrastructure for the rapid deployment of NATO forces. These small but effective hubs were established following the Wales summit, under the Readiness Action Plan.
All existing units are expected to reach full capability before the Warsaw summit. These hubs are designed mainly to enable a rapid-reaction force deployment and a fast military buildup on the Eastern flank, to deter or defeat a Russian attempt at a fait accompli. Additionally, building another NFIU with special amphibious or maritime capacities and strategic airlift scope in one of the Mediterranean members of the alliance, such as Italy or Spain, could help address hybrid warfare challenges in North Africa.
But hybrid warfare situations break out and escalate uncontrollably and insidiously. The gap between the response and deployment times of the VJTF forty-eight to seventy-two hours and the NRF up to thirty days, or up to ninety days for follow-on forces could potentially cause political and military setbacks during hybrid warfare crises, especially at the operational level. The emerging hybrid warfare challenges in the South would especially necessitate such a capability as the Southern flank is less endowed than the Eastern flank with agile and mobile assets and capabilities that can respond effectively to the challenges of hybrid war.
At the high-altitude and long-range layer, Russians have deployed S Triumf SA Growler systems following the downing of a Russian Su aircraft by Turkish combat air patrols in November New 40N6 surface-to-air missiles have given the S a maximum range of miles against certain platforms. These defenses can also provide 95—mile cover to flying Russian aircraft to avoid radar detection.
The fleet is armed with enhanced Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines, thousands of marines, and a robust surface contingent. In addition, the Kremlin has managed to establish a new forward operating base in Latakia and thereby found a new way to project power into the Mediterranean from the Russian mainland. Moscow has also deployed manned and unmanned intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance ISR systems in Syria. As one expert indicated,.
Information gathered by these systems can be meshed with that from overhead imagery which does not need a forward operating base to increase overall targeting effectiveness. Since the downing of the Su fighter by Turkey in November , Russia has been operating missile cruisers with advanced air- and missile-defense systems in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Initially, the Moskva missile cruiser was deployed off the Latakia coast following the incident. The SLCM strikes complete a triumvirate of long-range conventionally armed missile strike capability demonstrations undertaken by the Russian military in recent months. Long-range precision conventional strike is a new mission for the Russian military, reflecting the shift in its mission since the Soviet days. Traditionally Russian long-range missiles have either been nuclear armed, or designed for anti-air or anti-ship roles. Although the SS is officially reported to have a range of some miles, experts believe that its range could be as long as miles.
Second, a SS missile follows a spiral trajectory in the terminal phase and can fly a depressed trajectory below an altitude of 30 miles, and its reentry vehicle can make maneuvers of up to 30g during the midcourse and terminal phases. All these technical attributes would stress any missile defense systems and make it extremely hard to intercept SSs. The efforts of the anti—Islamic State coalition have been hindered by the obstacles placed on the Turkish Air Force, which can no longer engage over Syrian airspace, even to strike Islamic State targets. From a broader political-military standpoint, the Russian forward deployments in Syria have gone well beyond the scope of a temporary intervention.
Syria is now being transformed into a long-term Russian bastion. The profile of the Russian deployments has shown a significant resemblance to the Russian outposts in Kaliningrad and Armenia. Essentially, the alliance needs a transformation in its doctrine and operational assets. In , the alliance adopted its Maritime Strategy, which is based on the four main pillars of deterrence and collective defense, crisis management, cooperative security, and maritime security. Such a force posture should be supported by an advanced architecture of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance C4ISR.
Tehran already has an impressive arsenal of ballistic missiles and has been gradually developing its missiles program. The constrained geography is tantamount to a small battle space that skews the balance between reaction time and battle space in favor of the aggressor in the case of a missile strike. To effectively counter the ballistic-missile threat from Iran and provide more effective non-nuclear deterrence, NATO needs to upgrade its strategic toolbox with a set of advanced capabilities.
At the Chicago summit, alliance leaders declared that NATO had achieved an interim ballistic missile defense capability. A short-term remedy could be provided by repositioning the Patriot ballistic missile defense system in Turkey, with a view to eventually turning this into a permanent ballistic missile defense presence. Although a Patriot deployment would provide only a point defense capability against short-range ballistic missiles, it would send a firm political-military signal to potential aggressors.
In parallel, NATO should consider undertaking missile defense drills designed specifically to address the ballistic-missile threats affecting the Southern flank. To complement the deterrence-by-denial option, NATO should also envisage enhanced capacities to provide deterrence by reprisal specifically for the Southern flank. But these were aimed mainly at deterring Russian aggression on the Eastern flank.
Beyond specific threats from individual countries, NATO must also confront the broader danger of state failure. A failed state that is a breeding ground for instability, gruesome corruption, internal violence, and crumbling legitimacy endangers world order and global stability. It threatens the foundation of the international system, which relies on the ability of states to govern their own space and soil.
When governments lose control over their borders—when public facilities are increasingly neglected and economic opportunities are available only for a privileged few—failure looms, preceding the outbreak of war. Unfortunately, the hope to establish democracies in the region was short-lived.
The setback of the protests demonstrated that it is much easier to make a dictatorship collapse than to install a democratic replacement. Five years after the Arab Spring, the global order has not witnessed the anticipated flowering of democracy, and a non-negligible number of Middle Eastern countries have plunged into a state of destruction.
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At the root of this crisis of governance is the inability to foster an overriding social contract. In many of these Arab states, the short window of opportunity ushered in by the Arab Spring has failed to edify the social and political norms necessary to shift from a model based on coercion to a contract based on participation. The resulting increase in social entropy is unshackling not only the foundations of nation-states but also the regional order. The violent escalation between Sunni and Shia sects remains as disruptive as ever, and jihadists are gaining strong footholds throughout the region.
The chaos in Syria and Iraq spawned a more pressing enemy: This militant group is accentuating the fragility of state structures in the Middle East, and its unchecked expansionism has the potential to lead to full state collapse, particularly in Syria and Iraq, the territories that the group covets as a protostate. The resulting internal strife, combined with the weakness of state structures, is leading to humanitarian disasters such as the Syrian refugee crisis, which has security and political implications for many NATO countries.
Building partner capacity refers to a broad set of missions and programs to achieve key security goals including mitigating conflict, enhancing coalition participation, building institutional linkages, and managing regional security challenges. In the NATO context, these activities fall under the core task of cooperative security.
At the Wales summit, the alliance endorsed two initiatives, the Partnership Interoperability Initiative and Defense and Related Capacity Building, to foster a partnership strategy. Through the Defense and Related Capacity Building framework, the alliance aims to project stability without deploying large combat forces. The initiative covers a broad range of defense- and security-related training, advising, assisting, and mentoring activities.
For the past two decades, NATO has been involved in a range of cooperative security initiatives. NATO began such operations to support the UN in the Western Balkans following the outbreak of the first major conflicts in the former Yugoslavia in the s.
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As the document states,. NATO has a unique and robust set of political and military capabilities to address the full spectrum of crises — before, during and after conflicts. NATO will actively employ an appropriate mix of those political and military tools to help manage developing crises that have the potential to affect Alliance security, before they escalate into conflicts; to stop ongoing conflicts where they affect Alliance security; and to help consolidate stability in post-conflict situations where that contributes to Euro-Atlantic security.
NATO already enjoys a solid common political understanding and contractual foundation for pursuing an effective partnership strategy that would incorporate security-sector reforms for partner nations on the Southern flank. This institutional outreach can nonetheless be reinforced through tailored components. Given the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, the Southern Mediterranean provides an opportune environment for cooperation with partners aimed at preventing state failure. Building on the Mediterranean Dialogue, NATO could expand military-to-military cooperation with the countries of the Southern Mediterranean and scale up training and education missions.
These states are more willing to cooperate with the alliance and take part in initiatives that address external security shocks such as growing radicalization in Libya or sea-based terrorism but much less eager to carve out a role for the transatlantic organization to establish deeper institutional links with their security or military establishments. The division of labor between NATO and the EU has historically been shaped with NATO focusing on security-sector reform, defense-capacity building, counterterrorism, and WMD capabilities and the EU concentrating on other key areas of governance reforms and capacity building, especially rule-of-law missions and law-enforcement training.
But close cooperation is necessary, particularly in less secure geographies and in low-intensity conflict environments, where future EU missions will need the protection of NATO assets.
A Threat-Based Strategy for NATO’s Southern Flank
An April European Commission communication presented a broad perspective on countering the rising hybrid threats in the East and the South by using a comprehensive toolbox aimed at protecting critical national infrastructure, boosting cybersecurity, building resilience against radicalization and violent extremism, protecting public health and food security, and improving defense capabilities.
Across the continent [of Europe], policymakers were in preoccupied with the uncomfortable reality that while the threats and risks to European security had increased during recent years, the means to address them had not recovered from the long cycle of defence cuts that began after the Cold War and accelerated after the financial crisis.
Its complexity, and the fact that its exponents might apply all levers of power, blending economics, information operations, diplomacy, intelligence, and conventional and irregular military force, has highlighted the requirement for clarity over both indicators of and responses to hybrid warfare. These difficulties have significantly constrained the possibility of closer political dialogue between the two organizations on emerging conflicts and crisis management, also handicapping proactive efforts to address or mitigate the threat of state failure.
Given that expectations are positive for a settlement of this issue later in under UN-led negotiations, the political framework underpinning NATO-EU relations could and should be revised to reflect the changing security landscape and foster more effective crisis-management capabilities through an enhanced comprehensive approach.
Such a threat landscape presents grave challenges not only to NATO member nations but also to partner countries. Historically, the militant group al-Qaeda constituted the core of the nonstate threat assessment. But the threat topography is complicated by the morphing of this terrorist entity, which now comprises a franchise terrorist network and subnetworks including associated forces, affiliates, adherents, and al-Qaeda—inspired groups and individuals. In this complicated structure, the Levant region is primarily exposed to al-Nusra activity, while the Maghreb and Sahel regions have been suffering from the threat of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb as well as mergers of different al-Qaeda—affiliated factions such as al-Mourabitoun and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa.
While Syria functions as a hub for the Levant basin, Libya plays the same role for the Maghreb and Sahel. This overall pessimistic picture is augmented by other al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and the Horn of Africa. More recently, the center of attention has shifted to the Islamic State, whose emergence has compounded the threat perception map for NATO allies. This terrorist group has also been acting as a foreign fighter magnet and trainer, with long-term implications for the security of NATO allies. The list of attacks sponsored by or linked to the Islamic State carried out in allied nations is becoming longer, and the number of casualties is increasing.
As of mid, open-source intelligence evidence suggests that the number of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria more than doubled between and , rising from some 12, militants from 81 countries in to 27,—31, from 86 countries in At the same time, the extremist ideology espoused by the Islamic State has been influential in the radicalization of Muslim communities in several NATO nations. And the Islamic State is known to have been developing and acquiring a range of weapons of mass destruction and, particularly, chemical and biological weapons. The declaration triggered a need to exercise control over a territory and provide an adequate level of governance.
Territorial control allows the group to leverage the economic and human resources at its disposal. But the Islamic State must also divert resources to protect its territory from its enemies. Success in the fight against the Islamic State on the ground could paradoxically increase the risks for NATO Southern flank countries, at least until the group is fully eradicated.
In his opening remarks to the Berlin Security Conference in , Deputy NATO Secretary General Alexander Vershbow stated that to address the Islamic State threat in the South, preventing the group from gaining new territory and forcing it to roll back its control of terrain would be key elements of a strategy.
The first consequence of successfully combating the Islamic State would be a heightened risk of retaliation, especially in countries where the group is known to have established active and dormant cells. In other words, a territorial squeeze could compel the Islamic State to seek revenge by perpetuating more terrorist attacks on NATO soil.
Second, as a reaction to its loss of territory in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State may decide to move its power base to keep its territorially driven, hybrid character. In this respect, Libya could be the next stop for the terrorist network. For some time, open-source reports have suggested the Islamic State has been increasing its activity in Libya. However, a more robust counterterrorism strategy could mitigate current risks and lower the frequency of attacks. NATO already has the necessary framework to initiate a well-balanced counterterrorism strategy for the Southern flank.
Yet significant gaps remain in relation to human intelligence, intelligence sharing, and terrorism risk modeling, which are equally critical components of a counterterrorism strategy. The role of human intelligence in counterterrorism cannot be overemphasized. Counterterrorism missions are able to penetrate target organizations through human intelligence capabilities. But developing these capabilities is a laborious and risky process. Besides, human intelligence activities require a very good knowledge of local human terrain supported by cultural and linguistic skills.
A viable way forward for the alliance is to boost intelligence sharing so that it can compensate for its shortfalls. It has already taken steps in this direction. In addition, in the NATO structure, the Intelligence Fusion Center in Molesworth, UK, is responsible for producing intelligence to support operational-level decisionmaking and military planning.
Nevertheless, NATO is in acute need of standardizing its intelligence-sharing efforts. Each member nation—even each intelligence agency of those nations—has different strategic cultures and subcultures, follows different procedures when dealing with classified information, and focuses on different security intelligence priorities and data protection regulations.
There is also a need for tailor-made approaches to intelligence sharing with partner nations that are at the forefront of counterterrorism efforts. In addition, although NATO has no mandate for collecting intelligence directly and working on raw intelligence products, it could use its interpretation mandate more effectively to develop an efficient terrorism risk assessment model for the alliance, with a special focus on the Southern flank.
To fulfill this objective, different NATO bodies should work on evaluating the most likely targets of possible terrorist attacks, conducting a vulnerability and consequence risk assessment for the likely targets, and predicting the expected modes of possible terrorist activities. With this model, alliance decisionmakers could be provided with holistic risk modeling that evaluates threats according to several variables such as target type, attack type, and the severity of the potential damage.
Without a doubt, intelligence is a vital area for NATO to pursue both offensive and defensive missions when confronting violent extremism. To address the terrorist threat located in and emanating from the Southern flank, NATO should adopt a set of intelligence categories, ranging from strategic intelligence in the broadest context to military intelligence at the specific operational level to human intelligence at the tactical level. An equally important objective should be to improve the operational effectiveness of the fusion centers, which will be conditional on creating an enhanced framework of intelligence sharing with partner nations.
The ultimate aim should be to upgrade the amount of actionable intelligence collected by and from partner and member nations. A major threat that certain states and, particularly, nonstate actors pose to the NATO alliance is the proliferation of WMD, from nuclear to biological to chemical weapons.
Theoretically, states pursue chemical and biological warfare capabilities for two main reasons.
First, while nuclear weapons necessitate advanced technological and industrial capabilities and tightly controlled materials, the production of chemical and biological weapons is cheaper, is easier to hide, and could depend on commercially available materials. The main tenets of this analysis could be extended to cover rogue nonstate actors such as the Islamic State that harbor territorial ambitions. Many recent discoveries have helped paint an alarming picture concerning the potential access of violent extremists to WMD.
The computer allegedly contained a nineteen-page document for weaponizing bubonic plague from infected animals for biological warfare purposes, coupled with a fatwa, or religious ruling, issued by the jihadist cleric Nasir al-Fahd legitimizing the use of WMD. Alongside biothreats, terrorist networks are also improving their chemical warfare expertise and capabilities.
Another potential biological threat is Ebola.