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How to adapt deterrence to novel weapons, disruptive technologies and strategic challenges - including rebuilding our nuclear and conventional deterrence.
Run through of changes to the NATO conventional response and deterrence structure - including new domains (cyber) - new nature of Art 5 cyber clause. Biggest reinforcement of collective deterrence in a generation.
No quarrel with the Russian people. NATO is a defensive alliance with no intent to intimidate anyone or any state. Adaptation needs to continue to provide effective deterrence in cyber and hostile state action.
Accumulating cyber and hybrid attacks can be as harmful as a conventional threat. Some countries in NATO dislike attribution and burden of evidence. Art 5 definitions in this area are tricky (slow and incremental vs large scale).
To deter asymmetric attacks we must be more asymmetric ourselves. That calls for a wider consultation and working together to figure out what that looks like. NATO is onto this - including cyber deterrence and hybrid threats.
7 key methodologies. Capabilities, resolve, resilience, attribution, solidarity, coherence and agility.
Good question on balancing posture deterrence and provocation.
Response centres on NATO defensive in nature and in response to aggression. Restoring conventional and nuclear deterrence is not to intimidate or threaten - it is to deter.
Much of deterrence is not in the military sphere. (Sanctions, resilience etc) but these measures are not plausibly escalatory. Information: be precise in our signalling. Be clear on thresholds and direction. We need to define asymmetric responses more clearly and confidently.
How much are we discussing alternatives to the traditional alliance systems and inflicting pain through other ‘smaller allies’.
Where would you spend more money? In below threshold? Or conventional capability.
NATO clear that Art 5 means Art 5. UK view is there is a legal threshold that equals the use of force - be it cumulative (small regular) as conventional attack. We need to look about that across the alliance. Taking account of cumulative attacks across the alliance.
In seeking asymmetric responses we need to consider the broad stanza of other bodies - EU, UN etc to pull other levers including economic, information, diplomatic etc.
One of the features of the current time is it’s all about everything isn’t it. We cannot produce false dichotomies of grey/black zone and conventional zone. They are part of the same multi-lever response and pressure options for and deterrence tool set. *Well said
But we also need to accelerate in technology because we have to acknowledge that we’re behind and we cannot be vulnerable to the development and harnessing of new technologies by threats.
Right. This is a pretty impressive panel. You’re going to have to trust me on that (Chatham House rule). #DeterrenceConf
The challenge here is what does modern deterrence look like now compared to the last century.
Deterrence as a psychological endeavour rather than activity. Deterrence by resilience and deterrence by denial. We need to think about the whole span of capabilities - engagement, economic, information - not just military.
We need to think about resolve. This is a societal question. We need to think about attributation - being able to do it quickly, publicly and in a publishable form. Solidarity is vital for coherent messaging and prevent fractures or picking off of allies. Relies on trust.
Coherence. How joined up and publicly effective are we across government. Work say and support the same messages and actions. We need to land messages in the mind of the adversary. Not what you say - it’s what they understood that counts.
For deterrence to work we need to understand what the adversary holds dear - what is the pressure point and threshold to get them to change their mind. Adversaries don’t advertise what they’re up to or what they are developing. We need intel, diplomacy, and explain to the public.
The public need to understand about how adversaries are pushing us around or disrupting our democracies. The public need to understand we need to be united and resilient and have resolve against hostile state action. Academic can help with this.
Fusion doctrine - what is the thing we can change - what is the nature of the fused approach to deliver it. This happens at the NSSIG - implementation group - we need to get deterrence theory and methodology into those discussions.
Talking through Salisbury response and amplification effect in the social media through people rebroadcasting key messages. Messaging was quick strong and incontrovertible. Also focussed on counter narratives and exposing them which solidified support to UK.
Worth mentioning resilience of NHS, Police, city of Salisbury. We’re not going to let them do this here to our town. Reduced the impact of the attack by keeping people alive, recovering quickly, exposing incompetence and using the law against individuals.
Change of speaker on to strategy, deterrence and putting strategic command and deterrence into practice. Playing offence at the same time we’re playing defence. Strategic deterrence every day as part of the Joint Force.
Deter major conflict through full spectrum capabilities by integrating this range across the Joint Force and tailor it to the adversary.
Global security environment is change, complexity and danger. Narrowing threat balances, multi-domain integration, power competition, extension of influence beyond boundaries at expense of the rules based system. This does not mean conflict is inevitable.
Purpose is to prevent war but continue to invest in strength. Threats are directly challenge US supremacy. Asymmetric approaches to attack in areas and methods that make a response difficult or in some cases no response.
World is more transparent. Words and actions seen by those we’re seeking to influence but also those who are not the target of that influence. We need to be mindful of that.
Multi-domain approach now main stream. We try and boil it down. Deter who, from what, in what context or conditions. Sometimes we skip this nuance - and we need to improve. Less generic, more specific.
New US doctrine looking at integrated deterrence concept. Integrated, corporate (whole of govt) communicative and credible. Corporate in development, customised in terms of threat, communicative in its aims and purpose, credible in terms of strength and resolve.
Assure allies and partners and bring themto deterrence. Compete - get out there and compete Deter conventional capabilities and attacks. We’ve got some work to do on that. We need to win before we ever need to fight. But we need to be prepared if the threat takes that step to win
Global view. Don’t have to deal with a threat in its back yard. Military is a small M in a big DIME. We need to provide better options to support: cross domain capabilities, identifying other pressure points, cross domain actions to get an entry point to do something different.
Cross government is really hard - if it was easy we’d be doing it already. Need a strategy that everyone can get behind *like a National Defence Strategy......
Challenges to delivery. Common view on the adversary and attribution. Take a little risk early rather than getting into a big fight. Set good defence, get involved with offence be prepared to win.
Change of speaker. From Finland @PaiviTen Deterrence hasn’t really changed for Finns. Good to have consensus in Europe about the threat from Russia. This hasn’t always been the case. Existential threat +. Info ops, propaganda etc has always existed but tools are now pervasive
We have a security strategy for the whole nation in a total defence sense. From a small nation, remotely located, under threat in Europe and the Arctic. How does modern deterrence look to us? It’s a corporation framework. Method to collabortate and act together.
We tend to rely on when Russia will become interdependent and ‘need us’ but this is not the case in Georgia, Ukraine or Syria. Finland relies on them as a PFP nation but can’t count on all.
In Finland we have spent time in investing in the understanding and communicating what has changed in our security environment. Cohesion is strong in Fin if we are to survive. A society of trust about threats and responses.
Finland has to attenuate deterence as a small nation. Elevated readiness massively. Send a signal that we are responding and at higher readiness than 2014. Have upped military and civilian intelligence. New law to enable military support, new conscription, extend Def cooperation
Finland more proactive than before joining more networks and response initiatives. Stronger legal framework for procurement and military support. To have deterrence functioning and working we have to convey we mean what we say.
Change of speaker. Sweden. Swedish approach is similar but context is different. 95% of military capability destroyed after WW2. We need a contribution to a deterrence framework. We need to think how to find that and we need to think about how to protect our people and CNI.
How do we portray a different picture to the threat that they can’t simply have a free pass in our seas and around our borders?
We have been thinking in terms of making thresholds. Building resilience. Building costs. Building capabilities that give pause for thought. Sweden may have to rethink the nature of the problem in relation to the context and complexity of today.
Deterrence needs to consider nuclear proliferation, total defence - a lid on top of our society that is more resilient - CNI and people. We need to be thinking of a 10-20 year investment. It also needs £££££
We need to be resilient and make it clear Sweden is here to stay and will defend itself. Cyber is critical as it shields the other domains. We need to be able to prove attribution. If UKR has a higher level of credibility for attribution we could have more impact on Crimea.
Sweden 3rd most connected country but 38th on cyber security. We need to close that gap - particularly with private sector. We expose our civ/mil relationship as exploitable.
Need to be clear in the competition for government resources that deterrence is a priority. Which some find difficult to contemplate.
Next up modern deterrence moving from a top down model of driving deterrence to a co-design model. Top down reviews are innovations of the post Cold War period. Expectations levied by the congress on to Department about where to spend. They produced, basically, no change.
How do you make policy led reviews more effective? You need senior leader buy in. 2. Mainstream results - no point having TS level implementation - you can’t share. You need to advocate, collaborate and implement.
First lesson of reviews. One thing to get started another to maintain momentum. Churn disrupts link between decision making and implementation.
Second. You have lots of people who lost on round one of the review - who are waiting to win in phase two. Spoilers. This is an understandable behaviour but harms policy and strategy implantation.
Third. You need to keep track with a changing world. Cannot shift between ‘prime threats’. Have to stay at the business of analysis and keep juggling the pieces. Final line of NDS is Deter Compete and Win. This enables a deterrence frame but is problematic.
@mike_c_q current speaker just coming into your point. Deterrence is what we do to others but also what is done to us. We need to pay more attention to deterrence strategies of our foes and our counter-deterrence strategies (different to modern deterrence).
Counter-deterrence should be termed “theories of victory”. To bring our foes to a political point of compromise or defeat. You can bet that Gerasimov and PLA have a strategy to pick away at our power base and that of our allies. What are we doing to counter that?
Counter-deterrence and deterrence two sides of the same coin. We need to understand threat strategies and how we can counter them whilst not eroding our own posture and deterrence.
NATO play book for RUS proving hard to define and refine. It was not sufficient to address the problem presented by Russia. More work here to close the gap.
The final challenge is escalation and escalation advantage. The advantage regimes of China, Russia, Korea and others is they have asymmetry of stake. They are willing to take pain to be victorious.
They’ve thought a lot about it. We tend to think about inadvertent escalation and miscalculation. But how will we escalate to pose risks and cost to threats? Many fall back on great assumptions of our ability to inflict pain.
Their tactic is to get to the asymmetry of stake to cross US/NATO/UK red lines and deter our response because ourbstake is too high.
Challenges of implementation. The more progress you make the more people focus on progress not output. Knowing where the finish line is and the long term objectives are is key to keeping communities of interest engaged.
Key challenge: Restore NATO deterrence posture that we are satisfied are fit for purpose.
Mainstream: deterrence and counter deterrence strategies so we have credible options and theories of victory.
Questions. The obstacles to creating solid escalation strategies - well I don’t know whose job that is. Not a Service Chief. Not a Combatant Command. Answer seems to have been Stratcomm. In our threat states it’s a centralised mil staff with key objectives.
Contrast that with the individual silos we try and create genuine cross domain plans and activities - and it becomes uninified.
On escalation if NATO’s goal is to avoid nuclear war - this immediately gives strategic advantage to Russia/China as they know they have a malleable and large decision space and asymmetry of risk.
Coherence is an unattainable goal. I can’t name a single period in political history where coherence has been achieved. When faced with a direct threat with imminent danger - that’s when we get coherency - 9/11 for example.
Q. What is our appetite for contestation? We need to act in the interest of peace and the security order we carved out. But we can’t hope to enforce such strict containment that we oppose all aggression of a state.
Q. We’re status quo power and citizens. We don’t have a language and process for addressing some of our challenges. Is there any alternative to really thinking through deterrence without NATO/US/UK frames and then go back and ask whether we would do it?
A. What is the source of Putin, China, N Korea’s confidence? It’s because they’ve figured out their deterrence and forward posture. They have taken the time to do all of that work and then drastically modernise their forces and optomise them to meet the strategy. We have not.
We haven’t reached a point where we are compelled to think and come up with alternatives. We have evolved a paradigm. We haven’t changed our deterrence or our strategy.
Worth pointing out threat states don’t think we are status quo at all. They think we are spreading revolutionary ideology that directly threatens their way of life.
We need to avoid immersing students and analysts in Cold War paradigms and frame these dilemmas much more on the post Cold War period - a contemporary context. Then they learn relevant analysis and momentum.
We all believe that authoritarian regimes are long term focussed and have freedom to plan and resources. But regimes have their problems too as they have to negotiate their own pressures of relationship between Party and People or policy and opportunity.
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