How does NATO counter hybrid threats? (WITH SUBS)
Hybrid means of warfare – propaganda, deception, sabotage and other non-military tactics – have long been used in lieu of (or sometimes in conjunction with) overt, conventional military action. In recent years, the use of hybrid tactics has increased in speed, scale and intensity. How does NATO counter this difficult, covert threat? In 2018, Latvia held Exercise Namejs, its largest military manoeuvre since the restoration of independence in 1991. They practised responding against what Chief of Defence Lieutenant General Leonīds Kalniņš called a scenario “very, very close to our perception about threats in our region” – that is, a wide-scale disinformation campaign as a prelude to armed conflict. Exercises like Namejs are useful not only for Latvia, but for the Alliance at large, as Allies share hard-won information and best practices. Footage includes shots of NATO Allies during Namejs 18 and soundbites from NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller, Ben Heap, a hybrid warfare expert at the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, and Lt Gen Leonīds Kalniņš.
How do NATO Allies train to counter a form of warfare that is difficult to identify and hard to defend against?
VISUAL DESCRIPTION TEXT ON SCREEN IT CAN BE HARD TO DEFEND AGAINST AN ENEMY YOU CAN’T SEE Archive footage of tanks and planes from the Second World War LOWER-THIRDS TEXT Rose Gottemoeller, NATO Deputy Secretary General Footage of a simulated riot during Exercise Namejs 18 Slow-mo shot: Latvian Special Forces moving down corridor TEXT ON SCREEN WHAT ARE HYBRID THREATS? Various shots: hybrid exercise LOWER-THIRDS TEXT Ben Heap, NATO StratCom Centre of Excellence Various shots: exercise Hacker on computer. NATO’S RESPONSE TO HYBRID ATTACKS IS: 1) PREPARE 2) DETER 3) DEFEND A MILITARY EXERCISE IN LATVIA PUT THIS TO THE TEST Various shots: NATO troops during exercise; simulated riot Various shots: computer screen Various shots: riot exercise DURING THE EXERCISE A SIMULATED ADVERSARY USED DISINFORMATION TO STIR UP CIVIL UNREST Wide shot: simulated insurgent firing belt-fed machine gun ONLY TOGETHER CAN WE COUNTER HYBRID THREATS Archival footage: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meeting Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid Various shots: the Freedom Monument in Riga, Latvia Latvian Special Forces team roping onto and moving through building. NATO troops working together during Exercise Namejs 18 This video includes Reuters copyrighted library material purchased by NATO which cannot be used as part of a new production without consent of the copyright holder. Please contact Reuters to clear this material. AUDIO DESCRIPTION --SOUNDBITE—(ENGLISH) Rose Gottemoeller, NATO Deputy Secretary General “In the old days, it wasn’t so very difficult. You’d see a line of soldiers coming across a borderline and you’d know something was up, conflict was underway or there would be a massive explosion and attack. What NATO is grappling with today is so much of it is in the hybrid realm where we don’t know where the borderline is between peace and war, between conflict and war.” –SOUNDBITE— (ENGLISH) Ben Heap, NATO StratCom Centre of Excellence “Hybrid threats are really anything our adversaries can use against us, that would damage our national security. And this is activity that could be overt, so it’s out in the open, or it’s covert, so it’s hidden. And it can be a mix of military and non-military means. So that means disinformation, sabotage, cyberattacks, but includes the use of troops, tanks, etc.” –SOUNDBITE— (ENGLISH) Lt Gen Leonīds Kalniņš, Chief of Defence, Latvia “The scenario was very, very close to our perception about threats in our region. We have to train our soldiers, our leadership, military leadership, to think wider, to be very creative to test our comprehensive defence system looking for support from society, civil society.” –SOUNDBITE— (English) Ben Heap, NATO StratCom Centre of Excellence “Disinformation tends to exploit an existing vulnerability. Grievances in different groups, fractures in society. And it tends to be trying to make people who are angry about something more angry, and so angry that they want to go and do something about it. Resilience is all about understanding, as a nation, what is important to you, and what you want to protect. Nations can’t address the security problems of today on their own. Being able to respond quickly to hybrid threats is really all about working together and sharing information, through NATO and through the EU.” END
- Date filming
- 17 Aug 2018 12:00
- Various locations, Latvia
- Usage rights
- This video includes Reuters copyrighted library material purchased by NATO which cannot be used as part of a new production without consent of the copyright holder. Please contact Reuters to clear this material.