Global Security Pulse: Hybrid Conflict

Submitted by Inge on Wed, 11/13/2019 - 13:31

The Global Security Pulse (GSP) tracks emerging security trends and risks worldwide, allowing you to stay ahead in new security developments. This month we present novel developments and must-reads on hybrid conflict. 

Our research suggests that the international security environment is increasingly characterized by hybrid strategies that fall under military, political, economic, information, and cyber domains. Hybrid threats are characterized by their complexity, ambiguity, multidimensional nature, and gradual impact, making them difficult for states to effectively respond to and posing a significant challenge to the international order. Whilst hybrid tactics in and of themselves are not entirely new, the availability of diverse and sophisticated (technological) tools is enhancing the impact, reach, and congruence of these strategies. This aspect, paired with states’ unprecedented aversion to engage in conventional war due to nuclear, economic and political deterrence, and recent shifts in global power means that hybrid conflict constitutes an increasingly desirable strategy to achieve political goals.

Authors

Bianca Torossian, Tara Görder, Lucas Fagliano (HCSS)

Contributors: Tim Sweijs, Hugo van Manen, Dylan Browne-Wilkinson (HCSS), Danny Pronk (Clingendael)

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NATO’s Futures through Russian and Chinese Beholders’ Eyes

Submitted by Inge on Wed, 10/23/2019 - 16:35

As NATO celebrates the 70th anniversary of its Founding Treaty this year, many fundamental aspects of its future are widely debated within the Alliance itself. Western views on NATO’s future have, throughout the seven decades of its existence, ranged from those who predicted NATO’s imminent demise to those who claimed that the many ties that bind the two sides of the Northern Atlantic are so deep and enduring that they are bound to last for decades to come. Throughout this period, the center of gravity in this debate has always tended to lean towards the latter view. More recently, however, the Western outlook on NATO’s future is increasingly being painted in decidedly more somber hues.

But what do other key players in the international system think about NATO’s future(s)? 

To answer this question, the Dutch ministries of Defense and of Foreign Affairs asked HCSS to take a closer and more systematic look at how Chinese and Russian experts have been analyzing NATO’s future in their languages over the past three years – basically since the beginning of the Trump presidency. Many of the key Chinese and Russian scholars working on these issues also publish in English. Given the nature of these countries’ regimes, however, it is often unclear to what extent they are signaling to the broader Western or international community as opposed to reflecting their own opinions or views. This may differ from publications in their own language primarily targeted at domestic audiences, which also clearly include part of their countries’ elites whose knowledge of the English language might preclude them from being exposed to their projections and ideas.
 

Authors

Yar Batoh, Stephan De Spiegeleire, Daria Goriacheva, Yevhen Sapolovych, Marijn de Wolff and Frank Bekkers.
 

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The European Intervention Initiative

Submitted by Inge on Mon, 09/23/2019 - 15:10

Developing a shared strategic culture for European defence 

In September 2017 President Emmanuel Macron suggested a European Intervention Initiative (EI2) as part of his vision of a “sovereign, united and democratic Europe”. Some commentators labelled his proposal, which stands outside of existing structures (e.g. the European Union), as the launching of a European intervention force. In reality, EI2 is aimed at bringing able and willing European countries together to prepare themselves better for future crises – not by creating a new standby force but by ultimately creating a shared strategic culture. At the invitation of France, ten European countries have joined the initiative.

The key challenge is how a shared strategic culture can best be achieved.

The key challenge is how a shared strategic culture can best be achieved. To answer that question, this report will start with a short background description of EI2 and what has been achieved so far, followed by an analysis of what constitutes a ‘strategic culture’. Based on that analysis the ten EI2 countries will be assessed according to several criteria related to their current national strategic cultures.

Strategic cultures are notoriously resilient to change, but can particular entry points for strategic cultural convergence be identified that make the most impact? The report concludes with recommendations on these entry points in order to best achieve a shared strategic culture. 

About the authors

Dick Zandee is Head of the Security Unit at the Clingendael Institute. His research focuses on security and defence issues, including policies, defence capability development, research and technology, armaments cooperation and defence industrial aspects.

Kimberley Kruijver is Junior Research Fellow at the Clingendael’s Security Unit. Her research concentrates on (European) security and defence matters.

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The multilateral system under stress: Europe’s path forward

Submitted by Inge on Wed, 09/04/2019 - 10:38

The multilateral system under stress: Charting Europe’s path forward

Case studies of the WTO, arms control and human rights 

The retreat of the United States (US) from the international order that it helped to build marks a significant turning point in international affairs. The Netherlands, as a European Union (EU) member state, now has to reposition itself in a world defined by great power rivalry and without a guaranteed strong transatlantic partnership.

Facing an increasingly powerful, confident and capable China, and a Russia that – especially in the military realm – is trying to regain and strengthen its great power status, the US has withdrawn from institutions and agreements that have epitomised world trade, arms control and human rights standards for decades. Shifts in the direction, scale and composition of trade flows, the increasing complexity and changing capabilities of 21st century weapon arsenals, and an apparent backsliding of the international human rights agenda call for new approaches to repair or build institutional arrangements that are capable of governing these issues on a multilateral level.

Going forward, the Netherlands and the EU need to deliver on new thinking and action on four parallel tracks: continued engagement with the United States; deepened and renewed engagement with other partners and stakeholders; a broadening of multilateralism to new areas; and, in certain cases, new approaches.

About the authors

Brigitte Dekker is a Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ in The Hague. Her research focuses on various dimensions of EU–Asia relations, with a specific interest in South-East Asia and China.

Sico van der Meer Sico van der Meer is a Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute. His research focusses on non-conventional weapons such as Weapons of Mass Destruction and cyber weapons from a strategic policy perspective. 

Maaike Okano-Heijmans is a Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ in The Hague. She is a Scientific Coordinator of the Asia–Pacific Research and Advice Network (#APRAN) for the European Commission and the European External Action Service. 

 

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Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands and President Trump of the United States in the White House on 18 July 2019

Global Security Pulse: Weapons of Mass Destruction

Submitted by Inge on Mon, 08/26/2019 - 22:04

Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Weapons

The Global Security Pulse (GSP) tracks emerging security trends and risks worldwide, allowing you to stay ahead in new security developments. 

The fourth Global Security Pulse of 2019 focuses on Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Weapons, or CBRN Weapons. These are often labelled as Weapons of Mass Destruction, although especially radiological weapons could better be considered as Weapons of Mass Disruption, as they will generally not be able to cause massive destruction but merely chaos and panic.

An important characteristic of CBRN weapons is that the specific materials to develop them are dual-use; with a few exceptions, materials required to build CBRN weapons can also be used for peaceful purposes. To prevent that any CBRN dual use material would be considered as weapon material, this Global Security Pulse uses a broadened version of the so-called General Purpose Criterion of the Chemical Weapons Convention: “A CBRN Weapon is CBRN material used to cause intentional death or harm through its CBRN properties.” Munitions, devices and other equipment specifically designed to weaponize CBRN materials also fall under the definition of chemical weapons.

Building upon previous Strategic Foresight publications on CBRN Weapons, we have looked for new and/or important signals regarding these weapons in relation to five key topics: proliferation, modernization of weapons, escalation potential, international CBRN regimes, and non-state actor access. In addition, we have scanned for new and/or important signals that can tell us something about the status of and developments with regard to the international order regarding CBRN weapons, especially concerning international norms and rules.

Read more Global Security Pulses.

Authors

Danny Pronk, Sico van der Meer and Kevin Raat (Clingendael Institute)

Contributors: Tim Sweijs and Patrick Bolder (HCSS)

Danny Pronk and Sico van der Meer are one of the trainers of our 8-day course International Security from 23 October until 1 November. Go to Training Course International Security.

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The US–China trade–tech stand-off

Submitted by Inge on Tue, 08/13/2019 - 15:04

And the need for EU action on export control

As the great power rivalry and (technological) trade conflict between the United States (US) and China intensifies, calls for an export control regime tailored to so-called emerging technologies are growing. In August 2018 the US government announced the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA), seeking to limit the release of emerging technologies to end uses, end users and destinations of concern.

The contest is on for the leader in the development and use of emerging technologies, but also for shaping norms and writing the rules for their use. This requires the Netherlands and other EU member states – in coordination with key stakeholders from business and academia – also to redouble their efforts to recraft their own approach to export controls of so-called ‘omni-use’ emerging technologies.

This Clingendael Report outlines four levels of action in the field of export control for the Dutch government to pursue in parallel: bilaterally with the US; European Union cooperation; ‘Wassenaar’ and beyond; and trusted communities.

About the authors

Brigitte Dekker is a Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ in The Hague. Her research focuses on various dimensions of EU–Asia relations, with a specific interest in South-East Asia and China.

Maaike Okano-Heijmans is a Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ in The Hague. She is a Scientific Coordinator of the Asia–Pacific Research and Advice Network (#APRAN) for the European Commission and the European External Action Service. 

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 SRNL Developing Photonic Crystals

Military Mobility and the EU-NATO Conundrum

Submitted by Inge on Wed, 07/10/2019 - 15:11

Improved military mobility has been identified as one of the flagships for EU-NATO cooperation. Both organisations have a vested interest in being able to rapidly move defence forces, equipment and supplies across Europe.

In this report, the authors identify and map the relevant stakeholders in this essential field of cooperation. Subsequently, the way in which the EU and NATO have been working together so far, in general as well as in this specific area, is analysed.

Will the issue of improving cross-border military movement prove to be the silver bullet for solving the EU-NATO cooperation conundrum?

About the authors

Margriet Drent is Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute’s Security Unit. She specialises in European security and defence with a specific focus on EU Common Security and Defence Policy.

Kimberley Kruijver is Junior Research Fellow at the Clingendael’s Security Unit. Her research concentrates on (European) security and defence matters.

Dick Zandee is Head of the Security Unit at the Clingendael Institute. His research focuses on security and defence issues, including policies, defence capability development, research and technology, armaments cooperation and defence industrial aspects.

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Global Security Pulse: Conflict in Cyberspace

Submitted by Inge on Tue, 07/09/2019 - 12:00

Global Security Pulse: Conflict in Cyberspace

The Global Security Pulse (GSP) tracks emerging security trends and risks worldwide, allowing you to stay ahead in new security developments. This month we present novel developments and must-reads on international peace and security in cyberspace. Conflict between states are taking new forms, with cyber operations taking a leading role. In recent years, the risk of a major cyber exchange between nation states, has often been described as a major threat in national security incidents. While this dire outlook is partially connected to the overall level of geopolitical tension, there is a significant concern that the ability of governments to successfully manage the threat of major conflict is hampered as they only make up one of three actor groups in the overall cyberspace regime complex.

The GSP is a product made in collaboration with The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS). It uses an advanced horizon-scanning methodology which involves a systematic scan of literature, conferences, twitter, and validated expert input. The GSP product is based on the Clingendael Radar and has been further developed by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies and the Clingendael Institute. It is part of the Strategic Monitor Program which receives funding from the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense.

Read more Global Security Pulses.

Authors

Louk Faesen, Bianca Torossian, Carlo Zensus (HCSS).

Contributors: Tim Sweijs, Hugo van Manen (HCSS), Danny Pronk (Clingendael)

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Global Security Pulse

Comparative Trends in EU Governance

Submitted by Inge on Thu, 07/04/2019 - 15:16

From the ‘Ordinary’ Method to the Transgovernmental Method?

We observe an emerging split between policy areas that are governed by the Community/Ordinary method, such as more technical single market issues, and politically sensitive policy areas that are governed by what is usually termed as “intergovernmentalism.” However, the governance structures that we see emerging in politically sensitive policy areas cannot be properly described as “intergovernmental” because they display a stable set of new interinstitutional relations, in which the European Commission also plays a varying role, albeit that the Member States overall have a more pronounced role. Hence, we see a shift from “the” interinstitutional balance to the emergence of two different interinstitutional balances: the Ordinary method and the Transgovernmental method.

Transgovernmentalism is characterised by a bigger role for the Member States and a less strategic role for the Commission (and hence the EP and European Court of Justice) compared to the Ordinary method, but goes beyond simple intergovernmental governance, because it is clearly based on standing European practices, meetings with defined procedures and reporting mechanisms. Evidently, the role of the European Parliament is different in both areas. The consequence for the further development of defence policy is that we assume that it will develop along the lines of transgovernmental governance, even though the European Commission and potentially other EU institutions might favour the “efficiency” of a single, Ordinary method, with a more focal role for the European Commission in the interinstitutional balance.

About the authors

Adriaan Schout is Senior Research Fellow and Coordinator Europe at the Clingendael Institute. He combines research and consultancy on European governance questions for national and European institutions. He has worked amongst others on projects addressing issues of the EU presidency, EU integration and improving EU regulation.

Dick Zandee is Head of the Security Unit and Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute. His research focuses on security and defence issues, including strategies, policies, capability development, research and technology, armaments cooperation and industrial aspects.

Wouter Zweers is a Junior Researcher at the ´Europe in the World´ unit of the Clingendael Institute. His research revolves around the external dimension of EU policy making, focussing specifically on the European Neighbourhood Policy, EU enlargement policies and migration.

Julian Mühlfellner is a Research Assistant at the ‘Europe and the EU’ unit of the Clingendael Institute, where he focusses on the role of the European Commission and the European Parliament in EU governance.

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Barcode image of European Member States © OMA EU flag © Shutterstock / edited by Textcetera

EU migration policies threat to integration in West Africa?

Submitted by Inge on Wed, 06/26/2019 - 15:47

Do European Union migration policies threaten regional integration in West Africa?

Incoherent Agendas

European Union (EU) policies towards Africa have in the past years experienced a shift away from forging relations based on trade and development, to cooperation based on and measured by the successes of joint migration management. This shift has been producing often controversial outcomes for the EU, African countries and migrants themselves. Just under four years since the pivotal Valetta Summit on migration, the evidence base of these policies’ poor human rights record is growing, as is the evidence base on their localised adverse economic and societal impact.

The impact of EU policies on the regional integration processes in Africa – once a pillar of the EU’s Africa strategy – has, however, not yet been sufficiently documented. But the emerging evidence and policy analysis strongly suggest that the EU policies in West Africa have the power to create incentives and even localised policy outcomes that could in the medium term challenge ECOWAS commitments to freedom of movement, and in that way also likely slow down the processes of regional economic and political integration. Paradoxically, the EU policies aimed at curbing migration may thus also end up slowing down the development processes in West Africa that the EU perceives as one of the key approaches to tackling the root causes of migration.4 It may also lead to a weakening of the existing economic coping mechanisms within these countries, and thereby potentially also to increased migratory pressures.

This policy brief looks at the emerging patchwork of evidence around the impact of EU migration policies on regional integration in West Africa, with a view to offering initial advice to policy-makers on how to prevent the outcomes that could slow down the economic development of the countries of West Africa, further weaken the EU’s human rights record abroad and undermine the long-term goal of sustainable managing migratory pressures on the continent.

About the author

Ana Uzelac is a former Senior Research Fellow with the Conflict Research Unit (CRU) of the Clingendael Institute, where she focussed on migration and conflict 

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