Consortium Leader: Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’
Consortium Member: The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS)
Subcontractor: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

Campagnes tegen hybride dreigingen: een handleiding

Submitted by Inge on Tue, 02/20/2024 - 10:57

Campagnes tegen hybride dreigingen: een handleiding

Europese samenlevingen zijn doelwit van hybride aanvallen van buitenlandse actoren, met als doel om democratische processen te beïnvloeden en kwetsbaarheden uit te buiten. Als reactie hierop zoeken overheden, waaronder de Nederlandse, naar een proactieve benadering tegen hybride dreigingen om niet langer een figuurlijke schietschijf te zijn voor de acties van autoritaire regimes. Hoewel zij uiteenlopende strategieën hebben opgesteld, blijft counter hybride samenwerking vaak nog rudimentair en bij gelegenheid georganiseerd. Deze HCSS notitie door Gerben Bakker en Tim Sweijs biedt daarom een handleiding voor het opstellen en uitvoeren van counter hybride campagnes.


Gerben Bakker en Tim Sweijs - The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies 

Met dank aan:

Tara de Klerk en Tom Draaijer


Germany’s Zeitenwende

Submitted by Inge on Wed, 01/31/2024 - 14:44

 The consequences for German-Dutch defence cooperation

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 has led to a paradigm shift in the realm of European security and defence. It triggered an unprecedented wave of defence investments throughout Europe. Ironically, Putin thereby set in motion something that consecutive American presidents could not accomplish: raising defence budgets so that European countries would bear a greater share of the financial burden of Europe’s defence. 

One of the most remarkable announcements was the Zeitenwende speech by the German Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz on 27 February 2022. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine represented a watershed moment in post-Second World War European history and, in response, Scholz announced that Germany would invest an additional € 100 billion in defence. The question, however, remains whether this announcement would lead to an actual turnaround in German security and defence policy and whether the investments will have a structural or temporal nature. Moreover, one may ask which output will be realised with the extra money available. 

In a similar vein, the question arises what the implications of Germany’s Zeitenwende are for defence cooperation between Germany and its partners. This applies in particular to the Netherlands, considering the far-reaching integration between the German and Dutch land forces. Germany and the Netherlands have a decades-long history of defence cooperation, bilaterally as well as in NATO and EU operations.

This report addresses the potential consequences of the German Zeitenwende for Germany’s role in European security, and more specifically for the German-Dutch defence cooperation. 


The Author

Dick Zandee - Clingendael Institute 


European defence industry: urgent action is needed!

Submitted by Inge on Thu, 01/18/2024 - 11:37

By invading Ukraine in February 2022 Russia has thrown the European security order into the waste bin. In essence, the Western reaction has been ‘we will not fight, but we will support Ukraine in its war effort’. Western countries have delivered a wide variety of weapon systems. Although this support has been vital for Ukraine’s defence, it has resulted in minimum levels of American and European arms and ammunition stocks. As a consequence, the burning question is how to ramp up the defence industrial production, in particular as the armed confrontation in Ukraine has developed into a war of attrition. 

The EU has launched several initiatives to support member states in procuring replacement equipment and ammunition to be delivered to Ukraine. At the same time, European countries have to strengthen their own defence capabilities in order to increase their share of the burden of NATO’s collective defence, while also realising more European autonomy. In the EU, there is broad political support for the strengthening of the European Defence Industrial and Technological Base, not only for economic reasons but as a necessary precondition for Europe’s security. However, despite this urgent call, industrial production is lagging behind, endangering both Ukraine’s war effort and the strengthening of European security and defence. 

This policy brief assesses how the EU is responding to the urgent challenge of adapting its defence industry to the requirements resulting from the new security environment. The central question is what should be done in order to change gear for increasing the production of ammunition and weapon systems. After assessing the consequences of the changed security situation for European capability needs, the author addresses the steps so far taken by the EU and the challenges lying ahead as the war will continue in 2024 and perhaps even beyond. The final section presents ten concrete action lines to overcome the obstacles for ramping and speeding up European defence industrial production.



Dick Zandee - Clingendael Institute


Campaigning in the Grey Zone: Towards a Systems Approach to count

Submitted by Inge on Thu, 12/21/2023 - 12:46

While the theory and practice of military campaigning has been refined for centuries, there is no dedicated guidance on how to design and implement campaigns to counter hybrid threats for modern security practitioners across government. Meanwhile, existing military planning guidance is not suited for planning complex, non-military counter-hybrid campaigns.


The authors

Sean Monaghan - Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

Tim McDonald - Pardee RAND Graduate School


Moldova’s Response to Hybrid Attacks: A learning-by-doing Strateg

Submitted by Inge on Thu, 12/21/2023 - 12:43

Moldova’s counter-hybrid campaigns have been a “learning by doing exercise”, writes guest author Anastasia Pociumban in this new HCSS paper, providing an empirical review of Moldova’s response to hybrid threats, which significantly increased following Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine.


The authors

Anastasia Pociumban - German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) 


Ukraine’s Counter-Hybrid Campaigns in Cyberspace

Submitted by Inge on Thu, 12/21/2023 - 12:37

In reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the Ukrainian government stood up a variety of digital services and volunteer groups to counter Russia’s aggression in and through cyberspace. This paper by guest author Stefan Soesanto, Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich, focuses on two Ukrainian hybrid warfare creations and their activities within the period from February 2022 to July 2023: The IT Army of Ukraine (IT-армія України) which are conducting DDoS and destructive cyber operations in and through the cyber domain, and the Internet Force of Ukraine (Інтернет Війська України) who are active on the information warfare front.



Stefan Soesanto - Senior Researcher at the Center for Security Studies (CSS)


After Putin, the deluge?

Submitted by Inge on Tue, 10/03/2023 - 14:38

Foresight on the possible futures of the Russian Federation

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine is by now not only existential for Ukraine. It also seems to have become existential for Vladmir Putin’s regime itself, which equates its own security and continuity with Russia’s national security. How the war ends will be an important factor that shapes the future of the Russian Federation. The inverse is also true: whether or not the Russian regime remains stable is also a key factor that determines when and how the war ends. Russia’s future will furthermore shape the broader European security architecture – and vice versa.

To help policymakers prepare for what might lie ahead, this report draws up a model consisting of 35 variables that will together shape Russia’s future – based on an extensive literature review and scenario workshop with Dutch and international experts. It then builds on this model to construct a scenario framework for the next five years. These scenarios take into account (1) to what extent the Russian regime could change or persist, (2) to what extent this would be accompanied by large-scale instability and violence, and (3) to what extent a future Russian government would pursue confrontation or rapprochement with the West. The report then puts forward six scenarios based on these variables and presuppositions

The authors

Bob Deen, Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute

Niels Drost, Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute

Milou Carstens, Research Intern at the Clingendael Institute

©Clingendael - The Kremlin inside a crystal ball, as imagined by generative AI

The EU and Ukraine

Submitted by Inge on Thu, 09/28/2023 - 10:45

The EU and Ukraine: Towards a new security and defence relationship

The war in Ukraine has fundamentally changed the European security environment. The EU and its member states are committed to supporting Ukraine in its self-defence in the long-term. In recent years, the EU has become an important actor in the security area, complementary to NATO, which carries out collective defence as its core task. This raises the question of how the EU-Ukraine relationship in security and defence should be shaped. This policy brief aims to provide answers to that question. The authors firstly assess how the war in Ukraine has impacted on the EU and NATO. The next section explores the options for enhancing the EU-Ukrainian security and defence relationship. The final section is devoted to EU-NATO cooperation on assisting Ukraine on its way to future membership of both organisations. Conclusions and recommendations complete this policy brief.


The authors

Dick Zandee, Senior Research Fellow at the Clingendael Institute

Mik Dijkman, Junior Researcher at the Clingendael Institute

EU-Ukrainian flag, source: Multimedia Centre European Parliament

Arms Control and Deterrence: The Euromissiles, Then and Now

Submitted by Inge on Sun, 09/03/2023 - 10:28

Paper series - Strategic Stability: Deterrence and Arms Control

Arms Control and Deterrence: The Euromissiles, Then and Now

The prospects for meaningful arms control negotiations seem slim these days. In recent years, commentators have speculated widely about the decline of arms control in international politics. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, widening the war first launched in 2014, has only exacerbated this sense of pessimism about the future of arms control.

Looking to the past can help us consider the advantages and potential risks resulting from this broad approach. Revisiting the history of NATO’s struggles over the Euromissiles – the theater nuclear forces (TNF) or intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) deployed in Europe during the late Cold War – can shed light on some of the basic dilemmas and difficulties facing arms control and deterrence today. With that in mind, what follows highlights four central takeaways from the history of the Euromissiles before turning to reflect on the similarities and differences between then and now.


The authors

Susan Colbourn

Edited by Paul van Hooft - The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS)


Dancing in the Dark

Submitted by Inge on Sun, 09/03/2023 - 10:02

Dancing in the Dark: The Seven Sins of Deterrence Assessment

Although the logic of deterrence and its real-world applications may appear intuitively simple and elegant, measuring its effectiveness is much more challenging. When it comes to deterrence, deterrence policymakers can in fact be likened to dancers in the dark: they may know their own deterrence moves, but they can only surmise what the intentions of their counterparts are, and how their deterrence measures shape adversarial behaviour. For analysts of deterrence, this leads to a host of empirical, theoretical, and methodological challenges.

Robust assessment and evaluation of deterrence policies are of paramount importance to improve the effectiveness of policies going forward. Addressing the seven sins of deterrence analysis by heeding the maxims listed in this report will increase the validity of deterrence assessments and provide analysts and policymakers with a toolkit to improve their evaluation of deterrence strategies.


The Authors

Tim Sweijs & Mattia Bertolini - The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS)