Following the creation of a new, universal definition for Hybrid Societal Threats (HSTs), this is the first version of the summary universal strategy for countering them: Monument.
The aim of the Monument strategy is to reduce the operational efficacy of HSTs and eliminate risks to international stability, increase state security, and reduce disruption to populations and daily life.
Monument stands apart from previous efforts such as CONTEST, in that it recognises HSTs as fluid and does not subsequently define a narrow strategic context. The strategy is designed to move with changes in the threat landscape, not create a constriction or perverse focus on one threat area to the detriment of operational effectiveness. Implemented operational learning in the creation of Monument removes strategic and operational bias and, as a result, better protects society as a whole from conscious and unconscious hyper-targeting of a single threat or population group.
The Monument strategy comprises five pillars, adapting and improving CONTEST's original four and adding the fifth defined in The Long Walk outline.
Monument is designed to pursue threats in action to their elimination and, crucially, to close the fractures into which HSTs drive wedges and use as points of ingress. Only by addressing causation (root disenfranchisement or instability), and opportunity (societal access, legislative gaps, and blind-spots), can any strategy avoid the fire-fighting loop.
Monument is a universal approach for this reason and actively seeks global support and adoption of core values, namely the mutual recognition of HSTs, recognition of lawful (acceptable) and unlawful (unacceptable) behaviour, and commitment to stability and peaceful daily life through unity of effort - even where unity of purpose is not possible.
Scalability are adaptability are also crucial elements of Momument, with there being no set-plays or fixed entry points into the pillar system and its menu of tactical options.
The pillars are:
Shape - Define narratives, drive behavioural change, create collective common sense.
Fortify - Enhance policy and legislative defences, reduce attack surface and opportunity, resource.
Shield - Prevent threats from meeting objectives, engage threat actors, actively defend targets.
Range - Predict risk and threat, identify prevention opportunities, engage in disruption and diversion.
Hunt - Pursue and prosecute offenders.
The principle is to exert the minimum amount of force and effort required in order to mitigate the threat, aiming for the point at which collective common sense in the population is a sufficient defence.
The final measure of the success of Monument is the absence of requirement for its continued existence.
Task and Purpose:
Monument is designed to create broad understanding of HSTs and reach global agreement on acceptable and beneficial, and unacceptable and detrimental behaviour and activity.
Shaping requires education, the distribution of information, and the generation of positive behavioural change, increasing levels of understanding and natural vigilance - herd immunity - to HSTs. By changing behaviour at policy and population levels, values are redefined and realigned, and collective common sense is achieved - shifting the societal landscape and reducing the risks which are created through disjointed, imbalanced, or disenfranchised states or poulations engaged in internal and external conflict.
By fortifying states, closing the gaps in policy and legislation - in financial markets, for example - the opportunity for HST actors is reduced or eliminated, making it impossible for them to engage in action. This increases stability at a global and state level, and fully mitigates the risks to populations.
Shielding populations and states from HSTs is an active tactical deployment, targeting individual and group (or co-operative) threats in order to reduce the impact of their action, or prevent them from carrying out their objectives. Intervention stage approaches should be required less once the five pillar strategy is fully implemented.
Ranging the threat posed by HSTs requires the mobilisation of structured intelligence apparatus focused not on mass surveillance in the hope of a lucky break but, rather, on scanning the attack surface constantly for defensive gaps and monitoring the horizon of each to identify, profile, and monitor the HST actors likely to pursue those opportunities and predict their likely activities. Intelligence-led machinery works with its own product and material from engaged partners in creating risk and threat assessments. By constantly ranging threats, all resource deployments are targeted rather than blanket, increasing precision and impact.
Hunting HST actors, whether in a preventative-proactive or reactive investigation, is a crucial activity which reassures the public at large that justice has been delivered, displays the HST actors and raises awareness through reporting on cases - helping shift collective common sense. Securing concrete evidence of HST activities, mechanisms, and infrastructure informs targeted action across the other pillars.
Monument operates across government, agency, and third-party sectors, creating productive and reliable partnerships, increasing the efficacy of each participant, and generating clearer budgetary and funding needs and purposes.
Through structured agreements, interoperability is possible globally as the strategy centres on unity of effort rather than unity of purpose - which is improbable on an international scale. By creating a universal definition of HSTs in a simple format, understanding of what poses and does not pose a threat is clear to all and this, in turn, immediately addresses issues arising from differing domestic standards and expectations.
Monument is not prescriptive so, by default, a number of frictions are removed.
The first full edition of Monument: Universal Strategy for Countering Hybrid Societal Threats is currently in the workstream at SOCINT and will be released in 2021 as an in-depth Operations Manual.
We are currently open to partnership working and contract proposals subject to value vetting procedures.
We welcome discussions around development funding on Monument.