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Hybrid Wars

The national security strategy points out the risks of misinformation

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Hybrid Wars

A primary responsibility of Governments is to protect ir citizens from threats that jeopardize ir security, freedoms, well-being, or stability of ir government institutions.

Previous Editorials

Defense is not business (26/05/2017)

Trump Europe (17/01/17)

Historically, se threats have focused on conquest or annexation of territory and materialized, above all, in search for military capacities and instruments that would allow to guarantee national sovereignty and deter potential aggressors.

Today, however, many of us live in democratic, plural, open, economically integrated societies, and refore porous to outside. That environment guarantees our prosperity, but it also opens way to new forms of insecurity. Terrorism, climate change, migration flows or cyberspace can, if not effectively managed, project such existential risks to society as those of old-style. Since new security threats are multidimensional in nature, it is logical that y require action instruments and strategies adapted to character of se new challenges.

The new national security Strategy, approved by government last Friday, and that updates previous, dated in 2014, effectively fulfils this vocation to draw risks and threats that our country must face and establish plans Action that will help to confront m.

Among se new challenges that affect Spain in a very prominent way, strategy points to dangers of fragmentation and weakness of European project, especially as a result of Brexit; Threats to international liberal order, with special emphasis on risks of trade protectionism — even if it does not cite Trump, its chief responsibility — and political polarization in democratic societies — an elegant way to cite populism without Do it expressly.

But above all, main novelty of strategy is that for first time it raises disinformation to first level of risk for security of our democracy. And it makes it it in its correct place: not in an anecdotal behavior in charge of activists acting on its own, but as part of a military doctrine that is called "hybrid warfare". This doctrine — elaborated in Russia — seeks to weaken democracies by interfering with ir electoral processes and by fuelling ir internal conflicts, wher ideological or territorial, using instruments such as false news or manipulation of Social networks.

An essential element of this hybrid warfare doctrine is masking, making it difficult to attribute this new type of attack. That is why Spanish authorities, like Europeans and also our allies in NATO, are increasingly investing human and material resources in countering se kinds of threats. This national security strategy is an essential first step in raising awareness of importance of this threat and need to respond in a coordinated manner.

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