EWS is delighted to welcome a guest article from Ewen Stockbridge Sime of 360iSR, who is recognised as a thought leader for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Services. In this article, Ewen comments on how recent threat events can create more understanding in the modern mission space.
Ewen will be joining the EWS team on Stand H4-515 at DSEI 2021. Come and meet us all at ExCeL in London.
When we use terms Weapons of Mass Destruction, we think either of a nuclear, chemical or biological system. There have been countless Hollywood movies centred on a hero of some description, trying desperately to defuse a dirty bomb in a major city. Whilst these threats are real, our obsession with them indicates our reluctance to leave the comfort zone of traditional third Generation conflict (attrition) arguably to the detriment of other potentially more significant threats.
On 14 July 2021, an article in EuroNews (although suspected for some time) that the recent influx of migrants into Lithuania may be the result of Belarussian subversive activity. In the words of a Lithuanian resident, “They come here for a better life. As a Christian, I believe we should help them.” This desire to help runs through the Lithuanian society, as it would, I hope, in most European countries. However, against the economic stresses caused by COVID-19, the further pressure caused by a significant increase in migration to Lithuania is beginning to cause hairline fractures.
This type of subthreshold, unattributable action has been identified by both the UK’s MI5 Director General Ken McCallum and the Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter.
In his inaugural speech Mr McCallum identified current threats to the UK. He said, “MI5 has dealt across generations with attempts by foreign intelligence services to influence UK political life. But with the range of activity spreading – online disinformation, hack-and-leak, attempted covert influencing of political figures – this part of our work is growing.” The Lithuanian manipulation is a clear example of the proliferation of unattributable action and the move toward legally, morally and ethically challenging problems posed in the fifth-generation space.
The subthreshold threat is becoming more diverse, and the weapons delivery systems are becoming ethically. morally and legally ambiguous. Arguably, these are the most powerful weapons of mass effect ever devised. I say this because as Europeans, we hold close to our hearts our freedoms and yet, in the words of the UK’s Chief of the Defence Staff, “Where we see morals, ethics and values as a centre of gravity, authoritarian rivals see them as an attractive target. And all of a sudden the idea of ‘lawfare’ becomes a helpful tool in their inventory.”
In 2018, 360iSR published four documents describing the fifth-generation mission space. In these documents we defined the social opponent. A new type of threat posed by a socially justified, galvanised group. To a liberal democracy, this threat is arguably the most significant and one that can cause mass effect. It poses a liberal paradox: if we do nothing the fabric of society will change; if we do something we erode our democratic beliefs.
To identify risk and create understanding is the role of the intelligence community. In dynamic situations, this responsibility falls to the ISR force. 360iSR have been at the forefront in developing concepts and providing training designed to define and achieve information advantage, superiority or dominance across the information and physical domains and how to determine and define the affect in the cognitive.
By Ewen Stockbridge Sime, July 2021
This year EWS is deepening its collaboration with close operational partners to bring together different expertise and perspectives to drive thought leadership and a shared information space.
360iSR are recognised as a thought leader for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Services and EWS is a global innovation consultancy operating in the multi-domain arena. By partnering together they help clients solve complex and overwhelming problems to develop the practicalities of ISR in the all-domain or integrated operating environment.
Over the coming weeks both companies will be encouraging discussion and debate around this significant issue and offer solutions wherever practical. If you would like to be a part of the discussion, please let us know and we will be sure to include you in all future releases.
EWS and 360iSR will be exhibiting at DSEI 2021 14-17 September 2021 and our experts are available for meetings if you would like to talk to us in more detail. Come and visit us on Stand H4-515.