The Intelligence Challenges of Hybrid Threats
What challenges does “Hybrid Threats” pose for the world of intelligence analysisand tradecraft, and how should intelligence agencies adapt? This study is a part ofCATS’ project on intelligence connected to Influence Operations, and is sponsoredby the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). It addresses the new realm ofhybrid threats and challenges, and the roles for the world of intelligence analysisand tradecraft. In this this study, Dr Gregory Treverton – former Chairman of the US NationalIntelligence Council and now Senior Fellow with CATS – analyzes social media andcyber attacks as well as signals and human intelligence in relation to real world events. The intelligence challenge starts with recognizing the range of hybrid threatsand what is new about them –targets are now societies, not armies; several toolsare being used both simultaneously and strategically for maximum effect; and itexplores how the cyber dimension, along with the social media (SM) and othervirtual arenas offer new, inexpensive avenues of attack. This important analyticalcontribution begins with the tools, then turns to the challenges of hybrid threatsacross the elements of intelligence – collection, analysis and relations betweenintelligence and policy. Then, it turns to the special challenges for intelligence agencies – but alsothe special opportunities – that exist across a range of cyber and virtual domains.In particularit focuses on the implications for the intelligence organizationsperforming the traditional ‘INT’ functions (HUMINT and SIGINT) and forcounterintelligence.It concludes with perspectives on how the special challenges ofhybrid threats might conduce to a much wider change in the traditional intelligenceparadigm.