Advisory Request on Hybrid Threats

Hybrid threats involve the integrated deployment of diplomatic, military, economic, financial, judicial and intelligence- and information-related tactics to achieve strategic goals.

Because hybrid threats generally do not rise to the level of armed conflict, the term ‘war’ is deliberately avoided in this context. A key element of a hybrid threat is the veil of misdirection, ambiguity and denial which surrounds the actions in question, hindering attribution and an effective response. The rapid development of information technology, social media and economic interdependence has added new dimensions to traditional theatres of conflict. Hybrid threats such as cyberattacks and interference in democratic processes have become a highly destabilising factor, with a negative impact on the global security situation.

The government has requested the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) produce an advisory report on hybrid threats. Given the rapidly changing security situation and the deployment of hybrid techniques, it is fair to say the Netherlands is now in a continual state of confrontation or low-intensity conflict, which is playing out in a large number of domains. This means that our entire society can be the target of hybrid campaigns. Domestic and international security are closely intertwined in this regard.