States with a strong and long-term interest in influencing, manipulating and creating events in other countries to promote their interests will probably utilize different non-state actors in a systematic manner,” writes Magnus Normark.
Acting covertly through a third entity might even contribute to the foreign state being able to reach its desired objectives without the targeted state being aware that it has been subjected to harmful activities.
Another feature pertinent to hybrid threat activities is the opportunity to deploy entities in the target country with certain skillsets suitable for specific activities. The ability to enter the market within critical infrastructure sectors, for example through investments of relevance to the targeted state using entities under the control of foreign states, would be highly useful for exerting influence and conducting obstructive measures of some consequence. Leverage building is often performed within legal boundaries, making it difficult for law enforcement and security services to identify such occurrences and, if they do, to allocate resources for proper investigations.
The Strategic Analysis paper can be downloaded here