Hybrid CoE Paper 3: Tackling the bureaucratic vulnerability: an A to Z for practitioners

- May 8, 2020

Getting cross government working is key to tackling hybrid threats, as well as many of the challenges we face including COVID-19 and crisis response.

When it comes to tackling hybrid threats or other complex challenges, all states and organisations share the same challenge– their own bureaucratic vulnerability.

Symptoms of this vulnerability include the inability to work effectively across government departments and units, poor information flow, competition for resources and influence, and incoherent public messaging.

As hybrid threats comprise the use of multiple tools, vectors and activities in coordination (with malign intent), they challenge the coherence and cohesion of bureaucracies, exploiting blind spots and targeting vulnerabilities. The origins of such bureaucratic vulnerability lie in the range of ministries in which different states choose to place the hybrid threat file.

Based on cooperation with Hybrid CoE participating states, the EU and NATO over the last three years (including on elections, deterrence and situational awareness), the COI Hybrid Influencing proposes following A to Z of tools, tips and principles for overcoming bureaucratic vulnerability.