21st century warfare: a whole of society approach to resilience

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Peace, Security & Defence
21st century warfare: a whole of society approach to resilience


Ukraine has been enduring a conventional attack by Russia since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. The latest invasion was justified by Putin based on a false narrative, spread and fuelled by strictly controlled state media in Russia, disinformation campaigns by Russian media outlets as well as the Kremlin’s interference in other countries’ elections.

In response to Russia’s latest aggression against Ukraine, we are witnessing a global whole-of-society response that involves not only state and institutional actors, but an unprecedented level of support and influence from private companies and citizens. Instead of facing an isolated Ukraine, Russia is faced with a united West and an army of hyper-enabled private citizens, civil society groups, NGOs and companies challenging it in the information sphere, cyberspace, and in providing key capabilities to Ukrainian forces.

This new global swarm are tracking Russian troops, hacking Russian infrastructure, debunking disinformation, and trying to reach out to the Russian population to inform them about the war. Local organisations in neighbouring states are arranging support for Ukrainian refugees.

At the same time, the staying power of member states’ societal resilience remains fragile in the aftermath of the pandemic and during a time when citizens were expecting their lives to return to normal. For these and many other reasons, strengthening ties and understanding between governments, local authorities, the private sector and citizens remains of vital importance as the conflict in Ukraine continues and we look to a future that includes the greater use of AI, the dawn of augmented and virtual reality potentially, and their ability to amplify disinformation campaigns leading to radicalisation and disinformation-driven violent extremism.

The event is part of our Security briefing series. In each 60-minute session, members have a chance to put their questions to those who call the shots. Participation is by invitation only.



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Whole of society resilience
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Questions include:

  • What are the implications of so many non-state actors supporting Ukraine against Russia’s aggression?
  • Which synergies and forms of cooperation between governments, local authorities and the private sector can be established to ensure whole-of-society efforts remain effective and do not act against member state intentions?
  • Is it time to update the Geneva Convention to address cyberspace and the expanded role of private actors in conflict?
  • How can governments build trust to avoid hyper-empowered private actors susceptible to disinformation to turn on them and/or radicalize?
End of online debate


Chris Kremidas Courtney
Chris Kremidas Courtney

Senior Fellow, Peace, Security and Defence, Lecturer for Institute for Security Governance (ISG) in Monterey, California

Show more information on Chris Kremidas Courtney

Prior to joining the Institute for Security Governance, they served for 32 years in the US and NATO, most recently serving as the Multilateral Engagement Coordinator for US European Command and director of training and exercises for the Hybrid COE.

A natural international community organiser, Chris organises comprehensive approach seminars for various NATO headquarters and has buillt regional communities of interest to address hybrid threats and enhance resilience in the Black Sea and Mediterranean regions and to reduce violence along the US-Mexico border.

Photo of Hanna Linderstål
Hanna Linderstål

CEO and Founder of Earhart Business Protection Agency

Show more information on Hanna Linderstål

Hanna Linderstål is the CEO and Founder of Earhart Business Protection Agency, a cyber intelligence specialist agency that supports authorities, organisations and the private sector with management advisory regarding cyberthreats, disinformation, investigations, corporate education, as well as training in these matters. With over 25 years of experience in combatting digital and virtual threats, she has previously been an advisor for various government agencies and international organisations. Linderstål is active in the Council for Psychological Defence in Sweden and acts as Vice President of the Swedish Psychological Operations Association, a voluntary defence organisation.



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