Modern Deterrence Conference Autumn 2019

Examining the connection between defence and offence in deterring greyzone threats

calendarclock - (GMT)
locationRUSI Whitehall

This conference examined the connection between defence and offence in deterring greyzone threats; it also examined deterrence of aggression triggered by climate change.

Deterrence is, by definition, about psychology: how does an actor convince another actor to alter aggressive plans? For generations, when countries primarily squared off against each other with military formations, that psychological equation was relatively simple to establish. Today’s greyzone warfare, however, involves non-military means of offence – such as cyber attacks and malign influence – that cannot be deterred by armed forces.

This conference – the third within RUSI’s Modern Deterrence project – will address several fundamental questions:

  • How do we better understand what our adversaries are trying to achieve?
  • What should deterrence of greyzone threats look like? What is the role of defence in deterrence of greyzone threats? What is the role of offence? How should the two parts best be connected?
  • How do we communicate our own objectives and capabilities?

In broadening the debate about modern deterrence, the conference examined whether the lessons from grey zone competition can be transferred to the instability caused by the impacts of climate change. Climate change will not just lead to extreme-weather crisis in both developing and developed countries; it will also cause natural resources to deteriorate. How does this impact national security, and how can countries deter climate-related aggression?


Watch the recording

Modern Deterrence Conference Autumn 2019: Keynote Address

Conference sponsor

  • The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

    The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung are suppoers of the Modern Deterrence Conference

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