Modern Deterrence Conference Spring 2019

Examining the connection between defence and offence in deterring greyzone threats

calendarclock - (BST)
locationRUSI Whitehall

To deter modern warfare techniques and other emerging threats, Western countries need comprehensive defence strategies and plans. Given that hybrid warfare (also known as threshold or grey zone warfare) targets civil society as much as armed forces, defence and security postures cannot be a solely military responsibility. Comprehensive defence and deterrence, in other words, involve both the civilian, the political and the military parts of society.

But what, exactly, should the responsibilities of the general population, the government and the armed forces be? And how can the responsibilities be linked in a way that national defence really is comprehensive and minimises the gaps that adversaries can exploit? This requires a new approach that involves the government and armed forces working closely with the private sector and the wider population. Such an approach also harnesses the latent potential of Western societies’ private sectors and populations in meeting contemporary security challenges.

In addressing the question of what civilian, political and military responsibilities in comprehensive defence against hybrid warfare should be, the conference will highlight existing solutions in different countries to establish best practice from global experience.


  • Ruth Smeeth MP, UK Parliament Defence Committee
  • Kevin Brown, Managing Director, BT Security
  • Axel Petri, Senior Vice President Group Security Governance, Deutsche Telekom
  • Erik Brandsma, CEO, Jämtkraft; former director-general, Swedish Energy Agency
  • Angus Lapsley, Director-General, Strategy and International, UK Ministry of Defence
  • Hans Jürg Käser, Director of the 2019 Security Network Exercise, Government of Switzerland
  • Maj Gen Mats Engman (Swedish Armed Forces), Director Exercise Evaluation, Swedish Total Defence Exercise 2020
  • Colonel Tan Boon Kiat Joseph, Director, Nexus (Total Defence), Singapore Ministry of Defence
  • Professor Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General, RUSI
  • Kristina Syk, CEO, Straterno
  • Colonel Paddy Ginn, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff – Standing Joint Commander (UK)
  • Robertas Sapronas, Policy Director, Lithuanian Ministry of Defence
  • Janis Karlsbergs, Deputy State Secretary and Policy Director, Latvian Ministry of Defence
  • Dr Emma Bradford, Senior Consultant, Frazer-Nash
  • Dave Atkinson, Founder and CEO, Senseon
  • Andrew Hall MBE, Client Relationship Director, Willis Towers Watson
  • Paul Williams, Senior Technical Advisor, Operational Risk and Reslience, Bank of England
  • Dr Karin von Hippel, Director-General, RUSI
  • Maj Gen (ret) Mungo Melvin CB OBE, Senior Associate Fellow, RUSI
  • Ewan Lawson, Senior Research Fellow, RUSI
  • Elisabeth Braw, Asssociate Fellow, Modern Deterrence, RUSI



Conference sponsor

  • Republic of Estonia Ministry of Defence

    This conference is supported by the Republic of Estonia Ministry of Defence

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