RUSI State Threats Taskforce (STT)

RUSI’s State Threats Taskforce (STT) aims to support the UK and its partners in detecting, understanding, attributing and responding to the spectrum of complex state threats currently facing democracies.

Main Image Credit Chin Leong Teoh / Alamy Stock Photo

The rapidly rising threat posed by hostile state activity is complex and multi-faceted, yet all too often, the UK’s responses remain siloed.

Although not new, non-military state-led threats come in many and often hybrid organisational forms, bridging more specific threats such as malign cyber operations, state-based organised crime and the financing of anti-democratic activities. As noted in the UK’s latest Serious and Organised Crime Strategy, ‘The distinction between nation states and criminal groups in terms of cyber-crime is becoming frequently more blurred’.

The extent to which the UK government acknowledges these threats can be seen in the 2021 Integrated Review, the proliferation of 'Counter State Threat' policy units across Whitehall, and the activities of the National Cyber Security Centre.

With this heightened government focus in mind, in January 2023 RUSI, created a track 2 cross-disciplinary State Threats Taskforce (STT) that draws on the expertise of the Institute's Cyber, Organised Crime, and Financial Crime programmes to provide input into the policy debate at this crucial time.

Main Image Credit Chin Leong Teoh / Alamy Stock Photo

Aims and objectives

As the UK’s 2021 Integrated Review notes, the UK ‘must improve [its] ability – and that of [its] allies and partners – to detect, understand, attribute and act in response to the spectrum of state threats’. It is to this mission that the STT intends to contribute.

Through a range of activities and other outputs, the overall objective of the STT is to deepen understanding of the specific dynamics of non-military state threats and offer ideas for realistic policy responses for both the UK and its allies.

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