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The Challenge

Making informed security and resilience decisions requires a hybrid threat perspective. State and non-state actors are challenging countries and institutions they see as a threat, opponent or competitor, through use of hybrid tactics. With the success of hybrid activities targeting critical infrastructure globally and increased opportunities for influencing through information technology, the hybrid challenge will grow. 

Hybrid threats are those posed by adversaries, with the ability to simultaneously employ conventional and non-conventional means adaptively in pursuit of their objectives. The range of methods and activities is broad and multidimensional: cyberattacks on energy systems, influencing information, exploiting supply chains and resource dependencies; undermining international institutions; terrorism and transnational organized crime. Hybrid activities target vulnerabilities of the opponent with the intent of remaining below the threshold of war; however, these conflicts can escalate into warfare involving conventional military operations. 

Combating hybrid threats requires an all of government and all of society approach, including:

  • New policies and doctrine
  • Situational awareness of multidimensional, long-term hybrid campaigns
  • Heightened civil and military preparedness
  • Innovative resilience and response strategies to mitigate subversive actions

What Argonne Delivers

A U.S. Department of Energy laboratory and member of the Hybrid COE network, Argonne is helping the United States and allies’ homeland security, diplomatic, intelligence, and military agencies keep pace with this changing threat landscape through leading-edge research and proven mission support in key areas related to hybrid threats, including:

  • Combating misinformation
  • Cyber security and information sharing
  • Active sensing in urban environments
  • Dependency analysis
  • Infrastructure security and resilience assessments
  • Socio-economic modeling
  • Unmanned aerial systems
  • Capacity building
  • Training and exercises

The Benefits

Informing those making decisions on matters of national security requires targeted, sophisticated data collection and analysis. Argonne has a decades-long track record of contributing to homeland security and assisting the Department of Defense in making informed, complex decisions by employing unique tools and technology, such as high-performance computing, for solving critical scientific problems. Argonne researchers use expertise in systems science (such as agent-based modeling) ) and infrastructure science (such as electric power network modeling) to assess a broad range of hybrid-threat activities – from actions threatening energy security to supply-chain disruptions. Employing Argonne’s advanced scientific capabilities in a comprehensive manner helps decision-makers understand the capability and intent of the adversary, informing resilience strategies and providing situational awareness of hybrid activities as they emerge.  

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