Old proven methods are becoming increasingly important, despite the speed with which everything changes. This is the paradox of modern security policy.
Britain and other countries are no longer firing cold war veterans who have experience in counter-propaganda and spyware capture. These people understood the mentality of the Soviet Union at that time; they can understand the intentions of Russia now. They can, in general noise, catch the necessary signal, analyzing which events are combined into a general picture, and which - the result of accidents.
In turn, men and women dressed in uniforms learn to handle maps and compasses in case Russia breaks down satellite communications and other technologies on which we depend. Traditional weapon in many cases it turns out to be more reliable. In the Baltic States and not only our special operations forces teach locals guerilla warfare. In a sense, this is the legacy of the Forest Brothers guerrilla resistance in 40-50.
All this produces a good deterrent effect. The Kremlin has enjoyed its success over the past 25 years. Western countries refused to believe that Russia had aggressive intentions. Then they did not want to believe that these intentions would turn into aggressive actions. And then, for political and economic reasons, they decided to pretend that nothing happened.
Now this era is over. The Kremlin understands that its long-term attack on the West is becoming risky. His spies can catch. His illegal transactions will be announced and presented before the court. If he decides to attack, it will cost him dearly. No one can guarantee security, but all this means that the risk of an escalation of the conflict has become lower.
This problem has two sides. We still do not quite understand what is being said when it comes to "Kremlin tactics." How does Russia use drones? Artificial Intelligence? Face recognition technology?
Of particular concern is how we will protect the population. We are talking not only about those who criticize the Kremlin in their official statements. At risk all those who are related to the security of the state. I constantly hear examples (which are refuted at the official level) of the use of cyber attacks against NATO personnel at all levels. New technologies make it possible to deliver an incredibly accurate point punch. For example, an episode with hacking of smartphones of German soldiers in Lithuania, when they believed that their second half changed them until they were at home. If something like this was the place to be, then this is one of the oldest tricks, but it was very skillfully implemented using social networks and other modern means of communication.
We not only fail to keep up with the rapidly evolving threat. We also lack the experience of proven fighters. Western countries have lost their skills in studying Russia after the 1991 year. We hire and train Russian-speaking specialists, but some skills have been developing for decades. Officials say that in the heart of the intelligence world, the traditional approach to learning has always been maintained. But this is not so much benefit when we talk about the Russian threat to society - education, energy, finance, the media, the legal system, and so on. We need an open and detailed debate about Russian influence and how to deal with it, and then strengthen the vulnerabilities enjoyed by the Kremlin.
Fortunately, our allies - the Baltics, Ukraine, Central Europe and others - have this experience. We need to learn from them.