Calls To Improve Britain's Defences Against Modern Warfare

Defence experts are being told it is time to make the UK less attractive as a target to our enemies and more resilient.

There are calls for a ‘national conversation’ to improve Britain’s defences against modern forms of warfare.

Ruth Smeeth, an MP from the Commons Defence Committee, says the public need to be better informed, and politicians to be better educated.

"If we're going to have a proper conversation about deterrence and hybrid warfare, it would probably be really helpful if my colleagues knew the difference between psyops and a cyber attack," she said.

"If my colleagues knew what hybrid warfare really was - that they knew the difference between a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack as we saw in Estonia and interference in the democratic process by 'ads' and 'trolling' online," Ms Smeeth added.

She says that will help the country become more able to cope with things like cyber attacks – which will make them a less attractive idea to enemies.

Cyber image
Cyber warfare is just one example of a hybrid war (Picture: Crown Copyright).

But the argument remains that if you’re prepared for a hybrid attack, and can minimise the damage - which makes it less likely you’ll be attacked in the first place.

"It's what's called the denial of benefits so if you conduct a cyber attack or a hack against the grid, the benefit that you want is that the grid goes down and the target descends into chaos," Elizabeth Braw from the Royal United Services Institute, explained.                                                 

"But if the target doesn't descend into chaos then actually there is no benefit to conducting the attack," she added.