This paper takes reference from and builds upon our prior report “Cases of Foreign Interference in Asia”. In that report, we had proposed a framework for understanding the relationship between foreign interference, foreign influence, and hostile information campaigns. We had also proposed a definition of foreign interference as occurring when a foreign entity (state or non-state actor described as the “Adversary”), with hostile intent, takes actions to deliberately, covertly and deceptively disrupt the politics and policies of the Defender state (the “Defender”). We then described the forms in which such foreign interference has been observed to take, and the respective tactics employed.
This paper continues this trajectory of analysis by proposing a framework of countermeasure responses to the identified tactics in the following order: understanding the Adversary’s objectives; assessing the Defender’s vulnerabilities; setting clear goals for the countermeasures; setting up a task force for strategic responses; and countering specific tactics where necessary.
We note that in the assessment phase, the Defender must be alert to multi-faceted attacks, but must also be careful not to confuse a foreign entity’s legitimate activity for foreign interference.
For each aspect of this framework response, we propose and discuss the relevant strategic factors that should be considered, and provide examples of countermeasures deployed by other states.
We conclude by observing that an effective response against the threat of foreign interference needs to take the form of an integrated and strategic approach of focusing on the strategic factors outlined, and the design and implementation of practical and active countermeasures.
Related Policy Reports:
Americas / Conflict and Stability / Cybersecurity, Biosecurity and Nuclear Safety / East Asia and Asia Pacific / Europe / General / Global / International Politics and Security / Policy Reports / Singapore and Homeland Security / South Asia / Southeast Asia and ASEAN
Last updated on 06/05/2020