New action plan developed to help Czechia counter hybrid threats

The Czech Security Council has accepted a new 15 point action plan on how to counter hybrid threats. If approved by the government, it will delineate tasks that ministries and state agencies have to fulfil within the next two years as part of the country’s new hybrid threats strategy.

For several years now, Czech security agencies have been warning the state about growing hybrid threats. These include a wide range of activities that state or non-state actors use to undermine the functioning and stability of the target, for example cyberattacks, the influencing of politicians, or targeted disinformation.

A working group within the Czech government’s Security Council came up with a new strategy on how to counter such hybrid threats this spring. Now, the government’s Security Council has approved a 15 point action plan that delineates how ministries and government agencies are to implement the new strategy.

Deputy Defence Minister for Defence Policy and Strategy Jan Havránek outlined the basic approach for Czech Radio.

“We want to create a manual for identifying threats and dealing with them. That means what to do when a concrete situation or threat occurs and how to coordinate with agencies within the Czech Republic as well as with our partners abroad.”

Jan Havránek | Photo: Czech Defence Ministry

A central role in this process will be played by the ‘coordinator for hybrid threats’, a new position that is to be set up within the Office of Government, says Mr Havránek.

“They should have a solid overview of all of the activities that state agencies involved in countering hybrid threats are undertaking. The coordinator will liaison with the various working groups under the State Security Council, so they will serve as a centre point for real-time security information gathering.”

The country’s national security audit called for a strategy to counter hybrid threats as far back as 2016 and Mr Havránek says that there is now a need to finally catch up with the times. For example, the deputy defence minister believes that the country’s list of hybrid threats identifiers needs to be updated.

Aside from better coordinating its own security resources, the Czech state is also planning to work with academics, researchers and companies that specialise in hybrid warfare. The plan also counts on the Czech Ministry of Education extending more support for the development of media literacy among students.

If the government gives the action plan a green light, state agencies will have two years to fulfil the guidelines. Jan Havránek expects that to happen by the end of this year.