#EWM4Moldova Monitor: piloting the „hybrid war” early warning mechanism in the Republic of Moldova
The Institute for European Policy and Reforms (IPRE) organised on Monday, 31 May 2021, an online public event presenting the preliminary findings and recommendations of the #EWM4Moldova Monitor, a report piloting the „hybrid war” early warning model developed and presented at the earlier this year. The event also provided the opportunity to review the activities carried out by IPRE during the last year within the project „#EWM4Moldova – Delivering an Effective Early Warning Mechanism for Addressing the Hybrid Threats”, implemented with the support of the Embassy Office of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Republic of Moldova.
Further below, we present some key remarks of the speakers during the event.
FLORIS VAN EIJK, Head of Affairs a.i., Office of the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in the Republic of Moldova: ”As you know, the Dutch government of the Netherlands has long history of supporting the government and civil society of the Republic of Moldova, as it continues to strengthen its democratic institutions – institutions that are key to upholding the rule of law, defending the human rights, promoting good governance and guaranteeing the sovereignty and security of the country. We realize that these institutions are increasingly being undermined by hybrid threats that seek to frustrate our efforts, weaken us, to divide us and to block the reforms that are so necessary. If we want to anchor the reforms achieved in the Republic of Moldova, to continue on the European path together, if we want to defend our democracy, we have to come with a coordinated response. We need to identify the threats, analyze them and stop them in their tracks. We need to assess our vulnerabilities, strengthen our resilience and expand our toolbox to fight back. Institutions need to communicate and coordinate their efforts to have a common understanding of the hybrid threats. They need to establish trusted communication channels and apply coordinated measures. This is why I am so glad that IPRE managed to develop an early warning mechanism, adapted to the specific circumstances of the Republic of Moldova.”
ANA REVENCO, Secretary of the Supreme Security Council, Presidential administration of the Republic of Moldova:“Currently, we are in a period of conceptualization the security sector review exercise. This is absolutely necessary to initiate the strategic planning on the security dimension. The architecture and size of our mandate is directly related to how we understand and have the capacity to respond appropriately to the threats and challenges we face. Of course, the purpose of the review process and subsequently the development of the updated the security strategy, is to build and have a system of national institutions with security mandates, which are resilient to these threats. When I say purpose, I am considering the ability to anticipate and timely respond. That is why such exercises as the one that has been carried out by the IPRE recently is absolutely relevant, as it shows us the potential of cooperation and dialogue between state institutions and civil society. Moreover, this approach will allow us to anchor Moldova in a solid relationship with regional, international partners on the security dimension.”
MIHAI MOGILDEA, Team leader, Europeanisation Programme, IPRE: “The purpose of our exercise was to use the early warning algorithm against hybrid warfare by collecting data and assessing the indicators of hybrid warfare. Another purpose was to identify trends and variations among collected data to provide the relevant analysis. The piloting exercised implied the collection and interpretation of data for a rather short period i.e. 1 April to 15 May 2021. The data was collected after the end of this period, through the analysis and review of open sources of information. The methodological framework included the collection and quantitative analysis of data on the size of 12 indicators, as well as the development of qualitative observations on their variation. The data collection process included the review of the main relevant public documents (ex. statistical data) and the analysis of news and information reflected in 11 media sources (national and regional). Also, the focus of the analysis was to review the dynamics of the pandemic crisis COVID-19 in the Republic of Moldova and how these were linked with other processes in the country.”
DUMITRU MINZĂRARI, Associate Analyst, IPRE: “Within our project, we developed a hybrid war early warning model, which is adapted to the conditions of the Republic of Moldova, analyzing the capabilities and vulnerabilities that our country faces. The mechanism of hybrid warfare involves an external aggression that has three objectives. The first, aims to gain control over the population, the second is the control of political leadership and the third is to empower the actions of the armed forces, security and defense policies. According to our exercise, the ultimate goal of hybrid warfare is the ability to control national policies and territorial issues. Our pilot exercise, which we present today, has once again demonstrated that the training of data operators and data analysts is critically important. If this exercise is not done correctly, then we will not have a useful result from the early warning mechanism. It is also necessary to create a clear cooperation algorithm between state institutions and the competent authority with the mandate to direct the process and other agencies that contribute to the economic, social, defense dimension. There is a need, especially for the Republic of Moldova, to create a culture of data collection. Monitoring of information necessary to improve public decision, because the early warning model is nothing more than a tool to help the country’s leadership to make optimal decisions, with minimum expenses. That is the essence of this exercise. And then, in order to achieve this goal, it is necessary for each institution involved, including different ministries and agencies, to have a cell of people trained to offer qualitative contributions to this model to conduct the early warning process, i.e. data collection and data analysis.”
GHEORGHE RACOVIȚA, Head of Section, Intelligence and Security Service of the Republic of Moldova: “I am very glad that the organizers of this exercise have reached the final stage. Congratulations to colleagues at IPRE, who practically pointed out conclusions that we are now working on in the context of creating the national or inter-ministerial network on the prevention and countering of hybrid threats. Indeed, we are in a process of identifying the central authority that will deal with the identification, analysis, collection and systematization of information related to hybrid threats. In fact, we have a rather different focus, as we rather focus on the notion of hybrid threats. Nevertheless, the exercise on early detection or early warning in the context of a hybrid war will also help us to complete this process within our national network. Currently, together with the authorities involved in this national network, we are working on the drafting of standard operations protocols on early warning and early response.”
VALERIU PAȘA, WatchDog.md Community: “Assessing your hybrid war early warning model, in my opinion the Russian Federation missed the extended control on the first step i.e. the population. As a result, it started to miss its results in that concerned the second step i.t. the control of the governing political elites. This does not mean that the Russian Federation no longer controls a significant part of the political elite or that it will not control after the elections, because in essence these elections are also about this, about the degree of control of the Russian Federation administration over the political elite in the Republic of Moldova. i.e. of the parliamentary majority. I interpret the presence of this influence by a slightly different mechanism, namely invitation influence. Invitations to create and develop political projects that are controlled from Moscow always come from Chisinau. They don’t get too complicated by recruiting these influences, there are enough people who go and offer these services. And this has been happening constantly for over 20 years in the Republic of Moldova.”
Currently, IPRE experts are finalizing the final version of the # EWM4Moldova Monitor taking into account the comments and suggestions raising during the public event and respectively are planning to publish the final results of the # EWM4Moldova Monitor soon.
The event was organized within the IPRE project „#EWM4Moldova – Delivering an Effective Early Warning Mechanism for Addressing the Hybrid Threats“, implemented with the financial support of the Embassy Office of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Republic of Moldova.