Preparation of Peru’s National Multisectoral Policy on National Security and Defense to 2030 in the face of Digital Transformation Threats and Hybrid Wars

This article was initially published in the Revista Seguridad y Poder Terrestre
Vol. 3 No. 1 (2024): January to March
DOI: https://doi.org/10.56221/spt.v3i1.47


Summary

In recent times, the digital revolution has brought about fundamental alterations in the way societies operate. As a result of this shift, an increase in the hybridization of warfare emerged, motivating nations such as the United States (US) and China to develop strategies to address this transformation. In this context, this research aims to evaluate Peru’s most recent defense and national security policy, enacted through Supreme Decree No. 005-2021-DE, to determine whether it includes measures against hybrid threats. The methodology applied is qualitative and descriptive, focused on observation and using two worksheets designed for this purpose. The results indicate that all the elements of a hybrid war have been planned in the dimension of activities and tasks of the policy analyzed. However, only political, cultural-sociological, and informational-ideological aspects are addressed in the diagnostic dimension, and economic-financial, political, and cultural-ideological aspects in the objectives dimension. It is suggested that a similar analysis be carried out in relation to the internal and external actors that may represent threats to Peru, in order to assess its preparedness for this new type of conflict.

Keywords: Public Policy, National Defense, National Security, Hybrid Warfare, State Planning.

Introduction

Society and organizations have undergone significant changes due to innovations and developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in recent years.[1] This phenomenon led to the adoption of new models of business, production, and social relations, known as digital transformation.[2] A direct consequence of this is the increase in the hybridization of war. Although several sources indicate that hybrid wars have always existed and are not exclusive to the last decade,[3] they gained relevance with the increased use of the internet and digitalization to carry out unconventional attacks, such as disinformation and hacking.[4]

In addition, the creation of cyberspace, driven by technological advances, introduced a new battlefield that largely replaced the physical terrain, focusing on people’s minds, through their mobile devices and the internet.[5] Examples of this are the Russian cyberattacks on the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and Ukrainian banks prior to their invasion.[6]

In this context, over the past decade, both U.S. and Russian military doctrine have integrated information and digital operations to attack both internal and external targets in the interest of national security.[7] The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has also sought to counter hybrid threats to European integrity since 2014,[8] and China has adjusted its war theories toward more hybrid approaches since the early 2000s.[9]

As for the Peruvian case, in the last 20 years, a National Defense Policy (NDP) was followed that advocated the peaceful resolution of disputes and multilateralism.[10] However, two years ago, Supreme Decree No. 005-2021-DE was approved, which adopts more contemporary theories, such as multidimensional security.[11]

In its first year, this new policy managed to advance only 3 of the 14 objectives, highlighting technical assistance to the National Security and Defense System and training in disaster risk management for municipalities.[12] These aspects are not necessarily linked to traditional military defense, but to issues such as knowledge and information management (multidimensional defense).

Consequently, this lack of progress is attributed, in part, to errors found in the design of indicators and policy guidelines. Despite this, the policy shows connections with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),[13] prioritizing cross-cutting issues not exclusively related to security and defense.

In this context, it is crucial to investigate whether this new defense policy, aligning with global trends, began to consider the increase in the hybridization of war as a consequence of digital transformation.

Theoretical Framework

First, hybrid warfare will be defined. It is conceptualized through the combination of Hoffman’s interpretations, NATO, and Russian theory. Hybrid warfare involves the integration of both conventional modes (involving the use of firearms, human force, among others) and unconventional modes (such as terrorist attacks, disinformation, etc.). Its main objective is to keep the enemy in a state of permanent conflict, seeking to achieve effective political control over it.[14]

The dimensionalization of a hybrid war is presented as follows:[15]

In the military/traditional realm, human power is considered, both in quantity and quality of people available for combat, as well as firepower, encompassing the quantity and quality of weapons available for combat.

On the other hand, in the non-military/non-traditional sphere, economic and financial coercion is included, covering industrial production and money flows, among other aspects. Likewise, political dimensions involving power groups and actions of government entities are contemplated. The cultural-sociological component is also taken into account, which addresses beliefs and social structures relevant to the conflict. Finally, the informational-ideological dimension is considered, which encompasses ideas and information present in the individuals involved in the conflict.

Second, national defense policies will be defined. These include the decisions taken by the State and its Administration to prioritize objectives and actions at the national level, with the purpose of addressing the public problem, in order to guarantee the sovereignty, independence, integrity and protection of national interests at a specific time. This definition combines the approaches provided by the National Center for Strategic Planning (CEPLAN) and the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF).[16]

The dimensionalization of a public defense policy is carried out through the following aspects:[17]

  1. Diagnosis: covers the identification and analysis of the problematic situation, as well as the understanding of the model of the public problem in question.
  2. Objectives: refers to the specific goals that the policy seeks to achieve in a given time, establishing a clear direction towards the solution of the problem.
  3. Activities or tasks: involves the concrete actions that must be carried out to achieve the proposed objectives. These are essential for the successful implementation of the policy and the achievement of its goals.

 

Methodological Framework

The approach applied is qualitative, giving priority to the properties and characteristics of the objects studied.[18] The level adopted is descriptive; in other words, it aims to describe the current situation of the most relevant aspects of the phenomena examined.[19]

The information analyzed comes from the National Multisectoral Policy on National Security and Defense to 2030, approved by Supreme Decree No. 055-2021-DE.[20] The technique used was observation: the researcher uses his senses to capture external stimuli related to a situation and analyze whether what he obtained agrees with the proposed theory.[21]

The procedures consist of two stages: first, the content of the information is summarized; Second, it is verified whether it contains what is expected in a hybrid war. For the first stage, the following observation sheet is used:

Table 1. Summary of Contents

Dimension of a National Defense Policy Content of the Dimension in the National Multisectoral Policy on National Security and Defense to 2030
Diagnosis
Objectives
Activities & Tasks

Source: Adaptation.[22]

In operations, two procedures are carried out: in the first stage, the content of the information is summarized; in the second, it is verified whether it includes what is anticipated in a hybrid war. For the initial phase, the following observation sheet is used.

Table 2. Table of Contents

Contents of a Hybrid War Content of the National Multisectoral Policy on National Security and Defense to 2030
Diagnosis Objectives Activities & Tasks
Military Human Power
Firepower
Non-Military Financial
Politician
Cultural-Sociological
Informational-Ideological

Source: Adaptation.[23]

Results

The most relevant parts of the policy studied are presented below:

Table 3. Summary of the Policy Evaluated

Dimension of a National Defense Policy Content of the Dimension in the National Multisectoral Policy on National Security and Defense to 2030[24]
Diagnosis A high vulnerability of individuals and the State to threats and concerns in the field of National Security is identified. This situation stems from a variety of causes, both direct and indirect.

  • There is a fragility in the activities of national defense for the protection of national interests, generated by the systemic destructuring of the National Defense System (SIDENA), the low foresight and conception of comprehensive actions, and the weak culture of national security among the population.
  • There is a reduced effectiveness of security and defense for the normal functioning of the institution, caused by regulations that are not adequate to the context of reality, the low involvement of the authorities and the limited institutional resources.
  • There is a limited development of the factors contributing to national security, caused by the deteriorating social fabric, with emphasis on the most vulnerable, insufficient protection of the environment and the lack of synergy between Science, Technology and Technological Innovation (STI) and security.Beginning of the form

The consequences of this situation include an increase in the perception of fear and distrust in institutions, political and social instability with a temporary suspension of the exercise of fundamental rights, and uncertainty regarding economic and social development.

Objectives The objectives are as follows:

  • To guarantee the defense of national interests aimed at international peace and security.
  • Guarantee the normal functioning of political, legal, and social institutions in the country.
  • Achieve the necessary conditions contributing to national security.
Activities & Tasks The guidelines and services required for the first objective are as follows:

  • To improve the participation of the powers of the State and society in national security and defense, through the service of education with learning oriented towards a culture of peace, national security, and national identity.
  • Strengthen the national defense system with emphasis on an institutional structure that ensures the articulation of the management, monitoring, and evaluation of results, through the technical assistance service and management mechanisms in SIDENA.
  • Strengthen national capacities for the defense of sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the protection of the population and territory against conflicts and/or threats from the external sphere, through the formulation of capacity planning in the component entities of SIDENA.
  • Implement mechanisms for integration and cooperation in national security and defense, through pertinent actions aimed at fostering a climate of peace and security at the subregional, regional, and global levels.
  • Strengthen the effective response to conflicts and/or external threats to the country, through the formulation of Strategic Defense Planning with the integral participation of the components in SIDENA.

For the second objective, the following actions are taken:

  • Ensure the rule of law, with emphasis on governability and social peace in the country, through the technical assistance service on technical instruments and mechanisms for the prevention and management of social conflict in SIDENA.
  • “Strengthen national capacities to combat illicit activities and organized violence in the country” through the formulation of capacity-based planning in the component entities of SIDENA.
  • Intensify the fight against corruption in all its manifestations, through the technical assistance service in institutional plans and budgets for integrity and the fight against corruption in SIDENA.
  • Strengthen disaster risk management in the country, with emphasis on the participation of relevant actors and society as a whole, through the strengthened capacities of the district municipality in the organization, training, and training of civil society in Disaster Risk Management.
  • Strengthen the effective response to illicit activities and organized violence in the country, with emphasis on prevention, through security operations and actions with the full participation of SIDENA components.

For the third objective, the following actions are proposed:

  • Strengthen capacities and mechanisms aimed at promoting equal opportunities in critical, vulnerable, and hard-to-reach areas of the country, through the strengthening and intensification of the Strategy for Social Action with Sustainability (EASS), thus contributing to security.
  • Intensify the construction of crucial public infrastructure related to national security, with the aim of ensuring its effectiveness in the face of threats and challenges that could affect national security.
  • Improve instruments and mechanisms for the preservation and protection of the environment, with special attention to the Amazon, focusing on Peru’s adaptation to climatic variations. This will be carried out through the technical assistance service on environmental management instruments and mechanisms, as well as their adjustment to changing climatic conditions.
  • Promote the advancement of activities related to science, technology, and innovation (STI), in accordance with the demands of security and defense, through the National Research and Development Program (PNID) in fields related to National Security and Defense.

Based on the above, the following table details the consideration of the aspects of hybrid warfare in the policy analyzed:

Table 4. Verification of the Contents of the Evaluated Policy

Contents of a Hybrid War Content of the National Multisectoral Policy on National Security and Defense to 2030 (PNMSDN 2030)
Diagnosis Objectives Activities & Tasks
Military Human Power X
Firepower X
Non-Military Financial X X
Politician X X X
Cultural-Sociological X X X
Informational-Ideological X X

It was determined that the policy under review addresses all aspects of hybrid warfare in its activities and tasks. In other words, it envisaged the planning of actions in various spheres, both military and non-military, to address its public problem. However, in terms of its diagnosis and objectives, it is observed that it addresses only political, cultural-sociological, and informational-ideological aspects for the former, and economic-financial, political, and cultural-sociological aspects for the latter.

Conclusions

1. The results point to a significant omission in the National Multisectoral Policy on National Security and Defense to 2030 (PNMSDN 2030) with respect to the mention of crucial issues in its diagnosis and objectives related to the aspects of a hybrid war. This lack is relevant, since an effective planning of activities and tasks must be aligned with hybrid objectives derived from a comprehensive diagnosis. Without proper consideration of these aspects, the resolution of public problems involving the hybridization of warfare may be compromised.

2. The relevance of this type of analysis lies in the ability to demonstrate, at the national level, the level of preparedness in cases of current threats, such as a hybrid war, with historical antecedents in Peru, such as the confrontations against terrorism in the 90s or the Cenepa War. This assessment is important given the expectation that conflicts of this type will become common in the coming years. Knowing the country’s preparedness to face them is essential.

3. The challenges of research focus on the limitation of relying solely on a normative document. The actual actions carried out by the actors involved in the implementation of the policy under study have not been analyzed. This could alter the perception of policy readiness in the face of a hybrid war, as what is planned does not always execute as expected. In addition, another limitation is mentioned: although there are references to the elements indicated, these are relative. For example, in terms of informational-ideological (I-I), the lack of adequate data for decision-making is mentioned, but disinformation or fake news, equally relevant aspects, are not addressed.

4. It is recommended that such research be carried out in two areas. On the one hand, it is suggested to inquire about the plan and its relationship with the hybrid war of state and non-state actors, both external and internal to Peru, such as Bolivia, Chile, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Ecuadorian traffickers and groups descended from the Shining Path (SL), among others, in order to obtain a complete vision of the preparation of the main immediate threatening agents. On the other hand, it suggests the possibility of updating the policy studied so that it has a greater relationship with the hybridization of war or improving the strategic plan of institutional and operational implementation to consider hybrid threats. In other words, it highlights the need to take into account, in future defense and security plans, that the threats do not come only from missiles or the lack of economic growth, but also from phenomena such as disinformation, hacking, lobbying, among others.

Endnotes:

  1. Tatiana Delgado Fernández, “Taxonomía de transformación digital”, Revista Cubana de Transformación Digital 1, n.° 1 (2020), https://rctd.uic.cu/rctd/article/view/62/58 (Accessed October 22, 2023).
  2. Ibid.
  3. Murat Caliskan, “Hybrid Warfare Through the Lens of Strategic Theory”, Defense and Security Analysis 35, n.° 1 (2019), https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14751798.2019.1565364?casa_token=ZpcgP-ZkpA8AAAAA%3AzV9fN7u_MZBGYvLfqYoKoZNsT (Accessed October 22, 2023).
  4. Guillem Colom Piella, “Guerras Híbridas: Cuando el Contexto lo es Todo”, Revista Ejercito, no. 927 (2018), https://www.ugr.es/~gesi/Guerras-hibridas.pdf (Accessed October 22, 2023).
  5. Claudia Antonella Capdevilla, “Guerra Híbrida: Las Nuevas Tecnologías como Instrumento de Guerra”, Revista CEERI Global 1, n.° 2 (2022).. https://www.ceeriglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Revista-CEERI-Global-N2-1-59-75.pdf (Accessed October 23, 2023).
  6. Ibid.
  7. Sandor Fabian, “The Russian Hybrid Warfare Strategy – Neither Russian nor Strategy”, Defense and Security Analysis 35, n.° 3 (2019), https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14751798.2019.1640424?casa_token=06PG5b8yap0AAAAA%3Ac5t4_hfNVKtlEPBzCgV7-2vdPDIi4KSrweifaJXEYiWJq3W2jMt0nN-LOOCj3i-RberkzLoUiX0 (Accessed October 22, 2023).
  8. Murat Caliskan, “Hybrid Warfare Through the Lens of Strategic Theory”, Defense and Security Analysis 35, n.° 1 (2019), https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14751798.2019.1565364?casa_token=ZpcgP-ZkpA8AAAAA%3AzV9fN7u_MZBGYvLfqYoKoZNsT-MQCm0XtTvFxrQZTlY5eWpunvmNaafl7gDpzLrT_GCaPs579Bc (Accessed October 22, 2023).
  9. Thomas Marks, “The Chinese Roots of Hybrid Warfare”, Europe’s Edge (2022), https://cepa.org/article/the-chinese-roots-of-hybrid-warfare/ (Accessed October 23, 2023).
  10. Julio Cesar Sierra Farfan, “Política de Defensa Nacional, Lineamientos de Acciones Estratégicos en el Ejército del Perú”, Tesis de licenciatura, Escuela Militar de Chorrillos “Coronel Francisco Bolognesi” (2023), https://repositorio.escuelamilitar.edu.pe/server/api/core/bitstreams/f9462ce7-0029-441f-9b08-585f21fb7ef6/content (Accessed October 22, 2023).
  11. Unidad Funcional de Gestión del Sistema de Defensa Nacional, “Informe de evaluación de resultados 2021” en Política Nacional Multisectorial de Seguridad y Defensa Nacional al 2030 – Lima, Ministerio de Defensa (2022), https://www.mindef.gob.pe/informacion/transparencia/Inf_eval_2021_politica_nacional_2030.pdf (Accessed October 23, 2023).
  12. Ibid.
  13. Eduardo Zamora Chung, “Política Nacional Multisectorial de Seguridad y Defensa Nacional: Propuestas para su Implementación”, Revista Cuadernos de Trabajo n.° 18 (2022), https://revistas.caen.edu.pe/index.php/cuadernodetrabajo/article/view/11 (Accessed October 23, 2023).
  14. Camilo Amado Asenjo, “La guerra híbrida, los problemas estatales que genera y cómo solucionarlos”, Reflexiones Marginales n.° 69 (2022), https://reflexionesmarginales.com/blog/2022/05/25/la-guerra-hibrida-los-problemas-estatales-que-genera-y-como-solucionarlos/#_edn18, (Accessed October 22, 2023).
  15. Camilo Amado Asenjo, “Defense Strategies of USA, NATO, and China and Its Readiness to Deal With a Hybrid War”, Presentation, Global Strategy Conference, Istanbul (March 2023), https://www.researchgate.net/publication/369537770_Defense_strategies_of_USA_NATO_and_China_and_its_readiness_to_deal_with_a_hybrid_war (Accessed October 22, 2023).
  16. Camilo Amado Asenjo, “Defense Strategies of USA, NATO, and China and Its Readiness to Deal With a Hybrid War”, Presentation, Global Strategy Conference, Istanbul (March 2023), https://www.researchgate.net/publication/369537770_Defense_strategies_of_USA_NATO_and_China_and_its_readiness_to_deal_with_a_hybrid_war
  17. Ibid.
  18. Roberto Hernández Sampieri y Christian Paulina Mendoza Torre, “Metodología de la investigación” (Mexico City: McGrawHill, 2018), https://repositoriobibliotecas.uv.cl/handle/uvscl/1385 (Accessed October 22, 2023).
  19. Hugo Sánchez Carlessi, Carlos Reyes Romero y Katia Mejía Sáenz, “Manual de términos en investigación científica, tecnológica y humanística”, Universidad Ricardo Palma (Lima: 2018), https://www.urp.edu.pe/pdf/id/13350/n/libro-manual-de-terminos-en-investigacion.pdf (Accessed October 22, 2023).
  20. Ministerio de Defensa, “Política Nacional Multisectorial de Seguridad y Defensa Nacional al 2030”, PCM (Lima: 2021), https://cdn.www.gob.pe/uploads/document/file/2063277/DS%20005-21-DE.pdf.pdf?v=1628258803 (Accessed October 23, 2023).
  21. Camilo Amado Asenjo, “Evaluación de la congruencia del diseño de la Política Nacional del Ambiente al 2030 (Perú) con la ideología política del ambientalismo”, Revista Académica IESPYC, n.° 12, https://uspt.edu.ar/uspt-revistadigital/index.php/iespyc/article/view/67 (Accessed October 22, 2023).
  22. Camilo Amado Asenjo, “Defense Strategies of USA, NATO, and China and Its Readiness to Deal With a Hybrid War”.
  23. Ibid.
  24. MINDEF, “Política Nacional Multisectorial de Seguridad y Defensa Nacional al 2030”.

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The ideas contained in this analysis are the sole responsibility of the author, without necessarily reflecting the thoughts of the CEEEP or the Peruvian Army.

Image: CEEEP

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