Bulgaria to Draft Anti-Hybrid War Strategy

Defense | February 17, 2016, Wednesday // 12:02|  views

Bulgaria's Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev has said authorities are planning to develop a national strategy to counter acts of hybrid warfare.

Nenchev has noted the Bulgarian state institutions are taking increasingly seriously cyber crimes and will include tough measures against them in their strategy.

His comments come at a conference themed "Preparation of the Armed Forces of Bulgaria for Countering Hybrid Types of War within the Context of the Strategy for the Role of NATO in Countering Hybrid War".

The conference held Tuesday and Wednesday is the annual event of the Chief of Defense of the Bulgarian Armed Forces. The incumbent, Lt Gen Constantin Popov, assumed office earlier in February.

"The blurred border between peace and war in the case of hybrid wars is the most dangerous challenge facing states [and] especially in the fields of security and defense requires the maintenance and development of capacities that are adequate to the dynamically changing strategic environment," the Defense Ministry quotes Popov as saying.

A Ukrainian news agency, citing previous remarks by Nenchev, has concluded (without naming a source) it is Russia that major hybrid warfare threats against Bulgaria are coming from.

Last year the minister repeatedly suggested a concept should be urgently elaborated to counteract hybrid threats, but has stopped short of naming Russia or any other country or organization as a source of systemic threats.

His predecessor, caretaker Defense Minister Velizar Shalamanov, was involved in a scandal in 2014, with a draft document prepared by his ministry suggesting Bulgaria was in a state of "hybrid war" with Russia.

Separately, Bulgarian institutions such as the National Revenue Agency and the Education Ministry have been targets of repeated hack attacks over the past months, and a number of others were subjected to a massive attack in October, on the day of local elections and a referendum on remote online voting.

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Tags: Nikolay Nenchev, hybrid war, Constantin Popov, hybrid warfare, Velizar Shalamanov, cyber crime


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