November 08, 2023

Did China and Russia just sabotage critical infrastructure in the Baltic?

During the past several weeks, a string of attacks on critical infrastructure in the Baltic Sea has highlighted the challenges NATO faces in protecting itself against hybrid threats. After the discovery of damage done to a gas pipeline between Finland and Estonia, news soon broke that a data cable connecting Estonia and Sweden had also been damaged. While investigations point to a Chinese commercial vessel as the most likely culprit, the difficulty of attributing the incident directly to Beijing illustrates a common problem in defending against grey zone aggression more broadly. On this episode of Brussels Sprouts, Bruce Jones and Elisabeth Braw join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to help us make sense of recent incidents and what they can tell us about future threats posed by hybrid warfare.

Bruce Jones is a Senior Fellow with the Strobe Talbott Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution.

Elisabeth Braw is a Senior Associate Fellow at the European Leadership Network and a columnist with Foreign Policy. Her work focuses on deterrence against emerging forms of aggression, such as hybrid and grey zone threats.

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