Nonviolent Civilian Defense to Counter Russian Hybrid Warfare

Written by Maciej Bartkowski, Ph.D.

In January 2015, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense published a manual for the Lithuanian people to use in case of a foreign invasion. It notes that “citizens can resist aggression against their country not only through armed [struggle]. Civilian-based defense or nonviolent civil resistance is another way for citizens’ resistance against aggression. (…) This method is especially important for threats of hybrid war.”

The Lithuania manual statement captures the essence of this study: recognition of the threat to European countries of unconventional warfare launched by Russia, understanding of the limitations inherent in armed response, and acknowledgement of the potential of nonviolent resistance in countering aggressive hybrid war.

This study has been directly informed by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine where Russia and Russian backed rebels have waged a hybrid war of territorial conquest. This hybrid warfare has included elements of nonviolent collective actions. In response, the Ukrainian government launched an armed counterinsurgency with predictably costly results. Ukraine would have been better served by an approach similar to that outlined by Lithuania.

Russia has exploited civilian nonviolent actions in Ukraine and elevated them to the status of instruments of contemporary warfare in its latest military doctrine. For their part, NATO and its democratic member states need to give a serious consideration to the idea of genuinely grassroots, civilian nonviolent defense strategies. This study offers suggestions on how this can be done and what relevant nonviolent strategies might be.

Civilian nonviolent defense offers important short and long-term strategic advantages over traditional military strategies in defending people and territory. It exploits the political vulnerabilities of the adversaries. In particular, it looks for ways to undermine the essential pillars that sustain opponents and their war machinery while minimizing costs for the society under attack. Furthermore, national civilian nonviolent defense can instill a significant degree of civic empowerment, self-organization, decentralization, and civic solidarity–elements necessary for a successful post-war democratization.

Read the full White Paper (PDF).

Predictive Policing: Preventing Crime with Data and Analytics

Predictive Policing
In this report, published by the IBM Center for the Business of Government, Dr. Jennifer Bachner discusses how new policing approaches in communities are turning traditional police officers into “data detectives.” Police departments across the country have adapted business techniques — initially developed by retailers such as Netflix and WalMart — to predict criminal behavior. The report presents case studies of how Santa Cruz, CA; Baltimore County, MD; and Richmond, VA have used predictive policing as a new and effective tool to combat crime.

While this report focuses on the use of predictive analytics for preventing crime in local communities, these techniques and tools can be applied to other policy arenas, such as the efforts by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to predict and prevent homelessness and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s efforts to identify and mitigate communities vulnerable to natural disasters.

Click here to view or download the full report.

Ten Years Later: Insights on al-Qaeda's Past & Future

On 13-14 September 2011, the Conflict Records Research Center (CRRC) at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University (NDU), and the Johns Hopkins Center for Advanced Governmental Studies, hosted a conference to mark the tenth anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. Nearly 250 academics, policymakers, and practitioners attended the event. Introduced by Acting President of the NDU, Ambassador Nancy E McEldowney, and entitled “Ten Years Later: Insights on al-Qaeda’s Past and Future Through Captured Records,” the conference explored what scholars and policymakers knew about al-Qaeda and Associated Movements (AQAM) before the 9/11 attacks, as well as what they have learned since. Participants also offered thoughts about the future of AQAM as well as directions for counterterrorism and policy.  Click here to view the paper.

Government by Contract: Considering a Public Service Ethics to Match the Reality of the “Blended” Public Workforce

While succeeding generations of members of Congress and presidents have vowed in the name of efficiency to shrink Big Government, the size of the federal civil service work force has remained fairly constant for decades. Beyond the symbolic politics surrounding philosophical differences over the appropriate size of government are the often less discussed, but fundamental issues raised by the “fourth branch” or “shadow government” which has expanded in scope and function in recent decades. This refers to the vast array of private contractors who work in every area of government from building weapons to writing regulations. While data on the number of civil servants is available, there is no comparable data on the number of government contractors and their employees who perform work of the kind that citizens might think of as the work of the government. The most troubling aspect of the blended public-private work force resulting from “government by contract” is the challenge for accountability. Click here to view the paper.

Less is More: The Modified Zero Plan for Tax Reform

In 2010, Professor Paul Weinstein served as Senior Adviser to the National Commission of Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (“Fiscal Commission”). The Fiscal Commission’s recommendations include a tax reform plan, which despite reflexive opposition from both the left and the right was supported by all three Senate Republicans and 3 elected Democrats (two senators and one house member) on the Commission. The plan, known as the “Modified Zero Plan,” put forth recommendations for lower rates, a simplified tax code, and increased government revenues for deficit reduction.

In April of 2011, The Center for Advanced Governmental Studies hosted a conference on tax reform with Senators Ron Wyden, Daniel Coats, and Michael Bennet. At the conference Professor Weinstein and Marc Goldwein released a paper on the Fiscal Commission’s tax reform plan entitled “Less is More: The Modified Zero Plan for Tax Reform.” Click here to view the paper or here to read a review of it.

Impacts of Comprehensive Climate and Energy Policy Options on the U.S. Economy

This report, published by Johns Hopkins University and the Center for Climate Strategies in July 2010, is intended to positively contribute to the current national debate over the economic implications of climate and energy policy options.

View and Download Report at

Defending Cyberspace: Protecting Individuals, Government Agencies and Private Companies Against Persistent Evolving Threats

On May 8 and 7, 2008, cybersecurity experts, staff from Capitol Hill, academics, and a variety of stakeholders met in Washington, DC, to share information about the growing threat of cyberattacks and cyberespionage in the United States and worldwide. The conference on Defending Cyberspace 2008 was produced by the Park City Center for Public Policy and Imadgen, LLC, and was co-hosted by the Johns Hopkins University, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Information Technology Association of America. Speakers included several former state Governors, CEOs, and current and past federal officials serving at the policy level.

This report summarizes the conference.