Traditional conflict — fought with guns, bombs, and drones—has become almost too expensive to wage, too unpopular at home, and too difficult to manage. So nations have innovated. Russia wages hybrid warfare on Ukraine. The US threatens Iran with further sanctions. China spends billions buying political influence abroad. The world seems to be heading for a new era of permanent low-level conflict, often unnoticed, undeclared and unending.
In February 2022 transnational crime expert Mark Galeotti came to Intelligence Squared to discuss his ground-breaking survey of this new way of war. Drawing from his new book The Weaponisation of Everything, Galeotti revealed how today’s conflicts are being fought by every means available, from disinformation and espionage to crime and subversion. He argued that while this may be leading to instability within countries and a legitimacy crisis across the globe, there are ways in which we can survive, adapt and take advantage of the opportunities presented by this new reality.
Research Director and co-founder of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media (CASM) at the think tank Demos. He presented the BBC's flagship technology programme 'Click' and is author of The Death of the Gods: The New Global Power Grab which examines how new technologies change power dynamics in our societies. He was recently appointed to Chatham House's taskforce on Responsible AI.