Cover: Written Evidence Submitted by RAND Europe

Written Evidence Submitted by RAND Europe

DGZ0008 Defence in the Grey Zone

Published in: UK Parliament website (2024)

Posted on Apr 19, 2024

by Rebecca Lucas, Charlotte Kleberg, James Black

Grey zone activities involve the use of diplomatic, information, military, and economic (DIME) levers to bring about desired strategic outcomes by blurring, stretching and moving thresholds, and exploiting seams in the target state's decision making. The UK's adversaries have increasingly used these ambiguous and subversive techniques in recent years in an attempt to achieve their goals without triggering open conflict. Importantly, however, grey zone activities and conventional military threats are not a mutually exclusive binary: instead, they both exist along a spectrum of policy options for furthering national interests. The answers to the below questions discuss the unique ways in which Defence contributes to confronting grey zone activities conducted by the UK's adversaries, before delving into the ways in which it can more effectively collaborate with partners both across government, in society, and internationally to achieve HMG's aims. In addition, this response delves into the ways in which liberal democracies are both uniquely vulnerable, and yet also in some ways particularly resilient, to hostile grey zone activities, and considers the specific lessons emerging from the Russia-Ukraine War. This builds on extensive and ongoing RAND research on the theory and practice of grey zone activities for the UK and Allied governments.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.