About the Project

Enemies of the United States continue to undermine efforts in conflict zones by
targeting U.S. soft networks, defined as indigenous partners vital to military and
diplomatic efforts.

Military leaders and diplomats have few policy tools at their disposal to insulate those networks, and many times do not anticipate attacks until their closest partners quit, flee or are found dead. Given the likelihood that enemies will continue to pursue strategies to target soft networks, the U.S. Government should have doctrinal and policy options to proactively insulate critical partners abroad.

The current policy gaps have tangible national security implications including undermining local national confidence in current U.S. military and diplomatic efforts, damaging host nation military relationships with U.S. forces, undermining law enforcement investigations to collect intelligence during terrorist investigations, diluting U.S. narratives about objectives in conflict zones, and demoralizing military and diplomatic veterans who work closely with local national partners. Continued policy gaps will further degrade U.S. ability to secure national security interests in conflict zones and elsewhere around the globe.

The Project to Strategically Protect Soft Networks (SPSN) harvests best practices and continues foundational research to stimulate a National Security Study Directive
(NSSD) process to understand the threat posed by current policy gaps and
implement risk mitigation and best practices to strengthen U.S. national security
efforts that include local national partners.

Learn more by watching this video: