Economic and Financial Threat Program

The national security dimensions of global economic and financial (E&F) relations are arguably more prevalent in our highly interdependent world than ever before.  Sanctions are more commonplace and varied, as are the measures taken to circumvent them.  Competitors and adversaries of the United States and its European allies make regular use of E&F warfighting techniques in seeking to gain leverage over other countries in the form of dependencies, embargos, control of strategic assets, hacking and other activities undermining rule-based market competition.  For example, Russia’s new “hybrid warfare” has a major E&F component that is roughly on par with its more visible and better-understood political/military components.  PSSI has long recognized this reality and now has a program dedicated to educating the security communities and militaries of allied nations as well as academia, industry and non-governmental organizations concerning the various modalities of E&F statecraft and warfare, particularly the strategic use by prospective adversaries of their forward-deployed state-owned enterprises.

PSSI has invested significantly in producing E&F reports for policy-makers on a range of issues.  PSSI’s experience in this domain dates back to the Reagan White House, and includes nearly four decades of risk management and senior policy-related expertise. Greater situational awareness and early warning are urgently needed in what is increasingly referred to as the E&F Threat Domain.

In 2015, PSSI forged an agreement with Charles University to support a course in E&F Warfare in the Fall semester of 2015 under the auspices of the University’s Master’s Degree Program in International Security Studies (MISS), co-sponsored by PSSI.

In 2016, PSSI has agreed to provide 480,000 CZK to cover the living expenses stipend for a full-time student of a doctoral program in International Relations at the Charles University Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of International Relations at the Institute of Political Science Studies. It will in the field of the “Economic and Financial Threat Domain” in the name of Oldřich Černý, the Co-Founder and former Executive Director of PSSI.

It is the objective of PSSI to assist Charles University in building a cadre of professional E&F analysts and policy-makers equipped to understand and counter this often subtle and sophisticated form of soft power projection by actual and prospective adversaries. The Institute also seeks to train Ph.D. students to identify, and, if necessary, leverage the rather glaring E&F vulnerabilities of those questionable state actors operating in this domain that the U.S. and its allies created and dominate.

The Institute also plans to hold a series of roundtables and conferences on this cutting-edge international security portfolio and has established relationships with a number of the world’s leading figures in this rapidly expanding, non-kinetic domain. 

The work of the Economic and Financial Threat Program is supported by an analytical online tool IntelTrak that was developed by PSSI principals. IntelTrak is designed to help differentiate between the ostensibly commercial operations of these companies and the strategic agenda of their state controllers.  It does so through an empirical transaction-by-transaction research methodology to determine specifically what type of business these companies are doing globally, where such business is taking place, which entities are involved and over what timeframe.