Threat Intelligence

It is important to make an intelligent choice when faced with a severe threat. You probably already know about fight-flight-freeze, but there is another common behaviour among both children and adults: fawn. As I see it, the Stockholm syndrome is a kind of fawn response, where you try to survive by sucking up to your aggressor.

According to Pete Walker, the way you were treated as a child has an impact on to what extent you are able to use all four responses or if you over-rely on one or two. In Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan people sometimes talk about Russia/Soviet as there parent nation, their father. Although these countries have much in common when it comes to how they have been treated by both Russian Empire and Soviet, they (or perhaps their presidents) now demonstrate very different coping approaches.

Outside the parlament building in Georgia you find the blue EU flag beside the white Georgian flag with the red crosses. Not only there, but everywhere including TV. Georgia's aggression towards Russia probably cost them both South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
With its oil and gas safely under government control (or perhaps more to the point, the president family's control), Azerbaijan confidently develops the country and its image, the most recent event being the much criticized European Olympic Games 2015. However, being the richest country in the region they are also acutely aware of the hungry eyes from the Russian bear staring at them across the northern border and from the Nagorno-Karabakh region, where they are "helping" the Armenians.

With no natural resources and not much industry, Armenia is very dependent on Russia when it comes to energy and export. Being in conflict with both Turkey (regarding the holy Mount Ararat) and Azerbaijan (regarding the region Nagorno-Karabakh they call Artsakh), takes its toll on the meagre state treasure chest. Although many of the seven million Armenians living outside their home country are chipping in, the leaning on Russia is obvious.
Responses to threat can change, especially after therapy (or a new breed of citizens and technology). Al Jazeera recently reported on demonstrations in Armenia after the decision by Armenia's Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) to raise the prices of electricity by 17%, effective from the beginning of August. The Electric Networks of Armenia is a monopoly owned by Russia.

"While the outcome for Armenia is far from certain, the shock of a resilient challenge to the traditional post-Soviet authoritarian model should worry a number of neighbouring countries. As Russian rule loses stability in the region, the seeds of unrest are bound to spread and grow." Al Jazeera

According to The Huffington Post, the "Electric Yerevan" movement has had a major impact, despite or perhaps because its lack of political leadership:

"A new culture has now been created in Armenia and in the post-Soviet area, a culture of exclusively social movements, "live walls" serving as a deterrent, and this way, the police and the government are afraid to engage in violence against the demonstrators." The Huffington Post

Traces of threats to organisations or countries can be found by surveilling internet traffic and enforcing computer security. Some of these threats are also focusing on ICT infrastructure, becoming cyber attacks. According to Gartner, Threat Intelligence is a growing market. However, as pointed out by Anton Chuvakin, information about a future attack is not enough, you also need a way to handle it, i.e. back to coping strategies.

Perhaps as a threat intelligence service provider you need to take into account your customer's coping strategy, and maybe help him/her/it develop a broader response repertoar making it more agile. Who knows, this broader scope and expansion of language might also help attracting more females to the business.

PS By using social network analysis (first developed by unsuspecting anthropologist) some of the intelligence services in the above mentioned countries have probably pin-pinted you as a potential threat since you are reading this post. Sorry!

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