Western countries today are focused on enhancing their own societal resilience – building the capacity of their societies to anticipate, preempt and resolve disruptive challenges to their critical functions. Resilience begins at home and is foremost a task for national governments. Yet growing interdependencies mean that few of the critical infrastructures that sustain the societal functions of open societies are limited to the national borders of a particular society. Moreover, those infrastructures, and the connections they bring with other societies, are susceptible to disruption, whether through natural disasters, potentially catastrophic terrorism, networked threats or disruptive hybrid attacks. This means that traditional notions of territorial security must be supplemented with actions to address flow security – protecting the links that bind societies to one another. These challenges, in turn, will require greater shared resilience. Understanding the need for greater shared resilience also leads to consideration of how countries might be able to project resilience forward to neighboring countries that are weaker or more susceptible to disruptions that can ripple back to their interdependent partners.
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