Small Wars Journal

hybrid warfare

How Russia’s Hybrid Warfare is Changing ZFTWARNING Mon, 07/17/2023 - 5:19pm
This article argues that Russia's approach to hybrid warfare has undergone a shift, moving away from primarily relying on nonconventional measures and tactics towards a greater emphasis on conventional methods. The framework of the argument is constructed through an analysis of Russia's experiences in hybrid warfare across various conflicts such as the Afghan War, Chechnya, Georgia, Syria, and Ukraine. Methodologically, the analysis is based on the non-linear concept of hybrid warfare, commonly referred to as the “Gerasimov doctrine.” This concept acknowledges the utilization of both conventional military tactics and nonconventional tactics, emphasizing the use of nonconventional as primary measures. The evidence suggests that (i) the Georgia War of 2008 and the Ukraine War of 2014-2021 serve as the most prominent examples of Russia's approach to hybrid warfare; (ii) the comparison with the Ukraine War since February 2022 indicates that certain hybrid warfare measures may be transitioning towards a greater reliance on conventional means. This shift raises doubts about the effectiveness of implementing the hybrid warfare concept by Russia. It provides an opportunity to identify the determinants that may play a crucial role in this transformation. Consequently, the article highlights problems for further discussion to explore the evolving nature of Russia's approach to hybrid warfare and measures used for achieving national interests to preserve state security.

Modern Russian Statecraft: Neither New nor Hybrid, Part One

Sun, 12/12/2021 - 9:45am
Russia’s use of subversion over the past three decades to undermine the military, economic, psychological, and/or political strength of liberal democracies via such means as propaganda/disinformation, paramilitary forces and proxies, assassinations, cyber-attacks, and similar methods is not a new form of warfare but instead is consistent with actions taken by Moscow ever since the October Revolution of 1917.

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Hybrid Warfare and Active Measures

Sun, 10/10/2021 - 3:50am
Modern Russian intelligence operations, cyber intrusions and influence operations have found both potency in the proliferation of social media technologies and a receptive target in the existing political and social divisions in the United States. Media reports, including dramatic documentaries and breathless biopics on the ten Russian “illegals” arrested in 2010, create perceptions of either a newly developed Russian playbook or a full-scale return to the Cold War era of spy-vs-spy. Neither perspective is entirely accurate.

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Liminal and conceptual envelopment: warfare in the age of dragons

Tue, 05/26/2020 - 4:07pm
SWJ interview with Dr. David Kilcullen, author of the newly published Dragons and the Snakes - How the Rest learned to fight the West, Oxford University Press, March 2020. He is a professor of practice in the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University and a professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of New South Wales.

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Using Hybrid-Warfare Defeat Mechanisms to Fight the Coronavirus and Counter Future Bioweapons. A Novel Approach.

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 12:36pm
This article attempts to produce a framework that can help public health officials and military leaders develop strategies and operations to counter and eradicate Covid-19 type viral pandemics or other future bioweapon threats we might face on the hybrid-warfare battlefield.

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Sound the Clarion! Hybrid Warfare Has Arrived in the Asia-Pacific

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 1:04am
Ever since Russia’s rapid annexation of Crimea in 2014 during the height of the Ukraine Crisis thrust the term “hybrid warfare” into mainstream consciousness, predictions of its imminent spread westward have been fervently propagated. The perceived threat of hybrid warfare has however since evolved into something more universal and far-reaching, and in recent years it would seem as if the tendrils of this virulent threat have finally traversed the vast expanse of the globe to arrive in the Asia-Pacific.

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Law of War at the Lowest Tactical Level: Marines in Nasiriyah & the Difficulty of Distinction in Hybrid War SWJED Thu, 05/30/2019 - 1:52pm
Marines know well the significance of Nasiriyah. The bloody battle there between Task Force Tarawa and the Iraqi Fedayeen disrupted the invasion of Iraq. But Nasiriyah is notable also as a case study for the law of war. The story and background of Marines in Nasiriyah make known some lessons learned on law of war.

Preparing for the Future: Insurgents Get a Vote

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 9:18am
As the U.S. Army looks forward to the next conflict, it must not lose sight of the current strategic challenges. Future adversaries will likely also adopt insurgent tactics, if not entire insurgent groups, in concert with their own modernizing forces in any conflict with the U.S.. Therefore, we must regrow the large-scale combat operations knowledge base in concert with, rather than at the expense, of COIN.

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Counter-Hybrid Warfare: Winning in the Gray Zone SWJED Sun, 12/02/2018 - 3:21am
The United States is actively involved in two hybrid conflicts (ISIS in Syria and Iraq) and is supporting the Ukraine against hybrid threats from Russia. That said, America lacks a formal doctrine for dealing with such conflicts or even an agreed-on doctrinal definition of what they are.