Inadequacy of Definition and the Utility of a Theory of Hybrid Conflict: Is the 'Hybrid Threat' New?   [open pdf - 276KB]

From the Monograph Abstract: "The US has formally identified 'hybrid threats' as the likely future threat it will face. Descriptions and definitions abound that address form and function of a hybrid threat, but do not address logic. The resulting lack of understanding leaves military professionals without a practical method of understanding hybrid organizations and warfare. A remedy to this situation is in producing a theory of hybrid warfare with universal applicability. The monograph develops and presents a theory that builds upon the existing literature of modern combat and hybrid warfare. It proposes that hybrid warfare occurs when a combatant bases its optimized force structure on the combination of available resources -- both conventional and unconventional -- in a unique cultural context to produce specific, synergistic effects against conventionally-based opponents. The monograph relies on analyses of two case studies; through which historical trends emerge that confirm seven principles and a theory of hybrid warfare. Those principles concern the presence of: specific ideology, existential threat, capability overmatch, unique context, defensive tactics, strategies of attrition and combinations of conventional, unconventional, criminal, and terrorist elements. Two case studies validate the resultant theory -- Israel-Lebanon 2006 War and the Soviet Partisan movement of 1941-1945. The monograph includes recommendations for application and research."

Report Number:
AY 2012-001
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
School of Advanced Military Studies: http://www.usacac.army.mil/
Media Type:
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