Counter-Unconventional Warfare   [open pdf - 320KB]

"During the last decade, the U.S. military, along with its interagency and international partners, has generated significant capability to counter the irregular threats presented by non-state terrorists, insurgents, and criminal groups. During these same years, a distinct challenge to America and its partners in NATO and beyond has arisen through an innovative mix of such irregular threats. This challenge is Hybrid Warfare combining conventional, irregular, and asymmetric means, to include the persistent manipulation of political and ideological conflict. Foreshadowed by Iranian actions throughout the Middle East and by Chinese 'unrestricted warfare' strategists in the 1990s, Hybrid Warfare has now reached its most brazen form in Russia's support for separatist insurgents in Ukraine. Hybrid Warfare involves a state or state-like actor's use of all available diplomatic, informational, military, and economic means to destabilize an adversary. Whole-of-government by nature, Hybrid Warfare as seen in the Russian and Iranian cases places a particular premium on unconventional warfare (UW). As such, a response capitalizing on America's own irregular and unconventional warfare skills, as part of a whole-of-government and multinational strategy, can best counter actions of emergent adversaries to destabilize global security. Counter-Unconventional Warfare (C-UW) should thus prove central to U.S./NATO security policy and practice over the next several decades."

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