Finding the Balance to Combat a Hybrid Threat   [open pdf - 681KB]

"Following Vietnam, the U.S. military focused on conventional state-on-state wars, and the Army task organized to face the Soviet Union in Europe. The Army's capstone Cold War doctrine, AirLand Battle, reached its pinnacle during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Refocusing from a conventional fight to counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq, the military changed its TTPs [Tactics, Technics, and Procedures] to combat the insurgent threat. Over the last decade, the U.S. military's sole attention to counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq has resulted in an entire generation of officers whose skills in combined arms maneuver has atrophied. A similar sort of atrophy in warfighting skills also occurred in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and contributed to Israel's failure during the Second Lebanon War. In 2006, the IDF sought a swift victory over the Hezbollah in Lebanon. Instead, the IDF fell victim to their past successes in the Six-Day War, Yom Kippur War, and the 1982 Lebanon War, which reinforced their belief that overwhelming air power would compel the enemy to capitulate. For much of the two decades preceding the 2006 conflict, the IDF focused on counterinsurgency and constabulary operations against the Palestinians in the West Bank, and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon. This emphasis led to a degradation of their combined arms maneuver skills. As the IDF's skills worsened, the Hezbollah organized itself conventionally with prepared defenses and a well-organized, trained, and highly motivated force. They acquired and adapted technology to defeat the Israeli forces in depth as the IDF's offensive moved into Lebanon. Hezbollah combined both conventional and unconventional tactics to defeat the IDF. This combination of tactics and organization is the essence of a hybrid threat. By synthesizing the TTPs from Afghanistan's counterinsurgency fight with the lessons from the IDF, this monograph will provide a model for the organization and training the U.S. military will need to defeat future hybrid threats."

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