Counter-Hybrid Warfare: Winning in the Gray Zone
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. This article is an attempt to begin a serious discussion of a doctrinal approach to counter attempts by other state actors to use kinetic hybrid techniques to further state interests in ways harmful to us. The Hybrid Center of Excellence in Finland is a good start to begin examining cooperative approaches to countering hybrid threats, but the United State will likely play a key role when a NATO ally or a partner with which we have a bilateral security agreement comes under a hybrid attack.
There is no Russian Withdraw from Syria
Dmitry Gorenburg and Michael Kofman
With characteristic deadpan delivery, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the sudden withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria earlier this week, declaring their campaign a success. Before the day was through, Russian aircraft and crews were already departing from Hmeymim air base in Latakia. Since this announcement, the media has been alight with speculation on the meaning of Russia’s sudden departure, its political and military implications, and the reasons for this seemingly unexpected move. Much of the discussion has thus far missed the mark. There is no Russian withdrawal from Syria, but rather a drawdown of the air contingent present in Latakia. Putin simply moved pieces on the board, without altering the equation.
Another article from Stephen Blank. I very much agree with him.
Why Does Putin Surprise Us Again and Again?
From Great Britain to the Black Sea, Russia is waging a constant, unceasing information war against virtually every European government. This war takes many forms, but information war in essence entails what Peter Pomerantsev called the weaponization of information in the form of lies, misinformation, propaganda, exploitation of agents of influence, and reflexive actions inducing opponents to behave in ways they think benefit them but actually work to the enemy’s advantage. Among other things, numerous reports show that an army of so-called trolls exist in Russia who do nothing but defame honest reporters and reporting on Russia, and saturate the internet, television, newspapers, and other media with their misinformation.
Read more: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/why-does-putin-surprise-us-again-and-again
“Weaponization” and Its Flaws
By Edward Lucas
March 14, 2016
Military jargon makes language vivid and punchy. It is particularly tempting when the aim is to sound the alarm about Russia’s approach to its neighbors. But specialist terms in the wrong context can be misleading.
One much-used term is “hybrid warfare” — mixing conventional force of arms with other non-military means. Another favourite word is “weaponized.” Russia “weaponizes” everything from information to energy exports, via the targeted use of corruption, and even—according to General Philip Breedlove, the outgoing NATO military commander—migration.
Read more here: http://www.cepa.org/content/weaponization-and-its-flaws
How the Kremlin uses military bases on the western flank to take the Russian population hostage
Author: Pavel Luzin
Deployment and modernization of large military bases near the Ukraine-Russia border, in the Kaliningrad Oblast (which continues to function as a huge Central and Eastern European fort) and the militarization of occupied Crimea are all part of Moscow’s logic of confrontation with the West. The aggressive war against a neighboring country is perceived by the Kremlin as a bloody, but not final, episode. However, it is abundantly clear that the Russian political regime is doomed to failure in the case of a conventional armed conflict with NATO countries. This is precisely why these military constructions, coupled with the nurtured threat of unpredictability, are intended to put pressure on the West without prompting all-out war. But these steps serve an additional goal: to take Russian citizens, whose loyalty to the political authorities will be guaranteed by something akin to Stockholm Syndrome, hostage.
– See more at: http://intersectionproject.eu/article/security/art-fortification#sthash.VtVE0lgL.dpuf
Interesting paper discussing how the so called Western pragmatists don’t understand Russia.
The Western Pragmatists Explain Russia
By the end of 2014 the pragmatists recognized that their narratives needed revising, but they still couldn’t recognize the sources of Russia’s deep domestic decay.
Editor’s Note: How do Russia and the West see one another? What are the experts’ views on the confrontation between Russia and the West? How do the pundits explain the Russo-Ukrainian war and Russia’s Syrian gambit? What are the roots of the mythology about Russia in the West, and why has the West failed to predict and understand Russia’s trajectory? This is the sixth essay in a series that seeks to answer these questions.
Interesting article. The Russians argue the West is doing Hybrid Warfare against them and try to understand it.
Gibridnye operatsii kak novyi’ vid voennogo protivoborstva (Гибридные операции как новый вид военного противоборства)
V. A. KISELEV, I. N. VOROB’EV
Voennaia mysl’, No. 5, April 2015, page(s): 41-48
SUMMARY. The authors consider a new type of warfare – hybrid operations, which contain annexation of a part of the state’s territory, and also show the main components of such a struggle, having a decisive influence on such operations’ conduct.