Hybrid warfare
Material posted: Publication date: 16-11-2019
International consensus for a "hybrid war" is clear, but no one understands what includes this term, but everyone, including NATO and the European Union, agree that this is a huge problem. The article takes into account the fact that to solve the problem, you must first fully understand.

War (or conflict) is primarily a clash of interests. Goal has always been to influence the opponent's will to varying degrees, from achieving political advantage before the decisive victory. The means to achieve such a result are used in different areas of activity, in accordance with prevailing political or social conditions and science and technology.

The struggle for power has remained consistent for centuries. A modern form of competition involves the art of government and military art, strengthening the classic stratagem of using a number of unconventional methods to achieve political-strategic goals. As a result, this heterogeneous activity led to the emergence of a confusing group of names: the grey zone, the hybrid threat, graduated, non-linear, unlimited, and many others.

Such innovative approaches have the new value in today's conflicts, thanks to a new efficient tools that are widely used by stakeholders. This report is designed to explore the changing nature of war and conflict for the analytical assessment of this issue.

Approaches with a combination of traditional and non-traditional ways of resolving conflict are not entirely new. States have used these complex or hybrid approaches over the centuries. Concepts such as political destabilization, support for various factions and militias, campaigns and much more, became the basis of state and military activities in the Peloponnesian wars. This "mixing" finds historical examples in the battle of Troy, where the Trojan horse was used as a method of surprise and deception, in the Napoleonic wars where the British challenged French control of major Spanish cities, while the Spanish guerrillas attacked their lines of communication in the Arab revolt where the British army have combined conventional operations in Palestine with irregular forces under British operational control. A closer concept of the use of conventional forces along with the use of unconventional forces is characteristic of the conflict in Kashmir.

How, then, modern conflicts are different from the past, if you use the same combination? Although previously unconventional methods were used as force-multipliers to enhance the conventional forces in modern conflicts, have reversed.

Before defining conflicts of the XXI century, it is necessary to distinguish between war and conflict. The terms are usually used interchangeably, despite having different connotations. War, according to Merriam-Webster, is "a condition that usually open and declared armed hostile conflict between States or Nations". In the same dictionary conflict is defined as competitive or opposing action of incompatibility; antagonistic state or action conflict of principles." These differences can be summarized as follows:

  • war is a conflict but not all conflict is war;
  • conflict is a broad term covering a wide range of competition, ranging from verbal disagreements to the use of force. In the context of this study, the complexities of the wars and conflicts across the full spectrum of the ways and means of coercion, the term conflict is most appropriate.

Russian General Valery Gerasimov in his doctrinal document most appropriately characterizes such conflicts, stating: "War is not declared, and begun — not according to our usual pattern". the study of contemporary conflicts reveals the blurred lines between not only war and peace, but also between the elements of national power, kinetic and akineticalkie operations, hidden and overt action, policy, strategy, law and public order, public morality, population, and allies as well as enemies, and enemies of the enemy, and also between the elements of national power and allies, as well as between them and the allies. The increase of the volume of information is somehow leaked or dispersed these differences. Therefore, the traditional coping mechanisms of the state, which until now have been modeled on the basis of these differences, it is difficult to counter these threats and are forced to constantly adapt and evolve.

International Advisory Board on security issues, State Department of the United States of America held an event on transfer characteristics of the conflict and found that they included the following components:

  • cyberspace operations, information operations, efforts to undermine public life/
    resistance allies/local/regional resistance and advocacy
    in support of other hybrid instruments;
  • the private control over public operations, espionage, infiltration;p
  • special operations forces and other armed force controlled by the government
    units and unrecognized military personnel;
  • support — logistical, political and financial — for the rebels and
    terrorist movements;
  • the involvement of non-governmental organizations, including those organized by
    criminal groups, terrorists and extremist political, religious and
    religious or ethnic organizations;
  • assistance to irregular military and paramilitary forces;
  • economic pressure beyond the normal economic indicators
  • the manipulation and discrediting of democratic institutions,
    including the electoral system and the judicial system;
  • calculated ambiguity, the use of hidden/unconfirmed transactions
    deceit and denial;
  • explicit or implicit threat, the use or threat of use of armed forces, terrorism and abuse of civilians and escalation.

Both Russian and American experts are trying to better understand modern conflicts.

A noticeable difference between the medieval, industrial and modern conflicts conflict is not in combination or hybrid of various tools used and tools that are used by the prevailing social, economic, political and technological conditions.

Both state and non-state actors involved in a hybrid war, but they vary greatly in their means and actions. All of them have the ability to synchronize a variety of tools and power, applying them to specific vulnerabilities for creating linear and non-linear effects. Focusing on these characteristics of the players ' capabilities of hybrid warfare, and vulnerability of their goals in these areas can result in an overall assessment, which can create an approximate description of a hybrid war. In Russian scientific literature the term "hybrid warfare" is much more expansive. Sphere hybrid warfare rely all major spheres of society. The researchers of this problem, propose your definition of the "hybrid war" and only give descriptive definitions enumerating in detail the characteristics of the hybrid war in various segments of public life. So hybrid warfare is a set of mixed strategies (with the assistance of globalization and revolution in communications and the Internet, as well as provoking immediate attack), used by some military actors that are perceived asymmetric conflict with an opponent, in an attempt to leave at a disadvantage.

Components Of Hybrid Conflict

If this understanding of hybrid conflicts will be applied to contemporary conflicts, there is a corresponding question: When the conflict becomes a hybrid? The word hybrid means combining or joining of more than two elements, forces or components of the conflict spectrum. These components are typically characterized as conventional and non-conventional or conventional and irregular. However, these differences are relative. What is unconventional today, tomorrow may be the Convention. Similarly, irregular processes can become regular with increasing their use. Thus, these subsets are imperfect. Kinetic and akineticalkie. The kinetic components will include a range of space weapons, nuclear, biological, chemical weapons, ground forces, naval forces, air forces, special forces, insurgents, terrorists to black militants engaged in illegal activities, including sabotage, murder and violent attack. Akineticalkie will cover diplomatic and political action, information operations. Hybrid warfare: the changing nature of conflict, including operations in cyberspace and the social networks of network war, including the destruction of critical network infrastructure, disagreement, Subversion, criminal activities, economic warfare, including fake currency, currency devaluation and economic coercion, resource war, ecological war, ideological war, non-violent excitement.

Thus it is possible to identify the following tools to conduct hybrid war:

Propaganda. Impact on the domestic media (TV, radio, etc..)

The media are excellent tools of misinformation, social networks in General are a very dangerous element to control, and the hidden impact on society because it involves the combination of different methods of processing and giving information to the user. The use of false or not entirely truthful articles can lead to critical results, the ideal lies especially consists of 70% truth and 30% lies. Currently, the military operation without a disinformation and psychological pressure on the opponent by manipulation of world public opinion in the American version simply unthinkable. The beginning of military action was always preceded by a strong information campaign, aimed primarily to discredit the opponent and create an enemy image.

For more effective manipulation of public opinion misinformation can propagate simultaneously through print and electronic media, television, Internet, rumors, and through the use of flyers in local conflicts and wars.

The social network.

Cyber attacks on social networks will pose a serious threat. Cyber criminals are focusing their resources on environments with a large amount of data, such as Facebook and Instagram to get access to personal information. Hackers use malware attacks to steal user data.

But it's not just personal profiles of social networks, which are under threat.
Malware and hackers social networking can also be aimed at enterprise computer systems, usually in the form of malicious emails. Also the social. The network can serve as a medium for illegal activities, propaganda and means of mass misinformation.

Strategic leaks (as means of disinformation under the guise of a valid leak of vital information) For example, well-known site wikileaks could be used as give strategic information about the enemy and the counsel of its strategy in the wrong way.

Funding of non-governmental organizations. Organization of protest movements

These three aforementioned tool can also serve as an excellent weapon for carrying out a hybrid war. Together they provide disclosures of public opinion and lead to its breakup into groups.


One person cannot be above the law in comparison with other people, everyone should be equal, otherwise this situation could lead to conflict.

Religion and religious leaders

Often religion is used as a pretext for carrying out some specific, often fighting or in political activities, it is enough to remember history or else take a look at such figures of the modern world as Fethullah Gulen and Fazlur of Rehamn.

The use of terrorist organizations

All terrorism can be qualitatively used in many purposes and thus to keep incognito on the international level and evade harassment by other countries. There are many theories about what al-Qaeda and various other terrorist organizations have been creating with the support of the US and other Western countries. Only through a deep analysis of wars of the last 50 years you can intelligently answer this question.

The privatization of war

Here it is very similar to the use of terrorist organizations to engage in military conflicts. Nobody can accuse the government in the introduction of military operations, if his army is nothing to do with.

The use of secret intelligence

Spy-illegals. Assassinations, information leakage with the help of special operations agents - all this certainly exists in our time.

A cyber weapon

this use of technology to attack the government and citizens, to the detriment of comparable real war with weapons. Today was not a direct cyber-war declared antagonists, however, there are a number of incidents that caused a serious breach of the infrastructure of the countries that are suspected that they are carried out by another state (for Example by hacking an Indian nuclear power plant in November this year). The Oxford English dictionary describes cyber warfare as "the use of computer technology to disrupt the operations of the state or organization, especially the deliberate attack on information systems for strategic or military purposes."

Economic impact / money laundering / Economic terrorism

In the economy, as an important object of application of technology of "controlled chaos", the criticality can be created in each of the four interrelated and interdependent spheres: production, distribution, exchange and consumption. Given the purpose and the specifics of each of the spheres can be picked up by an appropriate set of disruptive technologies.

All this is a clear reason to pay more attention to preventing and combating hybrid threats. Critical infrastructure in the States is a potential target for hybrid interference. Examples of critical infrastructure are power plants and financial and payment systems. You need to focus on the political level to new threats on the financial market and prevent them. You also need to make national institutions-political and independent from each other. May have to change the structure of the state, making it more independent in the areas of interaction between its elements. To prevent misinformation should carry out an educational campaign and create portals promote verification of facts.

Regardless of the name - a hybrid, gray, unlimited or non-war, they are all reasons to try to parse these contemporary conflicts and prevent them. There is an absolute necessity for scholars and practitioners of defence and strategy, which is to make predictions and outline future conflicts, as well as in structuring, training, and training of state institutions (including the armed forces) to solve and use these tools of the information age.

Kalachev N. In.

Tags: assessment , A.Snesariev's competition