In the twenty-first century, wars are not declared or waged conventionally; instead, conflicts are instigated by clandestine agents using cyber tools, information operations, NGOs, nonstate actors, economic tools, propaganda, ambiguity, terrorism, and insurgency or rebel movements. In hybrid warfare, the lines between peacetime and wartime and between combatants and civilians are blurred. Further, systemic aggression is imposed on a targeted state using gray zones, nonlinear warfare, unrestricted warfare, unconventional warfare, and color revolutions to avoid attribution and possible retribution for the aggression. Hybrid warfare employs a wide array of power tools, ranging from political, economic, military, and civil to informational. This type of warfare targets the vulnerabilities of a society and system, while deliberately exploiting ambiguity to avoid detection. Hybrid warfare is usually detected only when it is fully functional and capable of inflicting harm. Today, its operations are employed by several nations around the world. Presently, the most notable effects of hybrid wars can be seen in Syria, Ukraine, and Hong Kong. Moreover, there are a plethora of cases where aggressors using hybrid warfare have either admitted their involvement in hybrid operations or declassified their unapproved plans for hybrid wars. A responsive strategy to fight hybrid warfare comprises three steps: detect, deter, and respond. Therefore, this Article intends to explore: What is hybrid warfare? What are the prevalent theories and theoretical frameworks through which hybrid warfare operates? (This will involve a discussion on the notions of the theory of global dominance, Lind’s predictions, the color revolutions, unconventional warfare, Warden’s five rings, Hart’s theory of indirect warfare, John Boyd’s OODA loop theory, chaos theory, the United States’ full spectrum dominance strategy, insurgency, and the theory of leading from behind.) What are the elements of hybrid warfare? How does it use propaganda, proxies, economic leverage, and cyberattacks? Are there any case studies where aggressors using hybrid warfare have either admitted to their plans and activities or been caught during the act? (This section will include details and summaries of hybrid warfare cases, attacks, and operations that have been admitted by Russia, the United Kingdom, Israel, Turkey, Indonesia, Macedonia, Italy, and the U.S.) Finally, this Article examines which tactics or strategies can be used to counter hybrid threats or hybrid warfare.
Qureshi, Waseem Ahmad
"The Rise of Hybrid Warfare,"
Notre Dame Journal of International & Comparative Law: Vol. 10
, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/ndjicl/vol10/iss2/5