26 July 2010

I need to ask the obvious...

The US Army Garrison at Grafenwoehr, Germany, is modifying its training to deal with so-called "hybrid threats".

Question:  what are hybrid threats?

I only bring this up, as one definition, from Russel Glenn's Evolution and Conflict, defines a "hybrid threat" as:

An adversary that simultaneously and adaptively employs some combination of (1) political, military, economic, social, and information means, and (2) conventional, irregular, catastrophic, terrorism, and disruptive/criminal warfare methods. It may include a combination of state and non-state actors
According to this definition, hybrid threats are, well, just about damned near anything.  And I don't say this out of ignorance, either; I'm submitting an essay for an upcoming compilation on hybrid war and even I'm confused as to what the term really means.  The official definition of "hybrid threat" from US Joint Forces Command isn't much better, either:
Any adversary that simultaneously and adaptively employs a tailored mix of conventional, irregular, terrorism and criminal means or activities in the operational battlespace. Rather than a single entity, a hybrid threat or challenger may be comprised of a combination of state and non-state actors.
Yet, both conventional armies and insurgent groups have been known to incorporate aspects of all of these forms of warfare.  Could the NVA and Viet Cong be seen as incorporating elements of both guerrilla and conventional warfare?

I'll admit that the future holds something distinctly different from contemporary counterinsurgency or conventional combat, but what exactly does it hold?


Peter said...

The Autumn 2009 issue of Parameters has an article available online on hybrid threats.

Anonymous said...

NTC is making a move towards hybrid threat also. It looks like it'll involve heavy forces and air assault ops again by the OPFOR. I question just who can conduct an Air Assault against us with our air supremacy but at least it'll allow the CTC's to justify their existence.