This is something I realized after committing myself to a massive writing project on the topic, due out in December. Though, to its credit, the project sought to examine whether or not there was any substance to the belief in a new, "hybrid", form of war.
According to a recent study conducted by the Government Accountability Office:
- DOD has not officially defined “hybrid warfare” at this time and has no plans to do so because DOD does not consider it a new form of warfare.
- DOD officials from the majority of organizations we visited agreed that “hybrid warfare” encompasses all elements of warfare across the spectrum. Therefore, to define hybrid warfare risks omitting key and unforeseen elements.
- DOD officials use the term “hybrid” to describe the increasing complexity of conflict that will require a highly adaptable and resilient response from U.S. forces, and not to articulate a new form of warfare.
- The term “hybrid” and hybrid-related concepts appear in DOD overarching strategic planning documents (e.g., 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Report); however,“hybrid warfare” has not been incorporated into DOD doctrine.