Author: Multinational Capability Development Campaign (MCDC)
There is no clear definition yet. There are rather some descriptions, such as:
A hybrid crisis is a combination of two or more crises between which a link can exist (not necessarily) and which can reinforce each other.
Hybrid warfare is a military strategy that uses political war and mixes conventional war, irregular war and cyber war with other methods with a strong influence, such as fake news, diplomacy and intervention in foreign elections.
However, it is known that the aggressor tries to avoid retaliation. Hybrid warfare is typically tailored to stay below the clear detection radar and response thresholds.
The cases on which this study is based are:
– Iran’s activities in Syria
– Use of Gas and loans by Russia as a means of pressure in Ukraine
– IS in Syria and Iraq
– Hybrid warfare in an urban context
– Cyber used by Russia
Two things are clear on this subject: nobody understands it fully, but everyone thinks it’s a problem
That is why there is a need to take 2 steps
Step 1: A common language (understanding the subject and communicating about it smoothly)
Step 2: An analytical framework
Step 1: Understand
There is no clear definition yet, as we wrote earlier, but there are descriptions, eg:
“The synchronized use of multiple power tools tailored to specific vulnerabilities across the entire spectrum of social functions, in order to achieve synergies.”
They often fall back on the speed, volume and ubiquity of digital technology.
It is important to recognize that multiple power tools are used in multiple dimensions and at different levels simultaneously in a synchronous way. This allows the actor to use various MPECI (Military, Political, Economic, Civil, Information) resources that they have available to create synchronic attack packages that are tailored to perceived or suspected vulnerabilities. The instruments of power used will depend on the capabilities of the actor and on these vulnerabilities, as well as on the political objectives of the actor and his planned way to achieve his goals. As in all conflicts with wars, the characteristic of hybrid warfare will depend on the context.
Hybrid threat does not lend itself to classical threat analysis for, among others, the following reasons:
– A wide set of MPECI tools
– Vulnerabilities across societies are being exploited in a way that we normally do not think of
– Syncing and the way that is done are unpredictable.
– Uses the exploitation of ambiguities, creativity and our understanding of warfare to keep his attacks invisible
– A hybrid attack can remain unnoticed until it is too late.
We will therefore have to learn to look differently at conflicts in the future.