Intelligence Official: U.S. not prepared to defend against hybrid warfare, a favorite of Russia and China

by Andy Wolf

Senior intelligence officials are warning the U.S. military that it should adapt to dealing with hybrid warfare- a personal favorite 21st Century strategy of adversaries such as Russia and China.
Army Lt. Gen. Karen Gibson, the Deputy Director of National Intelligence for National Security Partnerships, discussed the matter earlier this week in Virginia, addressing the multi-spectrum nature of hybrid warfare.

For those not “in the know,” hybrid warfare utilizes more than brute force but often has more pull than insurgency. Utilizing irregular (proxy) troops, conventional forces, disinformation campaigns, and cyber warfare, hybrid wars are just as much a fight for minds as it is for territory- and the goal is to fire as few shots as possible.

One masterful expert of hybrid warfare is Russia, who utilized the tactic to make significant strides in Georgia and Ukraine.

China, to a lesser extent, has also experimented with hybrid warfare in the South China Sea, though simply creating islands is somewhat of a different example.
According to the Department of Defense, Gibson claims hybrid warfare has evolved and now has “the unprecedented ability to use information as an element of warfare with much greater volume, velocity, breadth and depth and precision than previously possible, because global IT systems have made us more connected, more automated and allowed for more precise messaging than ever before.”

Hybrid warfare poses a challenge to the U.S., who has its own distinct battle style that other nations cannot take on in a “force on force” fight. By utilizing the “gray area” nature of hybrid warfare, however, the enemies of the U.S. could easily drag the world’s sole hyperpower into a quagmire that its people may not wish to remain committed to.


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