Posted on May 30, 2019
Hybrid warfare is a combination of the type of warfare we know about, known as ‘conventional warfare’ and ‘irregular/guerrilla warfare’.
Irregular warfare can include funding terror groups within a country, using cyber warfare to cause civil unrest or attack vital infrastructure.
It can also include spreading disinformation, commonly known today as ‘fake news’, to undermine a populations willingness to back military action.
This form of modern warfare can be used to destabilise adversaries.
Hybrid methods are used to blur the lines between war and peace and attempt to put doubt in targets minds.
NATO has a strategy on its role in countering hybrid warfare and says the organisation stand ready to defence the alliance and all allies against the threat.
In 2017, the intergovernmental think tank European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE) was founded.
Hybrid CoE acts as a platform for nations to come together to share their best practices, build capability, test new ideas and exercise defence against hybrid threats.
It is a neutral facilitator between the EU and NATO.
According to Hybrid CoE’s website, it characterises hybrid threats as:
Coordinated and synchronised action, that deliberately targets democratic states’ and institutions systemic vulnerabilities, through a wide range of means.
The activities exploit the thresholds of detection and attribution as well as the different interfaces (war-peace, internal-external, local-state, national-international, friend-enemy).
The aim of the activity is to influence different forms of decision making at the local (regional), state, or institutional level to favour and/or gain the agent’s strategic goals while undermining and/or hurting the target.
But with the rise of technological advancements and our information sharing sphere getting bigger, it looks like the chance of hybrid threats will only increase.