Hybrid Warfare and the Long March through the Institutions

A Paper by John Laughland, Director of Studies, Institute of Democracy and Cooperation (Paris), delivered at the 13th Rhodes Forum on October 10, 2015

Professor Köchler presents us with a considerable challenge in inviting us this year to discuss hybrid warfare. The expression was coined by members of the US military in the middle of the last decade but the definition is very wide indeed. Hybrid war is said to involve “a mix of conventional, irregular, terrorism and criminal means or activities”; it can be deployed by “a combination of state and non-state actors”; it is said to include covert action, “economic blackmail, diplomatic duplicity and media manipulation.” One US military expert says that hybrid wars are “full spectrum wars” which include state building, as we can see in the second underlined part of the quotation on this slide: the phrase “full spectrum” is a presumably deliberate allusion to the “full spectrum dominance” which was the goal proclaimed for the United States in US Department of Defense document “Joint Vision 2020” published in June 2000.

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