New Research Division Publication - NATO’s Response to Hybrid Threats
Forum Paper 24: "NATO’s Response to Hybrid Threats", by General Philip M. BREEDLOVE, MajGen Janusz BOJARSKI, Jeffrey A LARSEN, Jan ABTS, Inessa BABAN, Stefanie BABST, Hall GARDNER, Keir GILES, Aleksandr GOLTS, Julijus GRUBLIAUSKAS, Andreas JACOBS, Dave JOHNSON, Karl-Heinz KAMP, Guillaume LASCONJARIAS, Roger MCDERMOTT, Henrik PRAKS, Heidi REISINGER, Bettina RENZ, Michael RÜHLE, Diego A. RUIZ PALMER, Jean-Loup SAMAAN, Polina SINOVETS, Brooke SMITH-WINDSOR and Élie TENENBAUM.
Although Hybrid warfare is not new, since Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the war in Ukraine it has become a new buzzword that is widely used, both by military and civilian actors. While there is some confusion over the term--which leads to some difficulty in defining what it really is--what is at stake is to efficiently and effectively recognize the patterns of this type of warfare in order to deter or counter it.
Hybrid warfare might not be limited solely to Russian courses of action. It could be also waged by non-state actors on NATO’s Southern flank. In both cases what we are witnessing is conflict that is integrated, adaptive, flexible, and mixing overt and covert operations. Hybrid threats target the vulnerabilities of open societies and our militaries, blurring the usual distinction between war and peace, and undermining traditional institutions and government on a possibly unprecedented scale.
This book provides a collection of chapters written by academics and experts which highlight the nature of hybrid threats and discuss ways in which the Alliance might deal with them. The wide variety of backgrounds and affiliations represented by the authors provide a broad overview of the concept, and the case studies illustrate the complexity of the challenges NATO finds itself facing, be it in the East or in the South. Because it is a complex issue, it does not fit a “one-size fits all” response, and that is where national sensivities and reactions matter. Improving readiness, analyzing multiple types of signals, focusing on early warning, and insisting on a mixture between conventional and nuclear deterrence are part of the answer, as is the political will to stand up to defend Western values and sovereignty.
We hope you find this in-depth collection of value in your study of hybrid threats facing Europe.
Jeffrey A. Larsen, PhD, Division Head Research