Thought for the Day

"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest." - Confucius

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Look into SOCOM (GEN Votel at the Aspen Institute today, 24 July)

Note that the audio does not seem to work until 53 seconds into the video so be patient.
The Aspen Institute  19,235
  
110 views
 
Streamed live on Jul 24, 2015
The Commander of Special Operations Command discusses his unique band of warriors and how they are protecting America’s interests around the world.

Joseph Votel, C

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Special Operators and Intelligence Analysts: the 21st Century’s Lead Warriors

1 hour panel at the link below.

Special Operators and Intelligence Analysts: the 21st Century’s Lead Warriors


Streamed live on Jul 23, 2015
Huge ground invasions and indefinite occupation forces are so last decade. Today’s wars, big and little, are being fought largely by the strategic deployment of limited Special Operators on the ground and intelligence analysts back stateside who dispatch them and drones to the world’s hot spots for quick “in and out” operations. Experts in this kind of 21st century warfare discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this approach to global crises.

Kathleen Hicks, Senior Vice President, Henry A. Kissinger Chair, and Director, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Eric Olson, former Commander of US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and a member of the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group

Michael Vickers, Former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence

Moderator: Kim Dozier, Contributing Writer, The Daily Beast; Global Analyst, CNN

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The dubious joys of standing up militias and building partner capacity: Lessons from Afghanistan and Mexico for prosecuting security policy through proxies


A very long read with a unique look at two cases.

This article explores the security and political effects of militia forces in Afghanistan and Mexico. From these case studies, it draws lessons for how to engage with militia forces more effectively and presents broader implications for U.S. foreign policy. In Afghanistan, building up militia forces has long been an important element of U.S security policy. In Mexico, anti-crime militias emerged spontaneously. Eventually, the behavior and visibility of the militias forced the government of Mexico to react to them, but the United States has not been involved with them in any way. Along many dimensions, the two cases are very different, and that is one reason why I chose such a compare-and-contrast pairing. Mexico is a middle-power country with a relatively strong economy, even though the state has been historically weak or absent in large areas, including those where militias are currently strong. In contrast, for several decades, Afghanistan has been a failed state or hovered on the verge of failure. For decades, Afghanistan has been caught up in insurgencies, civil wars, and foreign interventions. Only over the past decade has Mexico experienced highly violent crime. In Afghanistan, the United States and the Afghan government at least assumed that they could control some of the militias, such as those they actively recruited, including the Afghan Local Police, and steer some of the others that had existed, metamorphosed, and sometimes outright metastasized in Afghanistan since the late 1970s. At the same time, the Afghan government, the United Nations, and the United States have sought to disarm and dismantle other militia forces that came to be seen as particularly problematic.[1] In Mexico, the anti-crime self-defense forces emerged spontaneously without a direct and formal state effort to recruit them and without any nominal state control. Historically, of course, the Mexican government and military often recruited militias to fight insurgencies such as in Guerrero and Chiapas.

I would like to thank the author for saying this.  I would hope these two paragraphs could be committed to policy makers' and strategists' brain housing groups. 

The key assumptions of U.S. external assistance for such internal defense policies is that there is a sufficiently strong overlap between U.S. interests and those of the selected external partners to design and conduct anti-militancy efforts in a way that is consistent with U.S. objectives, and that such an overlap of interests can be sustained for a sufficient period. In other words, through internal defense assistance, the United States hopes to motivate external actors to deliver U.S. objectives without the United States being extensively sucked into difficult internal conflicts abroad and without having to sacrifice U.S. blood and treasure on a large scale.
Building partner capacity and assisting in internal defense are concepts much broader than simply standing up militia or proxy forces. Indeed, ideally, internal defense or partner-capacity-building efforts would focus on state military and police forces only and be fully integrated into an official strategy of the host country to undertake security sector reform (SSR).[7] The ideal conditions and design for such an undertaking include a post-conflict setting, without the presence of low-intensity conflict still simmering or increasing, and with U.S. security-aid programming focused on creating a legitimate monopoly of force for the state. Such an assistance program would be a comprehensive systematic effort easily lasting a decade or more.




Paper 
| July 21, 2015

The dubious joys of standing up militias and building partner capacity: Lessons from Afghanistan and Mexico for prosecuting security policy through proxies


Introduction
After a decade and half of being involved in large-scale military operations in the Middle East and South Asia, the United States is increasingly looking for ways to prosecute its security interests with minimal involvement. The number and complexity of military conflicts burning in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia make large-scale military involvement prohibitive and potentially disastrous. Nor are desirable outcomes easy to achieve even when the United States is willing to devote large blood and treasure resources to such interventions. Yet allowing for large territories around the world to disintegrate into brutal conflicts or be dominated by terrorist and militant groups threatening the United States and its assets and allies may also be highly detrimental to U.S. interests. Increasingly, the United States has there embraced a strategy of building up the capacities of partners in such conflicts—preferably, those of national governments. But when national forces prove unable or unwilling to defeat the threat, such as in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Nigeria, and Somalia, the United States increasingly faces decisions whether to support (or establish) local militia and other irregular forces. Indeed, militias are back in vogue as a tool of U.S. security policy.
Building partner capacity and standing up militias may at times turn out to be the least bad of available policy options, and chosen as a last resort. The two approaches are not identical: Building up the official forces of a country allows for greater levels of accountability of the host nation to the donor and of the forces to their population than standing up irregular forces. Building up official partner capacity is thus clearly a preferable policy than embracing militias.
Nonetheless, both policies need to be adopted with a clear understanding of how limited their contribution will be to the prosecution of U.S. interests. Despite the seductiveness of the belief that in situations of limited U.S. engagement and resource transfers others will do for the United States what it is not willing to do for itself, a robust alignment of U.S. interests with those of its presumed partners will often be lacking. Instead, after a momentary intersection of interests, the United States could find its partners unreliable, having divergent interests, and prosecuting policies directly contradictory to those of the United States. Even when militias seem to be defeating the enemy du jour, they will have a tendency to go rogue and themselves become the source of long-term and deep-seated drivers of conflict. Partner governments may well pocket U.S. assistance and have a tendency to conduct policies to satisfy U.S. objectives only minimally while they use the U.S. resources for their own political objectives, including perhaps marginalizing or eliminating political rivals. Nor will the United States find it easy to extricate itself from such indirect interventions. Consequently, when relying on such proxies, U.S. long-term engagement, monitoring, and rollback capacities will often be necessary for securing U.S. interests.
(Continued at the link below)

Understanding “Jade Helm” Part 1: UW vs. DA and Part 2: Why We Need This Kind of Training

Good summary here (from Part 2):

To put it in very plain terms, once the decision had been made by the senior leaders within USASOC and Special Forces Command to refocus on Unconventional Warfare:

    • 2012, Army Doctrine Publication 3.05 formally introduced into doctrine the two complementary capabilities of ARSOF: special warfare (UW) and surgical strike (DA).
    • 2012 USASOC created a 10 year plan, or blueprint to refocus the Green Berets from kicking doors, back to training guerrilla forces.
    • 2013 released ARSOF 2022 (the ten year blueprint)
    • 2014 released ARSOF 2022 part 2 showing the lesson learned, progress and way ahead.
    • 2014 created 1st SFC (A) which combines all the Army units trained in UW
    • JULY 15 – SEP 15 2015 JADE HELM
Basically JADE HELM 15 is the culmination of three years of work. It is an exercise for USASOC and the 1st Special Forces Command (A) to see how their 10 year blueprint is coming along. It will allow them to find out which skills are on track, and find those that need more work. deficient and need to be emphasized. and at what level that need to be
With all that being said and explained what does it have to do with Jade Helm 15? Jade Helm 15 has two goals. The first is to give the teams on the ground a chance to practice all of the varied skill’s required to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power by operating “by with and through” an underground, auxiliary, and guerrilla force in a denied area.
The second and in my opinion the most important reason for Jade Helm 15 is to give the commanders, and staffs at multiple echelons a chance to practice command and control of a SIMULATED regional UW campaign.
Every Green Beret has to go through Robin Sage before they graduate. Robin Sage is UW training that happens during the last phase of the Special Forces Qualification Course. It takes place in south central NC, and has for over 50 years. (For more information on Robin Sage and other types of off realistic military training RMT check out Jade Helm 15: Special Forces Off-Post Training.)
Richard, a Green Beret on the popular Special Forces forum Professionalsoldiers.com put Jade Helm 15 vs Robin sage in a beautifully simplistic way everyone can understand.
Robin Sage, the large UW exercise for SF students which has been taking place throughout NC for over fifty years, is only an introductory 100 level undergrad course for an SF soldier in training.
Once assigned to an SF Group, follow-on exercises like Jade Helm 15, for example, are the 500-800 level courses for advanced studies in UW to be applied world-wide when directed in support of US strategic policy.

Understanding “Jade Helm” Part 1: UW vs. DA

July 16, 2015 by  ~ Leave A Comment
To understand Jade Helm 15, and why this type of training is important, people need to understand two major key concepts. The first is Unconventional Warfare (UW); what it is, why it is used and the training required to become proficient at it. The second is the internal fight within the Special Forces community on the UW vs. Direct Action (DA) mentality.

Understanding “Jade Helm” Part 2: Why We Need This Kind of Training

July 18, 2015 by  ~ Leave A Comment

If you missed Part 1 of this series, you can read it here.  And if you are not familiar with Special Forces history I recommend looking at my article Special Forces Primer: Lesson 1 – Correcting Misconceptions:
Special Forces traces its roots as the Army’s premier proponent of unconventional warfare from the Operational Groups and Jedburgh teams of the Office of Strategic Services. The OSS was formed in World War II to gather intelligence and conduct operations behind enemy lines in support of resistance groups in Europe and Burma. After the war, individuals such as Col. Aaron Bank, Col. Wendell Fertig and Lt. Col. Russell Volckmann used their wartime OSS experience to formulate the doctrine of unconventional warfare that became the cornerstone of the Special Forces. In June of 1952, the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) was established under Col. Aaron Bank. Concurrently with this was the establishment of the Psychological Warfare School, which ultimately became today’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. Special Forces Soldiers first saw combat in 1953 as individuals deployed from 10th SFG (A) to Korea.
Airborne OPFor eight or nine years Special Forces was getting further and further away from their roots. As the GWOT progressed, Special Forces commanders were only giving lip service to UW. Instead they focused more and more on DA. During this time there were people within the community screaming, that we can’t lose our UW skills. Behind closed doors there was intense and extremely heated debates. From the team rooms to the highest level of command, up and down the hallways there was the argument on UW vs DA.
With Iraq over in 2011, and (at the time) what looked like U.S. troops being pulled out of Afghanistan, coupled with the downsizing of the military, Special Forces Command finally realized the need to rebuild their UW capabilities, and use the lessons we learned from over a decade of war. In July of 2012, LTG Charles T. Cleveland took command of the United States Special Operations Command (USASOC) and in April of 2013 releasedARSOF 2022.
LTG Cleveland said in a 2014 interview:
Last year, USASOC took a major step forward by introducing ARSOF 2022 as our blueprint for the future. ARSOF 2022 sought to clarify the narrative for Army special operations, provide direction to the force, and establish a process for future force development that leads to better support of joint force commanders in the future environment. It set in motion a number of changes primarily focused on the tactical aspects of our business and exploring the beginnings of SOF operational art.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Texas civilians find all is quiet during Jade Helm exercise

I think that Army Special Operations Forces are very fortunate to have this exercise in Texas and surrounding states.  The controversy that has erupted has really allowed the exercise to develop even more realistically.   First the information operations that are being conducted by opponents of makes the exercise more realistic because the forces have to learn how to operate in a hostile information environment.  This could not have been scripted better by the exercise planners.  Second the emerging "OPFOR"  (opposing force)who are actively trying to find  personnel and units conducting the exercise are adding a very important physical dimension to the exercise.  The soldiers are going to have to practice very good counter-surveillance techniques against an unpredictable, unscripted "enemy" force.  For the exercise planners to develop scenarios along these lines and employed role players to do what the conspiracy theorists and anti-Jade Helm activists are doing would probably have cost millions of dollars to replicate through contract support and it would not be nearly as realistic and effective.  I just hope all those who are contributing to the exercise by opposing it do not end up asking for compensation.  I hope we can continue do to this exercise because the Texans are saving taxpayers a lot of money by doing what they are doing.

Excerpts:

Eric Johnston, a retired firefighter from Kerrville who is the Texas spokesman for the group Counter Jade Helm, said six volunteers arrived Wednesday in Bastrop to keep an eye out for the military exercises. The volunteers, he said, will only be “observing and reporting” troop activities in public areas. He said he followed a water truck he thought belonged to the military, but it turned out to be civilian; that kind of monitoring is about as aggressive as Counter Jade Helm will be, he said.
“We, for lack of a better term, are performing a neighborhood watch over Jade Helm exercises,” Johnston said.
He said the Counter Jade Helm participants don’t believe a military takeover is afoot, but he said the federal government’s contradictory statements have given Americans reason to worry. For instance, he said, a military spokesman said the operation would partly involve seeing if the troops could infiltrate the population, but also said they would be wearing military uniforms with bright orange arm bands.


Texas civilians find all is quiet during Jade Helm exercise


A convoy of National Guard troops moves on Camp Swift, which is also hosting the Operation Jade Helm 15 military exercise, on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Bastrop, Texas.
JAY JANNER/AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN/TNS
Jade Helm 15 Texas

A convoy of National Guard troops moves on Camp Swift, which is also hosting the Operation Jade Helm 15 military exercise, on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Bastrop, Texas.
JAY JANNER/AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN/TNS

RELATED

BASTROP, Texas (Tribune News Service) — The search for Jade Helm 15 began Wednesday for Derrick Broze and Mark Jankins with a drive through Camp Swift.
The two men, who drove into Bastrop intending to monitor part of the U.S. military’s Special Operations exercise spanning seven states, said they saw nothing out of the ordinary. In Camp Swift itself, as elsewhere in Bastrop, Jade Helm was nowhere to be seen, the two men said, noting they had been escorted out after driving fairly far into the Texas Army National Guard post and taking pictures.
“We just thought we would come out and see what’s going on, as opposed to having people tell us what’s going on, and tell us the United Nations is coming in or something like that,” Jankins, who is from Round Rock, said as he stood in the parking lot across Texas 21 from one of Camp Swift’s entrances.
“There wasn’t really a lot going on,” he added.
That was how the day went in Bastrop, a city of roughly 7,000 that made national news earlier this year after people at a public meeting about Jade Helm shouted accusations of a military takeover at an Army lieutenant colonel. That meeting followed weeks of speculation on the Internet that the training exercise could be used to impose martial law.
If there is such a plan, it wasn’t in evidence Wednesday. The military isn’t releasing the location of the training on private property, but says it will be little noticed, if at all. Bastrop — a town with military ties, roots that reach back to the founding of Texas and a mayor who is trying to establish an International Society of Bridge Spitters — looked no different than it usually does, as military officials and Bastrop leaders predicted.
Eric Johnston, a retired firefighter from Kerrville who is the Texas spokesman for the group Counter Jade Helm, said six volunteers arrived Wednesday in Bastrop to keep an eye out for the military exercises. The volunteers, he said, will only be “observing and reporting” troop activities in public areas. He said he followed a water truck he thought belonged to the military, but it turned out to be civilian; that kind of monitoring is about as aggressive as Counter Jade Helm will be, he said.
“We, for lack of a better term, are performing a neighborhood watch over Jade Helm exercises,” Johnston said.
He said the Counter Jade Helm participants don’t believe a military takeover is afoot, but he said the federal government’s contradictory statements have given Americans reason to worry. For instance, he said, a military spokesman said the operation would partly involve seeing if the troops could infiltrate the population, but also said they would be wearing military uniforms with bright orange arm bands.
More volunteers with Counter Jade Helm will arrive over the next few days, said Pete Lanteri, a retired Marine and Minuteman organizer who founded the effort.
“The main point is so people know there are regular citizens monitoring this,” Lanteri said. “Hopefully this will calm people down.”
At Gov. Greg Abbott’s request, the Texas State Guard has set up a joint operations center at Austin’s Camp Mabry, with four or five troops keeping in touch each day with Jade Helm organizers. The State Guard is providing a daily report to the governor that includes a summary of the previous 24 hours and a 72-hour look ahead.
The goal is to make the governor’s office a clearinghouse that residents with concerns can call. Most of the calls have been of the logistical nature, the governor’s office said, such as whether rumors of a helicopter circling on a particular day are true.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

2 Koreas Have Little in Common After 70 Years

Yes there are many differences, more than just outlined below.  But that should not and will not deter unification.  I have told this story before but I think it is worth keeping in mind because it gives me optimism and illustrates that despite the differences there is an underlying "one Koreaness" and the spirit of the Han.

I was at a conference a few years ago in Korea and had lunch with a retired Korean Admiral.  He told me that there are two Korean miracles.  Of course I am familiar with the miracle on the Han; e.g., the rise of the ROK from the ashes of the Korean war to a nation that has between the 7th and 11th largest economy in the world, has evolved to a democratic nation and now is a great middle power make contributions around the world. Despite the hardship of the Japanese occupation officially from 1910 to 1945 (when the Japanese tried to smoother Korean culture, to include even the Korean language and individual Korean names even changing the spelling of Corea to Korea in English so Japan would come before Korea in the international English listing of countries) the Korean people, because of the spirit of the Han, survived. The Korean people when given the opportunity developed their entrepreneurial spirit and made their country thrive.   

But I could not imagine what was the second miracle.  He told me the other one is miracle on the Taedong (which, like the Han River, is the river that runs through Pyongyang).  I was surprised.  What kind of miracle could that be?  He said that despite the Japanese occupation, the Korean War and the continued suffering of 25 million Korean people living in the north under the criminal Kim Family Regime, the Korean people living in the north have continued to survive.  And when the yoke of oppression is removed from the shoulders of those people and they are given the opportunity they too will thrive just like their brothers and sisters in the South.  Yes there will be a lot of overcome to reach unification and despite the superficial differences that are a result of the environment, with the Korean people exists the spirit to both survive in severe hardship and thrive when provided even the slightest opportunity (and we are seeing that in the development and expansion of the black markets in the north).  

The bottom line is these types of articles should not cause people to think that the differences are too great between the Korean people living in the north and South.  The only reason there are differences is because of the existence of the Kim Family Regime.  At heart the Korean culture and the spirit of the Han is what unifies all Koreans and will be what allows the physical reunification of the nation.

2 Koreas Have Little in Common After 70 Years

North and South Koreans have grown so far apart during 70 years of separation that they share few common cultural traits and even look noticeably different.

Narrowing the wide sociocultural gap will be a prerequisite to reunification, because such sharp differences in thinking and lifestyles would make it virtually impossible for the two people to live under one government. The cost of bringing them together is likely to skyrocket. 

One NGO worker aiding North Korea said, "North and South Korea have been separated for 70 years and things are now completely different in the North and South." 

Even laughter is different. Kim Chol-jin (35), who defected to South Korea two years ago, said, "I still don't get the jokes when I watch [a famous TV comedy program]. I've shown North Korean comedy to my friends at work and they just looked puzzled."

People from the two sides also look different. According to a study by Mitsuhiko Kimura at Aoyama Gakuin University in Japan, the average height of a North Korean male in his 20s in 1940 was 163.4 cm, taller than his South Korean counterpart who stood 162.3 cm tall. But in 2010, the average height of the South Korean male was 174.2 cm compared to 165.4 cm in the North. 

South Koreans also live longer, with the average life span 13-20 years longer than that of North Koreans.

An even bigger problem is ways of thinking and values are changing. For instance, North Koreans are brainwashed since kindergarten to worship nation founder Kim Il-sung and his heirs. 

Traditional customs have also changed. In North Korea, the biggest holidays are Kim Il-sung's birthday on April 15 and Kim Jong-il's birthday on Feb. 16. New Year's Day for North Koreans is just an ordinary day that marks the start of a new year. 

South Koreans eat songpyeon or crescent-shaped rice cakes during the Chuseok thanksgiving holidays, but North Koreans eat them on New Year's Day. 

Years of fuel shortages have virtually paralyzed railway transport in North Korea so people there do not travel en masse to their home towns during traditional holidays as South Koreans do. 

An aid worker who visited North Korea around 30 times since 1994 said, "I was surprised to see how male-dominated North Korean society is. Women are discriminated against in the North due to the strange combination of Confucianism and communism." 

North and South Koreans differ in the way they spend their free time. Farmers in agricultural cooperatives in the North rest once every 10 days. 

On their days off, North Koreans like to play cards but do not go out to eat or head to the countryside like South Koreans do.

Marriage customs, too, are different. In North Korea, brides wear hanbok or traditional Korean dress and hold the weddings in the groom's home. When the ceremony is over, North Korean newlyweds pay homage at the statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il and have their photos taken there. There are no honeymoons. 

In the South, the dead are usually cremated, but North Koreans prefer burial.

An aid worker said, "When I go to North Korea, I realize that the only thing I have in common with people there is the language, but I wonder if we really are the same people. We need to re-establish common ground before the division becomes permanent."
englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 11, 2015 08:09 KST

Friday, July 3, 2015

The ‘new’ type of war that finally has the Pentagon’s attention


Note Congressman Thornberry's comments.  Below is the verbiage in the mark-up of the NDAA. (note use of unconventional and counter unconventional warfare).  We have to be able to operate in the "gray zone" between peace and war.  As Frank Hoffman says we cannot think of things in terms of black and white.  Are we going to learn from George Kennan when he wrote in 1948? "Political warfare is the logical application of Clausewitz's doctrine in time of peace. In broadest definition,
political warfare is the employment of all the means at a nation's command, short of war, to achieve its national
objectives.
​"​ 

The bottom line is:

1.  Are we going to get comfortable operating in the space between peace and war that is described by hybrid, political and unconventional warfare?

2.  Are we willing to do strategy in that space to achieve our policy objectives?


3.  Are we willing to inform the national leadership that we have the will and capability to operate in that space between peace and war and conduct our own forms of hybrid, political and unconventional warfare?

I suggest a read of the USASOC SOF Support to Political Warfare White Paper: http://maxoki161.blogspot.com/2015/03/sof-support-to-political-warfare-white.html

This kind of warfare transcends traditional notions of one military confronting another by incorporating both conventional and unconventional forces, information warfare such as propaganda, as well as economic measures to undermine an enemy, according to Frank Hoffman, a professor at the National Defense University.“The critique was, and still is, that America’s view of war is overly simplified,” he said. “We think of things in black-and-white terms. The newly fashionable term is a relatively old concept — its essential elements had been part of Russia’s and China’s military doctrines long before the Kremlin sent its so-called “little green men” into Crimea, according to Hoffman.“This is something that we have to do better as the United States to identify and deal with,” said Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, in an interview. “This poses a challenge for us, and adversaries know that. They’re looking to run between the seams and confuse and delay us.”In the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, Thornberry has included a provision calling on the Pentagon to develop a strategy to counter hybrid warfare.“Hopefully, this provision in the bill helps Secretary Carter get more of the thinking and the intellectual heft of the department in helping us have a more effective response,” Thornberry said


Section 10XX—Department of Defense Strategy for Countering Unconventional Warfare 


 This section would required the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the President and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to develop a strategy for the Department of Defense to counter unconventional warfare threats posed by adversarial state and non-state actors. This section would require the Secretary of Defense to submit the strategy to the congressional defense committees within 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. The committee is concerned about the growing unconventional warfare capabilities and threats being posed most notably and recently by the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The committee notes that unconventional warfare is defined most accurately as those activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power by operating through or with an underground, auxiliary, or guerrilla force in a denied area. The committee also notes that most state-sponsors of unconventional warfare, such as Russia and Iran, have doctrinally linked conventional warfare, economic warfare, cyber warfare, information operations, intelligence operations, and other activities seamlessly in an effort to undermine U.S. national security objectives and the objectives of U.S. allies alike. 

The ‘new’ type of war that 

finally has the Pentagon’s 

attention




Special Forces of the Polish army attack a house during NATO military exercises in June. The force is NATO's response to Russia's annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
By Thomas Gibbons-Neff July 3 at 6:28 PM  
The Pentagon is increasingly concerned about how to combat “hybrid warfare,” the combination of stealth invasion, local proxy forces and international propaganda that Russia used to annex Crimea and destabilize eastern Ukraine, U.S. officials said.
Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Thursday released the 2015 National Military Strategy in which he cited Russia’s actions in Ukraine and said “hybrid conflicts” will persist well into the future.
This kind of warfare transcends traditional notions of one military confronting another by incorporating both conventional and unconventional forces, information warfare such as propaganda, as well as economic measures to undermine an enemy, according to Frank Hoffman, a professor at the National Defense University.
“The critique was, and still is, that America’s view of war is overly simplified,” he said. “We think of things in black-and-white terms.”
The issue animated Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter’s recent trip to Europe.
“How do we confront cyberattacks, propaganda campaigns and hybrid warfare?” Carter asked during a speech in Berlin. “How do we ensure we can deal with more than one challenge at a time?”
The newly fashionable term is a relatively old concept — its essential elements had been part of Russia’s and China’s military doctrines long before the Kremlin sent its so-called “little green men” into Crimea, according to Hoffman.
“This is something that we have to do better as the United States to identify and deal with,” said Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, in an interview. “This poses a challenge for us, and adversaries know that. They’re looking to run between the seams and confuse and delay us.”
In the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, Thornberry has included a provision calling on the Pentagon to develop a strategy to counter hybrid warfare.
(Continued at the link below)