Tuesday, March 24, 2015

NATO Commander Breedlove Discusses Implications of Hybrid War

Excerpt:

One of the first aspects of the hybrid war is to attack credibility and to try to separate a nation from its support mechanisms, the general said.

"Informationally, this is probably the most impressive new part of this hybrid war, all of the different tools to create a false narrative," he said. "We begin to talk about the speed and the power of a lie, how to get a false narrative out, and then how to sustain that false narrative through all of the new tools that are out there."

Military tools remain relatively unchanged, he said. "But how they are used or how they are hidden in their use, is the new part of this hybrid war," the general said. "How do we recognize, how do we characterize and then how do we attribute this new employment of the military in a way that is built to bring about ambiguity?"

The question is are we able to operate within this type of warfare which can perhaps also be characterized as political and unconventional warfare.  While we think what is happening with Russia in Ukraine and Crimea is new if we look back to our own doctrine we can see parallels (and we do not even have to go back to George Kennan's 1948 memo on political warfare. )  Below is an excerpt from the no longer published DOD Encyclopedia from 1996 (http://www.bits.de/NRANEU/others/jp-doctrine/jp-encyclop(97).pdf)

UW is the military and paramilitary aspect of an insurgency or other armed resistance movement and may often become a protracted politico-military activity. From the U.S. perspective, UW may be the conduct of indirect or proxy warfare against a hostile power for the purpose of achieving U.S. national interests in peacetime; UW may be employed when conventional military involvement is impractical or undesirable; or UW may be a complement to conventional operations in war. The focus of UW is primarily on existing or potential insurgent, secessionist, or other resistance movements. Special operations forces (SOF) provide advice, training, and assistance to existing indigenous resistance organizations. The intent of UW operations is to exploit a hostile power’s political, military, economic, and psychological vulnerabilities by advising, assisting, and sustaining resistance forces to accomplish U.S. strategic or operational objectives.
When UW is conducted independently during military operations other than war or war, its primary focus is on political and psychological objectives. A successful effort to organize and mobilize a segment of the civil population may culminate in military action. Strategic UW objectives may include the following:
• Undermining the domestic and international legitimacy of the target authority.
• Neutralizing the target authority’s power and shifting that power to the resistance organization.
• Destroying the confidence and will of the target authority’s leadership.
• Isolating the target authority from international diplomatic and material support while obtaining such support for the resistance organization.
• Obtaining the support or neutrality of the various segments of the society.


NATO Commander Breedlove Discusses Implications of Hybrid War

By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, March 23, 2015 – Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove discussed the implications of hybrid war during a presentation to the Brussels Forum over the weekend.
Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of U.S. European Command, said Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea and continued actions in the rest of Eastern Ukraine is a form of hybrid war.
Russia is using diplomacy, information warfare, and its military and economic means to wage this campaign, he added.
Aspects of Hybrid War
One of the first aspects of the hybrid war is to attack credibility and to try to separate a nation from its support mechanisms, the general said.
“Informationally, this is probably the most impressive new part of this hybrid war, all of the different tools to create a false narrative,” he said. “We begin to talk about the speed and the power of a lie, how to get a false narrative out, and then how to sustain that false narrative through all of the new tools that are out there.”
Military tools remain relatively unchanged, he said. “But how they are used or how they are hidden in their use, is the new part of this hybrid war,” the general said. “How do we recognize, how do we characterize and then how do we attribute this new employment of the military in a way that is built to bring about ambiguity?”
An Across-government Approach
Using the economic tool, he said, hybrid warfare allows a country to bring pressure on economies, but also on energy.
“What the military needs to do is to use those traditional military intelligence tools to develop the truth. The way you attack a lie is with the truth,” Breedlove said. “I think that you have to attack an all of a government approach with an all of government approach. The military needs to be able to do its part, but we need to bring exposure to those diplomatic pressures and return the diplomatic pressure. We need to, as a Western group of nations or as an alliance, engage in this information warfare to … drag the false narrative out into the light and expose it.”
Regarding Western response to Russian actions in Ukraine, no tool should be off the table, Breedlove said.
“In Ukraine, what we see is what we talked about earlier, diplomatic tools being used, informational tools being used, military tools being used, economic tools being used against Ukraine,” he said. “We, I think, in the West, should consider all of our tools in reply. Could it be destabilizing? The answer is yes. Also, inaction could be destabilizing.”
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneDoDNews)

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