To add to this important essay I would recommend reading the USASOC White Paper SOF Support to Political Warfare as a construct for fighting and winning in the "gray zone." It can be accessed at this link: http://maxoki161.blogspot.
com/2015/03/sof-support-to- political-warfare-white.html Below this article are my summarized thoughts in 7 charts on revolutions, resistance and insurgency and strategy in the gap between peace and war.
FIGHTING AND WINNING IN THE “GRAY ZONE”
May 19, 2015 · in Strategic Outpost
The United States possesses the most capable armed forces in the world. America leads the world in military expenditures, spending more than the next nine nations combined — seven of which are either U.S. friends or allies. In part because of this dominance, the world has been free of major power wars for decades.
But trends such as globalization, mass access to technology and communications, and asymmetric reactions to U.S. tactics in Afghanistan and Iraq are converging into an era where more and more conflicts are being fought at the lower end of the conflict spectrum. These form a “gray zone”between traditional notions of war and peace.
Gray zone conflicts are not formal wars, and little resemble traditional, “conventional” conflicts between states. If the spectrum of conflict is conceived as a line running from peaceful interstate competition on the far left to nuclear Armageddon on the far right, gray zone conflicts fall left of center. They involve some aggression or use of force, but in many ways their defining characteristic is ambiguity — about the ultimate objectives, the participants, whether international treaties and norms have been violated, and the role that military forces should play in response.
Gray zone conflicts abound in today’s world. Within the past 18 months alone, Russia annexed Crimea and is fomenting civil conflict and separatism in eastern Ukraine; the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) burst into international headlines by beheading civilians and grabbing land in Iraq and Syria; Boko Haram has been conducting a brutal insurgency in Nigeria; and the Houthi rebellion in Yemen has accelerated and driven the country’s president out of the capital. Each of these confrontations is characterized by“hybrid” threats that may combine subversion, destabilizing social media influence, disruptive cyber attacks, and anonymous “little green men” instead of recognizable armed forces making overt violations of international borders.
(Continue reading the above article at the link below)