Connecting Conflict Concepts: Hybrid Warfare and Warden’s Rings

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 41, p.21-34 (2018)


decision making, hybrid warfare, security, system approach, unrestricted warfare, Warden’s rings


This article explores connections among existing descriptive concepts of conflict. The focus is on connecting the “five rings” concept of John Warden and hybrid threats in a wider sense. The motivation is three-fold: firstly, to explore, compare and complement old and new concepts; secondly, to contribute to the systematization of numerous modes of security violation; and thirdly, to propose some basics for the creation of a tool for optimal choice of hybrid activities and countermeasures. Contemporary security violations are complex, not always visible, hard to detect, hard to be attributed and very different by nature and characteristics. Systemic analyses of indicated attempts of hybrid security violations through the prism of Warden’s rings contribute to better perception and recognition of the real purpose of hybrid attack and even indicate possible initiators. For the defender’s side, this approach is useful to analyse and recognize own vulnerabilities, which is a good starting point to prepare defences and countermeasures. For a hybrid attacker, this approach offers good tool for optimal choice of appropriate options from the spectrum of hybrid warfare tools.

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Last updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2019