Hybrid Warfare and the Changing Character of Conflict

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Connections: The Quarterly Journal, Volume 15, Issue 2, p.65-72 (2016)


hybrid threats; conflict; resilience; deterrence; strategy


The idea that international conflict might be seeing more hybrid warfare and hybrid threats has animated debate among security and defense establishments in the run-up to NATO’s 2016 Warsaw Summit. While the Alliance has located the issue of hybrid war in the specific context of the Russia/Ukraine crisis and in 2014 triggered efforts to prepare NATO to effectively meet hybrid warfare threats, the scope of the challenge is much wider and the core dynamics are often located outside of the military realm. The article reviews the recent conceptual debates about hybrid warfare, suggesting that hybrid conflicts defy our attempts to press them into known categories and locate them clearly on a spectrum of war and peace. NATO Member States will have to invest in resilience and conventional deterrence to counter hybrid threats.

Last updated: Tuesday, 05 April 2016