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  1. #41
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Slap - I wanted to think about the comparison a bit more.

    Ends, Ways and Means has its greatest value at the policy and strategy end (and to a lesser degree the operational) - not because it "should" be so, but because it "is" so. This has as much to do with the influence of domestic politics and resources as it does with considering providing long term direction that works through changes in conditions METT-TC writ strategic), and remain part of our more enduring strategic culture. Resources - how they are derived, allocated, play a hefty role in determining how military power will be employed to achieve some objective or end. Applying ends, ways and means at the tactical level can lead to inertia - either unable to put a body in motion to rest, or unable to put a body at rest into motion - depends on what your trying to accomplish.

    Method, Motive, Opportunity I think has its greatest value at the tactical and to a lesser degree the operational, I think. This is where the first hints of opportunity often show up, where quick action(s) can be leveraged best, and where if you are willing to see things as they are; what you see can be the closest to what is - its why we try not to second guess our field commanders and leaders from afar (time, space, and immediate interests). Applying Method, Motive, Opportunity at the strategic level could wind up keeping us in the short term with regard to pursuing our own interests - it may also distance the relationship between policy and war - one that is contentious enough as it is.

    I do think they are pretty much the same three legged stool, but depending on the way you're using it, it might look different.

    I apologize if I've short-sheeted the concept, but words have meaning, and often mean different things to different people. What I think is most important is the discussion that is built around the terms toward a better understanding of the subject.

    Best, Rob

    Darn Rob, you almost had me convinced.... but I think Motive ,Method and opportunity can be applied to any level but it is greatest at the Grand Strategic level heres why. Motive is the simple Why should we go to War... Why did we invade Afghanistan ? Because AQ attacked us...Why do we want to get AQ because that's where UBL is...and why do we want to get UBL...becuase he is the leader of AQ that attacked our people and destroyed our property. The motive to attack is uniting and sustaining. Now apply the same reasoning to Iraq?? Saddam never attacked us, he didn't have any WMD, he didn't like Iran. See how understanding Motive leads to Strategic clarity and unity and if you get it wrong how it can backfire against you? I don't think Ends has that kind of clarity to it. That has been George's biggest problem he cannot define a good motive for attacking Iraq but the American people have and do support attacks against AQ and UBL because we have a good motive to do so.

    Speaking of three legged stools did you here the one about the three legged RedNeck?

    Also speaking of dead Prussians in the front of Galula's book on COIN theory (capter one I think) he makes a great statment where he says Reveolutionary War changes Big C's "War is policy carried out by other means" to "War is the Policy of a certain party inside a country to be carried out by EVERY means".!!! Sounds like Hybrid War to me. Later

  2. #42
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Default WAR is WAR

    We are suffering from a particularly parochial view of conflict.

    In Sierra Leone, you had, from an equipment and training point of view, two or groups of insurgents, locked in a long a bloody war, with well equipped SA Mercenaries or UK forces turning up every now and then. It was just as complex than Iraq or Afghanistan. War, Insurgency or Hybrid War?

    The nature of the conflict is defined by who is fighting and how they fight. That's it! Why do we seek to make it all way more complicated?

    I think WM may be right when he suggests that Hybrid Wars may be a good bumper sticker to nab the USMC more of the budget.
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    The nature of the conflict is defined by who is fighting and how they fight. That's it! Why do we seek to make it all way more complicated?
    In the US, I assume to teaching war to the slow-moving, complicated beast that is procurement and training for a force of 3 million active and reserve spread across God knows how many specialties. You can untangle the mess greatly by picking one or two ways to fight and choosing your enemies accordingly, but that's obviously not an option. An infantry without artillery generally won't stand against a peer who has it, a static line won't stop the mechanized airland force from maneuvering around it, and the mechanized army can't do COIN without dismounting with style, grace and a smile. And nothing gets done if you can't control the sea and the air between tail and tooth. The US at least has reason to prepare warriors for all these tasks, and to do so in every terrain imaginable, and absent a Swiss Army knife replacement for the man, his equipment, or both, isn't this trend towards more and more categorization inevitable?
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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Darn Rob, you almost had me convinced
    Slap - I actually prefer that we differ on some things- over the 18 months or so that I've known you, you have always challenged me to think in different directions that have further increased my understanding of things.

    Best, Rob

  5. #45
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Slap - I actually prefer that we differ on some things- over the 18 months or so that I've known you, you have always challenged me to think in different directions that have further increased my understanding of things.

    Best, Rob
    Hi Rob, yes open debate is the best way to learn stuff Which leads me to this motive is simply the commander's intentions which just sounds better to me..Example...what are your intentions in this battle,war,situation,etc. as opposed to saying what is your end??? that just sounds all skint up and stuff. How many people do you know that would talk like that much less understand it? Of course I may just be used to this. When I was in high school I had alot father's ask me what my intentions were toward their daughter....Which was usually to seize and hold key terrain

  6. #46
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Mike Innes:

    Personally, I'm skeptical not of the uses of new labels and reconceptualization in general, but of overlabeling and relabeling the issues of now. A lot of the confusion and debate on what is and what isn't "new", I think, is gobbledygook longhand for "what we don't yet understand" and "insufficient historical hindsight to get a grip". In this case, though, I think Hoffman's work is worth considering; so's Bousquet's.

    Here's the link to Bousquet's paper: www.bisa.ac.uk/2007/pps/bousquet.pdf
    Mike - thanks for posting the link. I finally got around to reading it, and like most good things, it gets you to think - and think about things differently. Its one of those things that I think you can go back to more then once and get still something out of.
    Best, Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Mike - thanks for posting the link. I finally got around to reading it, and like most good things, it gets you to think - and think about things differently. Its one of those things that I think you can go back to more then once and get still something out of.
    Best, Rob
    De nada. That's what it did for me, too. Now that I've read a bit more of Hoffman, I'd have to argue that his and Bousquet's pieces complement each other quite nicely. To be read as a pair, in fact.

    Bousquet's got another article-length piece in the most recent issue of the journal Cold War History, available here.
    Last edited by Mike Innes; 02-07-2008 at 05:57 PM.
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  8. #48
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default Countering "Quds" like capabilities

    I was reading the SWJ Blog 5 APR OPED and hit the Kagan and Kagan piece from the Weekly Standard "What Happened in Basra".

    The Kagans' analysis says Iranian Quds were involved in Basra in both a Train, Advise and Assist role, but also to some degree in the fight. Would this fit our definition of a UW (Unconventional Warfare) campaign?

    A few thoughts came up as I read the article:

    1) If Iran has demonstrated a strong UW capability and capacity in the region to achieve its political goals, what are the conditions required for that capability to be effective? What are its limitations? What other ways does Iran use its influence and tools to compliment its UW capabilities? What would a continued use of UW to achieve its policy goals indicate for the region in the short and long term?

    2) Where states like Iraq have some or all of the conditions required for a UW campaign to be effective, what capabilities are required to counter or mitigate those conditions within their borders? I don't want to limit the capabilities or actions to security and intelligence forces as some of the conditions required for a foreign UW campaign to be effective cannot be solely addressed by them.

    3) With regard to our own efforts in Security Force Assistance - from foreign military sales to advising, from Iraq to the region, are we assessing this threat correctly in terms of its short and long term risk to our goals, and by extension the goals of our regional partners & allies (acknowledging that there are different degrees of partnership, cooperation and competing interests)? What are their shortfalls? What tools would be more appropriate for our partners and allies, and are in their long term interest to develop? Arguably Iran has had degrees of success with supporting, assisting, sustaining, training, advising proxies to extend its influence, is their success relevant to larger picture? why? What should we do about it and capabilities like it?

    I really don't want to debate the Kaplans' analysis too much, except where to do so answers some of the questions. I think its also interesting to consider the level of autonomy the Quds have in Iraq, and the question of how much they are allowed to pursue their own interest independent of Iran's broader FP goals.

    I think there are a few other things to think about that are relevant to the questions above. Its worthwhile to consider what other capabilities exist in the region. Iran has some capabilities with regard to conventional forces, para-military & intelligence capabilities oriented looking in, there is the question of Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities, Iran's terrain and demographics play a role, Iran's role with regard to the Caspian area, energy security from an International perspective, etc. I think that when considering UW capabilities like the Quds, or their support of proxies - we need to consider the broader environment that shapes their "ends/ways/means" thinking, or however you wish to frame the way Iran pursues its objectives.


    Best, Rob
    Last edited by Rob Thornton; 04-05-2008 at 03:35 PM. Reason: Added some context

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    I think when dealing with Iran as a first step it is always useful to remember that Persia is one of the oldest cultures in the world, probably had the first large-scale industry (copper mining), and was already a full-blown empire reaching from the Bosphorus to the Indus when in Europe folks had just freshly figured out how to do iron.


    On topic: Iran has it easy compared to a Western crusader, especially down on the lower Tigris. Same people, same culture, same religion, cross-border family ties, &c. Easy to be the fish here. And then the Iranian secret service has this strong triade of military, economic and religious power. And also they have a mission, it's not a "job" for them. They operate from a commonly agreed strategic basis, which is: get the Western crusaders. So even sympathetic non-members, or those who want to play it safe because they know they and their family will have to deal with the Persians much longer than with the Westerners. Passive support. Very much like with the Mafia.

    The West can't do anything about it, realisticly. But I think the good news is that the Iranian Mafia is forced to keep to their cultural environment and their people, so besides Iranian refugees, expats, agents and a few opportunists in the West the influence will not spread. Btw, those groups are a worthy target of Western secret services.

    I think one of the potentially weak points of the Iranian secretive organisation is the need to invest their substantial capital outside Iran. Probably a lot in the Gulf states and the Far East, but via the usual suspects Swiss and Channel Island trusts also in the West.
    "Potentially weak" I say because the West is not particulary efficient (or keen) to keep grey and black money out of the system, so the political will for a little covert economical warfare is probably slim.

    And regarding your third point: I wouldn't dare to count on any friends and allies in Arabia, regardless who they think should have been successor of the Prophet. Really. We are on their home-turf. And beyond a few suicidal opportunistic Shias I doubt that

    And I'm pretty sure Quds is almost completely autonomous short of open war or something stupid like a dirty bomb somewhere (which is not in their interest - they thrive to a good part because of that underclared proxy-war in Iraq). Like the SS was, or the ISI is. I think as long as Iranian officials can handle it like Mission Impossible "Your mission, should you decide to accept it..." they can do pretty much what they want. Their head-honcho is a voodoo master! As if that old fart knew about operational details!

  10. #50
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Emerging Threats and Hybrid Warfare


    Colonel David Gurney (USMC Ret.), Editor of Joint Force Quarterly and Director of National Defense University Press, when not closely following the debate between John Nagl and Gian Gentile, seeks out the best and brightest for their views on the potential threats we may face in the not so distant future – and of course any such search leads to Frank Hoffman.

    Colonel Gurney has, again, kindly – and we, again, greatly appreciate this – granted SWJ permission to post Frank's Hybrid Warfare and Challenges that will appear in the January 2009 issue of JFQ.

    The U.S. military faces an era of enormous complexity. This complexity has been extended by globalization, the proliferation of advanced technology, violent transnational extremists, and resurgent powers. America’s vaunted military might stand atop all others but is tested in many ways. Trying to understand the possible perturbations the future poses to our interests is a daunting challenge. But, as usual, a familiarity with history is our best aid to interpretation. In particular, that great and timeless illuminator of conflict, chance, and human nature Thucydides—is as relevant and revealing as ever.

    In his classic history, Thucydides detailed the savage 27-year conflict between Sparta and Athens. Sparta was the overwhelming land power of its day, and its hoplites were drilled to perfection. The Athenians, led by Pericles, were the supreme maritime power, supported by a walled capital, a fleet of powerful triremes, and tributary allies. The Spartan leader, Archidamius, warned his kinsmen about Athens’ relative power, but the Spartans and their supporters would not heed their king. In 431 BCE, the Spartans marched through Attica and ravaged the Athenian country estates and surrounding farms. They encamped and awaited the Athenian heralds and army for what they hoped would be a decisive battle and a short war.

    The scarlet-clad Spartans learned the first lesson of military history—the enemy gets a vote. The Athenians elected to remain behind their walls and fight a protracted campaign that played to their strengths and worked against their enemies. Thucydides’ ponderous tome on the carnage of the Peloponnesian War is an extended history of the operational adaptation of each side as they strove to gain a sustainable advantage over their enemy. These key lessons are, as he intended, a valuable “possession for all time.”

    In the midst of an ongoing inter-Service roles and missions review, and an upcoming defense review, these lessons need to be underlined. As we begin to debate the scale and shape of the Armed Forces, an acute appreciation of history’s hard-earned lessons will remain useful. Tomorrow’s enemies will still get a vote, and they will remain as cunning and elusive as today’s foes. They may be more lethal and more implacable. We should plan accordingly.

    One should normally eschew simplistic metanarratives, especially in dynamic and nonlinear times. However, the evolving character of conflict that we currently face is best characterized by convergence. This includes the convergence of the physical and psychological, the kinetic and nonkinetic, and combatants and noncombatants. So, too, we see the convergence of military force and the interagency community, of states and nonstate actors, and of the capabilities they are armed with. Of greatest relevance are the converging modes of war. What once might have been distinct operational types or categorizations among terrorism and conventional, criminal, and irregular warfare have less utility today...

  11. #51
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    WINEP, 10 Feb 09: Countering Transnational Threats: Terrorism, Narco-Trafficking, and WMD Proliferation
    Table of Contents

    Tackling the Terrorist Threat: Progress Made and Future Challenges
    Kenneth Wainstein, Homeland Security Advisor

    The Future of the Middle East
    Thomas Fingar, Chairman of the National Security Council

    Building the Global Counterterrorism Network
    Michael Vickers, Assistant Secretary of Defense

    Assessing the Fight against al-Qaeda
    Ted Gistaro, National Intelligence Officer for Transnational Threats

    Confronting the Challenge of Iran: Comprehensive Solutions for a Comprehensive Threat
    Mario Mancuso, Undersecretary of Commerce for Industry and Security

    Drug Trafficking and Middle Eastern Terrorist Groups: A Growing Nexus?
    Michael Braun, Chief of Operations, Drug Enforcement Agency

  12. #52
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default The hype about "Hybrid" Conflict: Glenn vs. Hoffman

    In my opinion this entire argument continues to chase the wrong line of logic. It is not a case of warfare changing. What we are experiencing is a case of the environment in which warfare occurs changing. This may seem a subtle point, but it is essential to the argument.

    The principles of war, just like the principles of insurgency, do not change much. The one thing that in recent years has changed very much is the shift from a bi-polar, Cold War, non-globalized environment to a multi-polar, post-Cold War, Globalized environment.

    This means that static situations are once again actively seeking a new “normal,” as they emerge from Cold War controls; that this is taking place in an environment that is not shaped by the balancing of two super powers; and most historically important, that it is taking place in this globalized environment, that empowers populaces as never before, and also has enabled the rise of non-state organizations like al Qaeda to be able to conduct Unconventional Warfare in a very state-like way to incite insurgency among disparate populaces, and also for quasi-state organizations like Hezbollah to similarly operate in a zone above the level of gang activity and its associated inefficiencies, but also below the level of state activity and its associated responsibilities and vulnerabilities to state power response.

    In short, it is not about a change of warfare, it is about a change of environment.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 03-04-2009 at 01:44 PM.
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    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  13. #53
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Bobs World, What about this idea. We are confusing Types of Warfare with Strategy!

    War doesn't change as you point out but Strategies will evolve and adapt as need be based upon the opponent and situation. What we call UW,FID,Insurgency,COIN,4GW, are not types of warfare but Strategies!!

  14. #54
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Words are important.

    When one takes a position that "War has changed," and the pentagon buys into it and begins to restructure itself to fight and think about this new type of war, I believe you risk building the solution to the wrong problem, and thereby putting our nation at risk.

    When one takes a position that "the Environment is changing," and the pentagon buys into that and sets about ensuring that it does not attempt to frame every emerging problem by an obsolete construct, but looks at each problem with fresh eyes, demanding that the intelligence community commits every bit as much of their considerable skill and energy to an understanding of the environment in which an event occurs as they do currently to describing the "threat" that is operating within that environment; you avoid always refighting the last conflict and thereby reduce our nation's risks.
    Robert C. Jones
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    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Default Doug Macgregor on "Hybrid War"

    Colonel (ret) Doug Macgregor sent to me via personal email his thoughts on this discussion on the "hybrid war" concept and gave me permission to post them on the SWJ blog.

    "As most of us know, the IDF went through some considerable internal self-examination in the period after Lebanon. Most of the self-examination centered around the loss of basic competence associated with combined arms operations, but the self-examination ultimately went much further urging the tight integration of maneuver and strike with good intelligence in the context of all future combat operations.

    In addition, the IDF embraced the use of armor, artillery and fuel air explosive in the conduct of urban operations with the object of minimizing the exposure of dismounted IDF troops to enemy fire. While the Hamas enemy may qualify as one of Frank Hoffman's hybrids, the IDF wasted no time in fighting for hearts and minds because the IDF knows there are none to win in the Islamic World.

    In the final analysis, the so-called hybrid enemy that is absolutely not new in any way was crushed not by some scheme of culturally sensitive men with rifles, but by raw, irresistible military power directed with as much precision as possible. Whether there is any strategic payoff for Israel in this operation is another matter. But tactically and operationally, the IDF got it right.

    Again, this too is not a new approach. Lots of hybrid enemies in Russia during WW II and earlier wars that were ultimately dispatched by the various combatants in exactly the same way. But it is good to see the IDF renew our understanding of reality."
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 03-04-2009 at 06:50 PM.

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Default Good point, Bob!

    Now all we can do is hope that the right folks are listening....

    I'd also hazard a guess that part of the hype (as has been commented on before in numerous SWC threads) has to do with folks wanting to "make a name for themselves" by "discovering" this new type of war...which doesn't really exist. It's far easier to make something up than it is to do the legwork and go back through things. Most of the patterns we're seeing now have happened before...it's the changes in the environment (cultural, technological, and so on) that have really changed the dynamics.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Well, obviously Colonel Macgrogor

    gets it. Fads don't matter. As he points out, WW II was absolutely full of 'hybrid' war. So were some segments in Korea and many segments in Viet Nam -- most, even.

    The only thing Hezbollah brings to the table that is new is a great deal of competence and proof that superior training produces superior results.

    The lesson from the 2006 effort is do not forget the basics or try to fight a war on the cheap and with an incrementalist approach. Hmm. Weren't both those learned earlier, somewhere...

    Now let's see if all the armchair strategists finally tumble...

    Thanks for posting that.

  18. #58
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Ken,

    I agree they did not bring some new form of warfare to the fight, but they did come wrapped in a new form of quasi-state status that the policy types haven't figured out how to deal with yet.

    How many times did we hear in the media and see in offical statements about "Hezbollah vs Israel." Why was this not simply Lebannon vs Israel. Give these guys a political sanctuary from the consquences of their actions and they will certainly be smart enough to take full advantage of it.

    We really need to start figuring out when to separate a non-state actor from the state, and when to simply say: "Look, you can't be both part of the state when it suits you, and then a separate militant arm without implicating that same state in your actions when it suits you either. Pick one."

    When non-state or quasi-state engagese a state, they often fare well because the tools of statecraft (DIME) do not work well against them. When a weak state engages a strong state they lose. We allowed a weak state to engage a strong state under the auspices of "Hezbollah," and it created unnecessary. The proverbial self-inflicted headwound for the West.

    We do the same thing with Hamas. They are elected representatives of the Palestinian people, so we are foolish to not fully recognize that fact and make it painfully clear to them that they just voted themselves out of the non-state terrorist business. From here on out they are just another weak state, and any actions on their part against a stronger state will bring full state consequences down on the larger body they now represent.

    We make this harder than it needs to be, and concepts like "Hybrid Warfare" don't help. The real issue are these evolving political statuses associated with Globalization, not some new form of warfare. In my thread, this is what I refer to when I speak of the "Environment."
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  19. #59
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    Default Jack McCuen

    All,

    Jack McCuen is a classical COIN thinker who published Art of Counter Revolutionary War in 1966. He's a particpant on a closed forum I am involved in discussing the same topic. He has been an advocate of the Hybrid war concept. I post the below with his concurrence.

    ALL,

    Let me repeat my comments I made in a private discussion because I disagree with Russell Glenn's article, "Thought on 'Hybrid' Conflict" for a number of reasons.

    First, he largely bases his article on the Israeli Lebanon campaign, which is certainly a prime example of a hybrid war and a clear example of the type of hybrid war we might expect in the future if we choose to intervene in such places as the Sudan, Somalia, Lebanon, Pakistan -- although I'm not advocating or recommending any such operations. It is also the example which General Mattis, Frank Hoffman and their associates have been using as their example of hybrid war, along with, I suspect, Israel's recent campaign into Gaza. As Frank knows, I'm don't think that this is the best hybrid war example because of its limited context. In fact, Russell Glen uses this limited context as his basic argument that hybrid war's limited context makes it unworthy of use as a separate form of war. Rather, as I've said a number of times in earlier messages, I believe that the Vietnam, Iraqi and Afghanistan Wars are much better and wider context examples of hybrid war and refute Russell's basic argument.

    Second, although Russell quotes my definition of hybrid war from my March-April 2008 Military Review Article, "Hybrid Wars," "...a struggle against an armed enemy and ...a wider struggle for control and support of the combat zone's indigenous population, the support of the home fronts of the intervening nations, and the support of the international community," which is a very wide definition, in deed, he then ignores it by saying that the term, "hybrid war," is primarily a tactical, rather a strategic one -- using Lebanon with Hezbollah as his prime example, rather than Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. I would have to agree that the Lebanon Campaign with Hezbollah was a rather tactical example; however, the impact of the war and its tactics had very wide strategic implications which were very critical and decisive, involving, not only a new strategy but wide impacts on the home front and international community which played critical roles in the ultimate success or failure of the campaign or war. As I mentioned above and as we have been discussing elsewhere, the conduct of the Vietnam, Iraqi and Afghanistan Wars was very wide and very strategic.

    Third, something Russell does not mention is that we badly need the use of the term, "hybrid war," to develop an adequate strategy for these wars we have been, are and are likely to be fighting. Since I wrote my monograph on "The Art of Hybrid War" in 2007, I have been struggling to get the military to develop an effective strategy for the wars we have fought and are fighting in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and in the future. We need to call this new form of war something and get on with developing a strategy which will win them. The word "hybrid war" works well because this new from of war is a "hybrid" combination of symmetric and asymmetric war. Somehow, terms like "irregular war, "complex war" don't, to my mind at least, lend themselves to developing a highly complex, wide ranging strategy for them. As I say in my monograph, I'm not wedded to the term, "hybrid," but we had been call it something quickly and develop a strategy which will start winning them. Thus, for the moment, I'm going with "hybrid war."

    Fourth, and finally as I have discussed privately with some of you, the concept of hybrid war offers a possible bridge within the military to heal the "cultural divide" which is separating the "traditionalists," who are strongly advocating the concepts of conventional/symmetric war and the "crusaders" who want to rebuild the military mainly around counterinsurgency/asymmetric war. Frankly, this cultural divide, both silently and openly, is severely hindering the military and civilian community in building the military and civilian components of our government in developing future strategy, reorganizing our military and civilian components, as well as equipping and training them for wars of the future. The concept of hybrid war, being a hybrid combination of these two concepts of war -- the symmetric and asymmetric -- offers a bridge on which both the "traditionalists" and the "crusaders" should be able to agree and operate. Sure, major compromises will have to be made and consolidations, but the fact is that we have to establish a military and civilian establishment which can fight and win any war, on any battlefield, anywhere in the world. That will require dominant symmetric/conventional/nuclear capabilities and asymmetric/irregular/counterinsurgency capabilities.

    THAT'S WHY I LIKE THE CONCEPT OF HYBRID WAR.

    WARM REGARDS,

    JACK
    Last edited by Cavguy; 03-04-2009 at 10:09 PM.
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  20. #60
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Good post, Bob.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    I agree they did not bring some new form of warfare to the fight, but they did come wrapped in a new form of quasi-state status that the policy types haven't figured out how to deal with yet.
    True -- and regrettable, it's not that hard IMO. But that always seems to be the case; that they're behind the power curve. In my view that derives from trying to make too many disparate groups happy, an obvious impossibility...

    Penalty of living in a democratic society, I guess.
    How many times did we hear in the media and see in offical statements about "Hezbollah vs Israel." Why was this not simply Lebannon vs Israel. Give these guys a political sanctuary from the consquences of their actions and they will certainly be smart enough to take full advantage of it.
    As would most groups. Hezbollah just arrived at the conjunction of time and space that gave them the legs to climb from the primordial ooze. My admittedly limited experience with Lebanon leaves me convinced that many there would clobber Hezbollah in an eye blink -- if they could. They were too weak and could not stop its growth at the time; the west did nothing to slow or stop it (nothing new in that -- and I am not advocating force there...) and it grew and grew to the point that it is now powerful enough to threaten the state of Lebanon though they are carefukl not too push that too far (to date...). Hezbollah is not an existential threat to Israel though it is dangerous and pestilential threat. It can, if it wishes be an annoyance to others but that would likely be its death warrant and I think they're smart enough to realize that.
    We really need to start figuring out when to separate a non-state actor from the state, and when to simply say: "Look, you can't be both part of the state when it suits you, and then a separate militant arm without implicating that same state in your actions when it suits you either. Pick one."
    Philosophically, I agree. Practically, I'm not sure that can be done given the current state of the world.As an aside, it will be interesting to see what the current worldwide economic downturn does to several simmering potential conflicts.

    In any event If we try to impose order unilaterally, we'll be adjudged more evil; if we get a coalition to do it; they'll be judged evil -- in all cases, that judgment will be by lesser States who object to power to sort out problems (unless they do it locally or internally, then it's no one else's business). The UN is not going to be effective for the same reason, all the numerous little States will object. Only if the non-state actors do something really egregious will one get any traction -- and most know that and are careful not to cross that line. So. I agree -- but do not know how to accomplish what you suggest. That's because, as you say:
    When non-state or quasi-state engagese a state, they often fare well because the tools of statecraft (DIME) do not work well against them. When a weak state engages a strong state they lose. We allowed a weak state to engage a strong state under the auspices of "Hezbollah," and it created unnecessary. The proverbial self-inflicted headwound for the West.
    True.
    We make this harder than it needs to be, and concepts like "Hybrid Warfare" don't help. The real issue are these evolving political statuses associated with Globalization, not some new form of warfare. In my thread, this is what I refer to when I speak of the "Environment."
    Saw that and generally agree with it also. The issue, I think, is how do we 'educate' the already highly educated 'policy professionals' whose academic backgrounds somehow all too frequrntly seem to poorly equip them for dealing with the real world?

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