News September 5, 2020

Hybrid Warfare from the Arctic Region to the Black Sea

Hybrid CoE contributes to Black Sea and Balkans Security Forum 2020

Dr Johann Schmid, Director COI Strategy & Defence discussed the topic Hybrid Warfare from the Arctic Region to the Black Sea together with Mr Greg Melcher, Chief Operations Officer from the Center for the Study of New Generation Warfare (USA); Brigadier General Cristian Bizadea, Deputy Director from the Romanian Intelligence Service; Mr Seth Cropsey, Director of the Center for American Seapower, Hudson Institute (USA); and Mr Karsten Friis, Senior Research Fellow, Head of Research Group on Security and Defense from the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs – NUPI.

Presentations and discussions focused on:

  • Various definitions and manifestations of ‘hybrid’ warfare. Origins of the concept, recent illustrations in the field, and the perceived need for conceptual clarification.
  • A flexible and commensurate response to match every sort of challenge. Implications for the choice of adequate tactics and equipment, and symmetrical versus asymmetrical reactions.
  • New challenges for refining doctrine, contingency planning, and training requirements.

The main argument advanced was that concepts drive capabilities. The challenge of hybrid warfare calls for a common and comprehensive response, including a whole-of-government/state/society approach, as well as for international cooperation and coordination. This underlines the need to bring a broad range of civil as well as military actors on board, to cooperate with them and coordinate their efforts. This makes a common and comprehensive understanding of hybrid warfare based on a solid conceptual foundation paramount. Without a certain degree of common and comprehensive understanding of the challenge of hybrid warfare, a common and comprehensive response is not very likely. “Weakness on concepts” would inevitably translate into “weakness in awareness, understanding and capabilities”.

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