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When in the Gray Zone with Vladamir Putin in Ukraine, DoD and IC Hybrid Warfare Innovation Will Prove Vital

While Europe and Russia may appear to be on the brink of conventional warfare breaking out, we are really in a gray zone of Putin’s design.  If you are tracking the events in Europe with an eye towards your organization’s geopolitical risk in the region (impact on strategic partnerships, employee safety, etc), the following post provides the most up to date prism through which you should be looking at the developments between NATO and Russia: Hybrid Warfare, aka Gray-zone tactics and conflict.

Frank Hoffman, a professor at the National Defense University, defines hybrid warfare as “transcending traditional notions of one military confronting another by incorporating conventional and unconventional forces, information warfare such as propaganda, as well as economic measures to undermine an enemy.”[v] Gray-zone tactics are best exemplified by the recent Chinese activities in the South and East.  There is an argument that is as much as totalitarian states have started to formally collaborate to achieve autocratic network effects globally (as Anne Appelbaum argues in her recent article in The Atlantic “Autocracy Is Winning“), Ukraine is a Russian beta-test, “minimum viable product” extension of their Gray-zone tactics in the American Election of  2016 and Crimea, all of which ports over to ongoing Chinese activities vis a vis the South China Sea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.  Hungary too will apply some of the learnings.

Valery Gerasimov provided the template. No one ever said that it would not become a Russian export.

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Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira is research director at OODA. He is a foresight strategist, creative technologist, and an information communication technology (ICT) and digital media researcher with 20+ years of experience directing public/private partnerships and strategic innovation initiatives.