The Rise of the Hybrid Warriors: From Ukraine to the Middle East
“Third, these forces living in the ‘gray zone’ of conflict serve as the most effective laboratory for further resistance against the forces of the state system. As these hybrid forces continue to operate in the gray zone and interact with the other denizens thereof — terrorists, insurgents, guerrillas, criminal mobs, cyber hackers, traffickers of all kinds — they will no doubt find new and creative ways to challenge the interests of the state system, and particularly the interests of the United States.
Of course, none of these groups perfectly match the archetype or ‘ideal type’ of the hybrid warrior. The Ukrainian rebels have a great deal of state support from Russia, far more than the comparatively limited support Iran gives to Hezbollah. Similarly, ISIL exists as the cutting edge of a constellation of violent Islamist groups facilitated by Saudi ideology and Gulf State ‘startup’ funding. None of these groups are truly independent and are subject to varying degrees of state influence, though they are far from completely controlled by their patrons.”