On March 20, 2016 I shared a few quick thoughts on “hybrid warfare,” “gray zone,” other shorthand, and the threats the U.S. faces today via Twitter. I felt the need to archive these tweets here in case I need them in the future. I hope you find them useful.
– Hybrid warfare & gray zone are terms developed in an attempt intellectually categorize the actions of Russia & Violent Extremists.
– These terms also likely play well on Capitol Hill when it comes time for authorizations & appropriations.
– None of this is new.
– It is natural for one group to try to diminish another in a manner that has a high probability of ensuring the former’s survival.
– More & more I dislike the “Modifier + Warfare” construct.
– Modifier examples are Guerrilla or Hybrid or Cyber or Economic added to the term Warfare.
– To me, & I suspect others, “war” still implies violence & the military in the lead. It also implies a beginning, a middle, & an end.
– Also, today’s threats, at least those the U.S. faces, aren’t going to be solved by “warfare” alone, as it has been traditionally envisioned.
– This leads us to the term “DIME” or Diplomatic, Informational, Military, & Economic instruments of power.
– The problem is that some have taken a mnemonic far beyond its original intent — to help people remember the instruments of national power.
– Based upon all this what can we do?
– Mindset-wise I think we need an overarching phrase, acceptable across the whole of government, that breaks down barriers across the DIME.
– For now I am going with this, at least in my own lexicon… We’ll see how it plays beyond me thinking it is a good idea. :-)
– “Governments conduct national security activities to gain decisive advantage over those who seek to diminish them.”
– I borrowed the “decisive advantage” part from ADM McRaven’s “relative superiority” definition in his outstanding book.
– “Activities” is useful because it includes what the military & non-military portions of the Executive Branch do.
– “National Security” is useful because it differentiates the internally-focused portions of the Executive Branch from the externally-focused.
– It also doesn’t include “warfare” & all the things that come with that term.
– So stay tuned if you feel so inclined. I may tweet more about this in the future. Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend! :-)