Hybrid warfare and hybrid threats today and tomorrow: towards an analytical framework

I just published a new article in Baltic Defence College’s Journal on Baltic Security – HYBRID WARFARE AND HYBRID THREATS TODAY AND TOMORROW: TOWARDS AN ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK.

This article first traces the origin of hybrid warfare and the label game surrounding the concept, asking whether it is merely old wine in a new bottle, and if so, whether it is still a useful concept. It is found that while being old wine in new bottles, it is still a good wine well worth drinking. While there is not much new in the concept itself, it is a useful tool to think about past wars, today’s wars and the wars of the future. Thereafter, this paper analyses how hybrid warfare and hybrid threats are to be understood in the context of peace, conflict and war. It is shown how hybrid warfare and threats fit into our traditional understanding of conflict dynamics.

Full text (OPEN ACCESS): https://doi.org/10.2478/jobs-2019-0002

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Special Issue: Understanding Power (Shift) in East AsIA

Just published: Special Issue in Asian Perspective on Power, Narratives, and the Role of Third Parties: Understanding Power (Shift) in East Asia with Mikael Weissmann and Mingjiang Li as guest editors.

Find the articles on https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/40440/print .

Introduction to the Special Issue [SUBMITTED COPY]
Mikael Weissmann, Mingjiang Li
pp. 215-221
DOI: 10.1353/apr.2019.0008

Understanding Power (Shift) in East Asia: The Sino-US Narrative Battle about Leadership in the South China Sea [OPEN ACCESS]
Mikael Weissmann
pp. 223-248
DOI: 10.1353/apr.2019.0009 (Open Access)

China’s “Belt and Road” in Southeast Asia: Constructing the Strategic Narrative in Singapore
Alice D. Ba
pp. 249-272
DOI: 10.1353/apr.2019.0010

China’s Economic Power in Asia: The Belt and Road Initiative and the Local Guangxi Government’s Role
Mingjiang Li
pp. 273-295
DOI: 10.1353/apr.2019.0011

Return to Geopolitics: The Changes in Japanese Strategic Narratives
Hidekazu Sakai
pp. 297-322
DOI: 10.1353/apr.2019.0012

The Relationship between Narratives and Security Practices: Pushing the Boundaries of Military Instruments in Japan
Petter Y. Lindgren, Wrenn Yennie Lindgren
pp. 323-348
DOI: 10.1353/apr.2019.0013

Contending Narratives of the International Order: US/Chinese Discursive Power and Its Effects on the UK
Rex Li
pp. 349-385
DOI: 10.1353/apr.2019.0014

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Varför vill militären alltid gå till anfall?

Idag presenterades Övlt Peter Ahlström och min forskning kring militärt taktiskt tänkande på Försvarshögskolans hemsida i posten “Varför vill militären alltid gå till anfall?”. Artikeln återfinns här: https://www.fhs.se/arkiv/nyheter/2019-06-04-varfor-vill-militaren-alltid-ga-till-anfall.html

Forskningen bakom artikeln hittar du här:

(2019) “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most offensive of them all? – Explaining the offensive bias in military tactical thinking”, Defence Studies, 19:2, 170-188, DOI: 10.1080/14702436.2019.1599287

(2017) “Endast genom anfall kan ett avgörande nås : Varför dominerar offensiven militärt taktiskt tänkande?”, Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademiens Handlingar och Tidskrift, (2), pp. 6–18. Available at: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6960

(2018) “Offensivens roll i taktiskt tänkande : Slaget vid Caporetto 1917”, in Tankar om defensiven. Stockholm: Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademien och Försvarshögskolan, pp. 14–24. Available at: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-7309.

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Explaining the offensive bias in military tactical thinking

New article with LtCol (ret) Peter Ahlström in Defence Studies that explores why the offensive dominates military tactical thinking. Our article, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most offensive of them all? – Explaining the offensive bias in military tactical thinking” is published open access, so anyone can download the article free:
https://doi.org/10.1080/14702436.2019.1599287 .

Abstract:
This article explores why the offensive predominates military tactical thinking. With survey results showing an offensive bias among 60 per cent of senior Swedish officers and as many as 80 per cent in the case of the army, it is clear that this is not just a problem of the past but is equally relevant today. The article asks why there is a tendency to perceive and understand offensive tactics as the preferred choice and the way to conduct battle that should be encouraged and preferred. Drawing on existing research and the findings of a pilot study, ten propositions for why the offensive bias exists are tested using a mixed-method approach. Based on the findings, the article develops a model to understand why the offensive dominates military tactical thinking. It is found that the two key constitutive factors behind the offensive bias are military culture and education. These factors most directly and profoundly influence an officer’s identity, perceptions, and thinking. Military culture and education, in turn, work as a prism for four other factors: military history, the theory and principles of war, doctrine and TTPs, and psychological factors.

KEYWORDS: Militarycult of the offensiveattackoffensivetactical thinkingtacticseducationmilitary cultureSwedenarmy

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First spring seminar with the Hybrid Warfare Research Group

On April 4th Dr Johan Engvall ot the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) will visit the Swedish Defence University’s Hybrid Warfare Research Group. He will speak on his recent report “OSCE and Military Confidence Building: Lessons from Georgia and Ukraine” .

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Preparation of next years higher staff course

Preparing the elective course in Ground Operations for next years Higher Staff Course at the Swedish Defence University. New program, new courses. A lot of work, but this is going to be fun!

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Research visit to Singapore

This week I will be conducting a visit to Singapore to work on a Special Issue on “Power, Narratives, and the role of third parties: Understanding Power (Shift) in East Asia” for Asian Perspective with my RSIS co-guest editor Dr Li Mingjiang. This issue is part of Prof. Linus Hagström and my Power Shift in East Asia project funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation.

I will also be visiting, among others, the East Asia Institute at National University of Singapore and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS).

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