Tag Archives: Strategy (Military Science)

BOOK: Hybrid Warfare: Security and Asymmetric Conflict in International Relations

Niklas Nilsson, Björn Palmertz, Per Thunholm and my forthcoming book on “Hybrid Warfare:  Security and Asymmetric Conflict in International Relations” is now available for pre-order for £17.99. Delivery in April. It will also be available free on-line.

The book:

Hybrid Warfare refers to a military strategy that blends conventional warfare, so-called ‘irregular warfare’ and cyber-attacks with other influencing methods, such as fake news, diplomacy and foreign political intervention. As Hybrid Warfare becomes increasingly commonplace, there is an imminent need for research bringing attention to how these challenges can be addressed in order to develop a comprehensive approach towards Hybrid Threats and Hybrid Warfare. This volume supports the development of such an approach by bringing together practitioners and scholarly perspectives on the topic and by covering the threats themselves, as well as the tools and means to counter them, together with a number of real-world case studies.

The book covers numerous aspects of current Hybrid Warfare discourses including a discussion of the perspectives of key western actors such as NATO, the US and the EU; an analysis of Russia and China’s Hybrid Warfare capabilities; and the growing threat of cyberwarfare. A range of global case studies – featuring specific examples from the Baltics, Taiwan, Ukraine, Iran and Catalonia – are drawn upon to demonstrate the employment of Hybrid Warfare tactics and how they have been countered in practice. Finally, the editors propose a new method through which to understand the dynamics of Hybrid Threats, Warfare and their countermeasures, termed the ‘Hybridity Blizzard Model’. With a focus on practitioner insight and practicable International Relations theory, this volume is an essential guide to identifying, analysing and countering Hybrid Threats and Warfare.

Table of content

Foreword – Amb. Fredrik Löjdquist, Ambassador and Special Envoy for Countering Hybrid Threats, Sweden
1. Security Challenges in the Grey Zone: Hybrid Threats and Hybrid WarfareDr. Niklas Nilsson, Dr. Mikael Weissmann, Björn Palmertz, Per Thunholm, Henrik Häggström
2. NATO and Hybrid Warfare: Seeking a Concept to Describe the Challenge from Russia
Dr. G. Alexander Crowther, Research Professor, Florida International University, former Special Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and former researcher in the Strategic Studies Institute and the US National Defense University.
3. An American View: Hybrid Threats and Intelligence
Dr. Gregory F. Treverton, University of Southern California, former Chair of the US National Intelligence Council
4. A Perspective on EU Hybrid Threat Early Warning Efforts
Dr. Patrick Cullen, Senior Research Fellow, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) & member of the “Countering Hybrid Warfare” component of the Multinational Capability Development Campaign (MCDC)
5. Conceptualizing and Countering Hybrid Threats and Hybrid Warfare: The Role of the Military in the Grey-zone
Dr. Mikael Weissmann, Associate Professor, Head of Research at the Land Operations Section and Co-Convener of the Hybrid Warfare Research Group, Department of Military Studies, Swedish Defence University.
6. Understanding Russian Thinking on Gibridnaya Voyna
Dr. Markus Göransson, Assistant Professor and project leader of the Russia program, Swedish Defence University
7. China and its Hybrid Warfare Spectrum
Dr. Lora Saalman, Senior Fellow, EastWest Institute; Associate Senior Fellow, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
8. Influence Operations and the Modern Information Environment
Björn Palmertz, Senior Analyst, CATS, Swedish Defence University
9. Hybrid Threats and New Challenges for Multilateral Intelligence Cooperation
Henrik Häggström, Senior Analyst, Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies (CATS), Swedish Defence University
10. Cyberwarfare and the Internet: the Implications of a More Digitalized World
Anne-Marie Eklund-Löwinder, Head of Security, The Swedish Internet Foundation and Cryptographic Officer at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Anna Djup, Analyst, Information Assurance, Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies (CATS), Swedish Defence University
11. The US and Hybrid Challenges: Past, Present and Future
Jed Willard, Director of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Center for Global Engagement, Harvard University
12. China’s Political Warfare in Taiwan: Strategies, Methods, and Global Implication
Dr Gulizar Haciyakupoglu, Research Fellow, the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.
Dr Michael Raska, Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Military Transformations Programme, IDSS, RSIS, Singapore
13. Hybrid Warfare in the Baltics
Dr Dorthe Bach Nyemann, Associate Professor in International Relations, Institute for Strategy, Royal Danish Defence College
14. De-Hybridization and Conflict Narration: Ukraine’s Defence against Russian Hybrid Warfare
Dr. Niklas Nilsson, Assistant Professor, Co-Convener of the Hybrid Warfare Research Group, Department of Military Studies, Swedish Defence University
15. Iran’s Hybrid Warfare Capabilities
Dr. Rouzbeh Parsi, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Programme, Swedish Institute of International Affairs
16. Information Influencing in the Catalan Illegal Referendum and Beyond
Dr. Ruben Arcos, Rey Juan Carlos University
17. Moving out of the Blizzard: Towards a Comprehensive Approach to Hybrid Threats and Hybrid Warfare
Dr. Mikael Weissmann, Dr. Niklas Nilsson, Björn Palmertz

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ISA West 24-27 September, 2020

Presenting paper on the role of the military in managing hybrid threats and hybrid warfare in the grey-zone at the International Studies Association (ISA) West’s annual conference 24-27 September. It was a great panel I would like to thank my panelist at the “Space and Cyberspace” panel and the chair Brandon Valeriano for great comments.

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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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Endast genom anfall kan ett avgörande nås

Our findings on why the offensive dominates in military tactical thinking among Swedish army officers just published in the Proceedings and Journal of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences:

“Endast genom anfall kan ett avgörande nås: Varför dominerar offensiven militärt taktiskt tänkande?” (with Övlt Peter Ahlström), Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademiens Handlingar & Tidskrift [Proceedings and Journal of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences], No 2 April/June, 2017:6-18. [OPEN ACCESS]

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Global Shadow War – new article

“Global shadow war: a conceptual analysis”, Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, Vol. 8, Iss. 3, 2015 (with Markus Lyckman)

Abstract:

The US strategic shift from nation-building to what has been labelled “light footprint” has carried with it a number of changes in the practices used when waging war on terrorism. These activities include covert and clandestine action by special operations and paramilitary forces, and others, operating under a shadowy mandate. It is essential to analyse these changes, due to the nature of the actions taken and the global reach and consequences of US foreign policies. The concept of “global shadow war” has been used by scholars and journalists alike to describe the practices associated with the light footprint framework, although the concept is ambiguous, lacks clear conceptual boundaries and is yet to be defined. This article attempts to resolve the problem of ambiguity through a systematic analysis of how and when the concept is used, in the process establishing its conceptual boundaries and definitional qualities. Using a method for concept analysis developed by Giovanni Sartori, the article provides a conceptual definition which is more clearly delineated, encompasses the characteristics found in the sources studied, and can be used when theorizing about the many practices taking place within the light footprint framework.

[Link to full text of published version]
[Link to accepted pre-publication version (PDF)]

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