#100Papers – Hybrid warfare through the lens of strategic theory

Murat Caliskan puts forward a compelling argument regarding strategic theory, grand strategy and hybrid theory in a recent paper submitted to Defense and Security Analysis.

Murat Caliskan (2019) Hybrid warfare through the lens of strategic theory, Defense & Security Analysis, 35:1, 40-58, DOI: 10.1080/14751798.2019.1565364


KEYWORDS: Strategy; strategic theory; grand strategy; military strategy; hybrid warfare; military concept; military doctrine; buzzwords

Caliskan argues that hybrid theory is not a new type of warfare as put forward by Hoffman but rather the implementation of previously well defined aspects of warfare first introduced through the principle of what is known as Grand Strategy. Looking at modern conflicts through the lens of strategic thinking as opposed to hybrid warfare .

This is the first academic article I have read on the topic of strategic theory or hybrid warfare, however based on Caliskan’s arguments I do agree with the sentiment that the term has explosively evolved since the annexation of Crimea.

Caliskan presents a well researched summary encompassing over a hundred years of military doctrine to make the case that hybrid warfare is not new. Criticisms of hybrid doctrine are summarised including that it is not new, that it does not trigger Article 5, that it is a weak and ambiguous term and that it is unnecessary. The crux of the argument rests with Caliskan’s presentation of strategic theory through historical context. Such presentation is made through the work of Hoffman, Edward Mead Earle, and Colin S Gray.

The argument presented by the author includes the conflicting terms used to define hybrid warfare by America (Hoffman) verses those recently adopted by NATO and the wider EU.

The argument presented is compelling indeed, since the definition of Grand Strategy includes the unorthodox tactics we have seen recently included the economic, cyber, criminal and terrorist incidents globally.

#100Papers Points: +10

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