Sunday, May 9, 2010

Hybrid Warfare - a New Military Term to Get Use To

Just when you thought you had seen the last of new (or redefined) terms that reflect certain aspects of the conflict spectrum - a new one comes along. The newest one I have just heard is "hybrid warfare".  I first heard the term at a conference a few weeks back and now I just read a news article that used the term a few times (see "Army Prepares to be at War Indefinitely", National Defense Magazine, May 6, 2010).  So after reading the article I Googled "hybrid warfare definition" and lots came up.  Much to my surprise the term has been around for awhile (see "Are We Ready for Hybrid Wars", Small Wars Journal Blog, February 2, 2009).  The SWJ blog makes reference to a paper entitled "Conflict in the 21st Century: The Rise of Hybrid Wars", by Frank Hoffman of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.  Further investigation (using Google of course) shows the term being used as early as 2006.  It appears that "Hybrid warfare" is a combination of traditional warfare mixed with terrorism or insurgency.  Is this a new type of warfare or just a way to redefined what has already existed with a new name?  Maybe I am behind the times.  Perhaps I should read more and write less!

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