With the takeover of Crimea by masked Russian soldiers/fighters without national insignia in February/
March 2014, with the Kremlin at first denying its involvement, war became ‘hybrid’ in our minds. The follow-on conflict in Eastern Ukraine, with separatism supported by neighbouring countries and the armed establishment and military securing of pseudo-state people’s republics, including recourse to pro-Russian fighters ‘on holiday’, has reinforced the impression of a hybrid form of warfare, raising the question: what is hybrid warfare? This article argues that the specific nature of hybrid warfare is essentially a strategic matter characterised by three key tendencies and their orchestration within a hybrid ‘grand strategy’: 1. Focusing the decision of the war/conflict, as such, primarily on a broad spectrum of non-military centres of gravity in a flexible and dynamic manner. 2. Operating in the shadow of various interfaces against specific vulnerabilities of the opponent, thus challenging traditional lines of order and responsibilities, creating ambiguity and paralysing the decision-making process of the opponent. 3. Creative combination and parallel use of different civilian and military means and methods, categories and forms of warfare and fighting, thus creating ‘new’ mixed, hybrid forms.1 At the same time, there is a growing sense that hybrid forms of warfare will shape the face of war in the 21st century.2 They seem to offer unpretentious political success by smart recourse to limited, deniable and supposedly manageable use of force. The assumption that the risk of military escalation and political damage could be kept within limits may at the same time increase the likelihood of the offensive use of hybrid forms of warfare. For this reason, it is high time to improve our common and comprehensive understanding of hybrid forms of warfare as a precondition for common and comprehensive action in defence and response.
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.
This paper aims to discuss the implications of Ukraine crisis to the U.S. foreign policy towards the Baltic
States. This paper consists of several parts. To begin with, political discourse of Obama‘s and Trump‘s administrations‘ is analysed. The second part presents an analysis of practical level of U.S. relations with Baltic States during and after Ukraine crisis, focusing on three dimensions: political/diplomatic, military and economic. In the third part of this paper, implications of the Ukrainian crisis on U.S. relations with Baltic States are assessed, comparing trends in official political discourse and practical foreign policy of Baltic States prior to and after the Ukraine crisis.
The article aims to provide an insight into academic and military studies that investigate security challenges
in the Baltic region after the annexation of Crimea. To do this in a systematic way, numerous academic and military studies and analyses in this field are divided into six broad categories: literature on conventional threat scenarios in the Baltic region; studies on nuclear escalation scenarios; publications that describe Russian viewpoints in the current confrontation with the West; studies that discuss security policy and security perceptions of the Baltic countries and the national security models of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; studies on anti-access and area denial; and articles that analyse the dilemmas and challenges in association with understanding the essence of deterrence in the context of
modern hybrid warfare and the build-up of a viable deterrence model in the Baltic region. In total, about 40 publications from the period between 2014 and 2019 are represented in this article. While some studies are already well known, others have undeservedly remained somewhat overlooked. This article attempts to correct this by highlighting and comparing the results of the most interesting and intriguing studies in this field. Through this, the author strived to maintain a balance between studies conducted both by military experts and by academics.