Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Rise Of 'Gray-Zone' Wars And How Some Future Conflicts Will Not Be Decided On The Battlefield

Protests in Egypt. Photo from Bikyamasr

Peter Pomerantsev, The Atlantic: Brave New War

A new form of conflict emerged in 2015—from the Islamic State to the South China Sea.

From China in Asia to Russia in Europe and the Middle East, and ISIS just about everywhere, 2015 has seen the flourishing of conflicts that exist in a gray zone, one which is not quite open war but more than regular competition, which is attuned to globalization, which liberal democracies are ill-equipped to deal with, and which may well be the way power is exercised and conflict conducted in the foreseeable future.

Described by scholars as “hybrid,” “full-spectrum,” “non-linear,” “next-generation,” or “ambiguous”—the variations in the description indicate the slipperiness of the subject—these conflicts mix psychological, media, economic, cyber, and military operations without requiring a declaration of war.

WNU Editor: I disagree with Peter Pomerantsev's use of Ukraine in explaining his analysis .... Russia may not have helped the situation, but the Ukrainians did more than enough to mess up their country independent from Moscow. But having said that .... it is true .... some of the conflicts around the world involves the manipulation of legal understandings, media/communications, and psychology .... and China is doing it masterly in the South China Sea. The Islamic State is also a master of this .... and their weapon platform of choice is social media.


Jay Farquharson said...

WNU Editor,

The past/ongoing wars in Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan were not "decided" on the battlefield,

Arguably, other than some outliers like Grenada, some of the Isreali/Arab Wars, the Iran Iraq War, the Gulf War, and the Falklands, few of the post WWII wars were decided on the battlefield.

War News Updates Editor said...

I concur Jay. I should have used the word "Some".

It is now time to join the rest of family for counting down New Years. Thank you for your continuous input Jay and have a Happy New Year.