Hybrid Warfare in Asia: Potential not yet Unleashed
“Hybrid warfare” is currently one of the most “trendy” terms in the security-strategic dictionary. Although the concept was used for the first time in the beginning of the 21st century, it gained its prominent position after the Russian annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s involvement in the military conflict in eastern Ukraine. Subsequently, it has become part of the strategic documents of the European Union and NATO, as well as of their member states.
Hybrid escalation follows roughly three stages: first, the attacker engages in internal and external political subversion to undermine the credibility of local government and create unrest among the population. Subversive action would include the support of anti-government and anti-“system” forces, propaganda tools and media campaigns, and the creation of “pockets of influence”. In the second stage, the attacker would take steps to ensure that any such opposition movement would topple the government, preferably by peaceful and legal or semi-legal means, promoting change in the political status quo. In the third stage, the attacker would overtly intervene with kinetic means to ensure “new realities on the ground”, which would be presented as “fait accompli”.