Is India ready to deal with hybrid war?
Publication Type:Journal Articles
Source:Faultlines: The K.P.S. Gill Journal of Conflict and Resolution, Volume 25, p.111-134 (2019)
The beginning of the 21st century has seen a crucial paradigm shift in the nature of conflict. Sub-conventional patterns, including intra-state conflict and international terrorism have replaced traditional inter-state armed conflict as the primary security challenge of nation states. While inter-state conflicts have declined in recent times, there has been a remarkable rise in intra-state and other subconventional conflicts, which include sabotage, subversive confrontation and armed violence.1 Cyber space adds yet another dimension to both conventional and sub-conventional wars. This has led to the emergence of the concept of hybrid warfare, a phrase coined by former US Army Chief George W. Casey, who said future wars would entail “prevailing in protracted counterinsurgency campaigns; engage to help other nations build capacity and assure friends and allies; support civil authorities at home and abroad; [and] deter and defeat hybrid threats and hostile state actors.”2 Hybrid warfare involves threats to a nation’s political, military, economic, social, informational and infrastructural vulnerabilities. It usually involves non-state actors indulging in subversive roles supported by states in order to give the latter some plausible deniability. Hybrid warfare exploits the ambiguity of the fog of war to remain below obvious detection and response thresholds.