Russia is the ultimate hybrid threat. Russia is unique insofar as it is controlled by a cabal that has many of the characteristics of the non-state groups that have acquired hybrid capabilities and developed strategies based on their use. Moreover, many of the tools and techniques employed by the Kremlin in the pursuit of its external strategy are the same as it has employed to maintain and even increase its domestic controls. More broadly, Putin’s Kremlin employs non-traditional means to further asymmetric ends. Domestically, these tools have been used to crush Russia’s nascent democracy, restrict the development of a civic culture and exact extraordinary rents from the economy. Internationally, these same means are being employed to destabilize the current international order and, most significantly, the set of Alliances and bilateral relationships that are essential to peace in Europe. What makes Russia the most dangerous hybrid threat is that the use of these non-traditional means is integrated with and supported by traditional conventional military capabilities and both are covered by a nuclear umbrella. I have written an article for The National Interest here.
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