Much has been made over the past three years of the asymmetric or hybrid warfare conducted by Russia in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine. The essence of this supposedly new type of warfare involves the use of non-traditional instruments of state power – classic political subversion, cyber operations, organized local paramilitary units and covert invasions by unmarked, unacknowledged forces, the so-called “little green men.” In reality, NATO has little to fear from this unconventional Russian strategy. Over the past decade and a half, the Joint Special Operations Command and the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization developed approaches to finding, fixing, exploiting and eventually eliminating terrorist networks in Afghanistan and Iraq. The same techniques are suitable for countering Russian asymmetric warfare in Europe. I have written about this subject here.
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