Exploiting Vulnerabilities in the Russian Approach to Hybrid Warfare

  • September 17, 2016
  • Colonel Robert A. Culp II

This paper outlines the Kremlin’s hybrid warfare strategy, operational design and associated tactics. Included are how Moscow integrates unconventional warfare, information operations and cyber operations along with diplomatic and economic coercion to achieve political and military objectives. Understanding the Kremlin’s hybrid warfare strategy offers the United States and its allies opportunities for exploiting vulnerabilities embedded in the ways and means of Russian hybrid warfare. Recommended are actions, all of which fit into a Political Warfare strategic construct, to exploit vulnerabilities associated with Russian hybrid warfare. Implementing them aligns the ways and means necessary to successfully counter future Russian hybrid warfare and achieve our political objectives. Recommendations include changing personnel policies to better enable Strategic Landpower by making long-term investments in human capital to successfully engage in the human domain. Additional recommendations include organizational and policy changes to better organize the US Army, Cyber Command and our information operations enterprise across the Interagency to conduct Irregular Warfare and counter hybrid threats. Also recommended are changes to our intellectual culture and the professional military educational that underpins it.