Frank G. Hoffman "Future Threats and Strategic Thinking" in the new Infinity Journal
"Future Threats and Strategic Thinking"
By Frank G. Hoffman, NDU Press
Infinity Journal, Issue No.4,
This article explores the strategic utility of the hybrid threat construct. The original exploration of hybrid threats was developed after 9/11 by Marines at Quantico, Virginia, to examine how the character of conflict was evolving. It was designed to update the mid-1990’s concept of “Chaos in the Littorals” and the prediction by General Charles C. Krulak that future wars would resemble the “Stepchild of Chechnya”, instead of more conventional Desert Storm-style campaigns. The official tasking was to define with some granularity just how the character of conflict was evolving, and what the implications of that evolution would be to the Marines at the operational and tactical level.
Overall, the hybrid threat construct serves a number of useful purposes. At the strategic level, its most significant value is to raise awareness of potential risks and opportunity costs presented by the various options in the ongoing threat/force posture debate in Europe and the United States.
A number of analysts have suggested that future conflict will be multi-modal or multi-variant rather than a simple black or white characterization of one form of warfare. These scholars, soldiers and analysts (including Mike Evans, Max Boot, John Arquilla, Colin Gray, William Nemeth of the Marine Corps, Generals Casey and Dempsey from the US Army, and CENTCOM’s General James Mattis) conclude that there will be more blurring and the blending of war forms in combinations of increasing frequency and lethality. This construct is most frequently described as “hybrid warfare.”
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