Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts ‘Hybrid Threats’: Neither Omnipotent Nor Unbeatable

‘Hybrid Threats’: Neither Omnipotent Nor Unbeatable


Hybrid threats have now joined a growing suite of alternative concepts about the ever evolving character of modern conflict. Here and abroad, the hybrid threat construct has found traction in official policy circles despite its relative novelty. It has been cited by the U.S. Secretary of Defense in articles and speeches, and by policymakers now serving in the Pentagon. Heretofore, the rapidly growing hybrid threat literature has focused on the land warfare aspects of the threat. Modern hybrid threats, including Hezbollah and Iran, have demonstrated the ability to employ irregular tactics and advanced naval capabilities along with illegal or terrorist activity. Thus, the hybrid threat is applicable to naval forces and the U.S. Navy needs to dust off lessons learned from its last experience in the Persian Gulf in the late 1980s to better prepare for an even more challenging future.

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