Connections vol. 21, no.2, Spring 2022 Hybrid Warfare and the Need for Intermediate Force Capabilities
NATO is faced with adversaries undertaking acts of aggression that deliberately stay below the lethal force threshold or aim to trigger a lethal response from NATO and incur costs to the Alliance such as undesired escalation, risks of collateral damage, including civilian casualties, or negative narratives. Examples of these activities range from dangerous aerial and maritime approaches, fomenting unrest and using refugees as a weapon, and even use of force short of lethal to intimidate opponents. Currently, the NATO responses are often limited to two extremes of mere presence or applying lethal force, thus ceding the initiative to the adversary. This issue contains a set of articles exploring intermediate force capabilities (e.g., non-lethal weapons, cyber, information operations, electromagnetic warfare, and strategic capabilities such as stability policing and use of special operation forces) and how they can address current NATO dilemma when operating below the threshold of lethal force.
Editors: Peter Dobias and John Nelson