Pentagon Special Operations Studies Russia ‘Gray Zone’ Conflict by Jen Judson, Defense News
The Pentagon is studying gray zone conflict — otherwise known as hybrid warfare — beginning with a focus on Russia and later moving on to study Iran and China, the acting assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, told members of Congress.
On the heels of a Johns Hopkins University study on the nature of Russian unconventional warfare, U.S. Special Operations - through the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office within ASD SO/LIC - is looking at “developing predictive analytic technologies that will help us identify when countries are utilizing unconventional warfare techniques at levels essentially below our normal observation thresholds,” Theresa Whelan said during a May 2 House Armed Services Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee hearing.
The study will help identify early evidence of unconventional warfare, she added, noting that once her office completes the research on Russian unconventional warfare, it will move on to developing a strategy for Iran and China.
Russian aggression has been characterized by the insertion of “little green men,” special forces that try to discreetly rile up ethnic Russians against the West in countries along its border. Russia’s surprise annexation of Crimea in 2014 has sparked fear in surrounding countries that something similar could take place within their own borders.
And Russia’s behavior in Ukraine and along the Baltic States continue to cause heartburn and worry among the U.S. and its European and NATO allies…