Brussels - 22 July, 2015 EU Defence Agency
The recent European Council acknowledged the importance of hybrid warfare for EU Member States. In this interview we address the topic with EDA project officer Axel Butenschoen *.
- How does hybrid warfare differ from “conventional” warfare? Is it really something new?
From an academic point of view we have to state that a broadly accepted definition of “hybrid warfare” does not exist yet. One reason could be that by nature the characteristics of this new type of threat is evolving nearly on a daily basis. However, amongst analysts there are common elements describing this phenomenon of new threats by “violent threats that are simultaneously carried out by state- and non-state actors along all conventional and unconventional lines of operation within a not exclusively military but also diplomatic, information and economic dimensions of conflict in order to achieve a political goal”. From my perspective all the individual elements, for example information warfare, cyber-attacks, conventional military aggressions and destabilisation operations are individually well known but the synchronized, combined approach adds a new dimension to our understanding of aggression.
* Axel Butenschoen is Project Officer for Capability Development Plan within the European Defence Agency.