Hybrid Warfare or Asymmetric Warfare?
To have a discussion on hybrid warfare, we need to have a clear idea of what are the differences between conventional and hybrid warfare are. Conventional warfare is a nonnuclear conflict with rules of engagement formed by an agreement or compact. These rules for conventional warfare are spelled out by the Law of War and cover acceptable weapons, treatment of prisoners, torture, surrender, and much more. Unconventional is best described as guerilla and covert operations typically in enemy influenced territory. Hybridized warfare is most commonly used to refer to conflict that has both conventional and unconventional elements. We are using unconventional and hybridized warfare to explain today’s
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Our recent administrations have struggled to adapt the Geneva Conventions to terrorists but also have hybridized the GPW and GC in the treatment of some detainees. The traditional combatant would fall under GPW’s POW protection and privileges, while a non-combatant would fall under GC protections for civilians. Civilians, “unprivileged”, or “unlawful combatants” do not receive POW status and may be punished for acts of violence that legitimate combatants could not be punished. Today the lines are blurred with some believing the Geneva Conventions implies a third category. The thought is that unlawful combatants may receive protections from prosecution for otherwise lawful combat but without receiving POW or civilian protections. Even though it may not be technically a hybridized war; hybridizing our forces is a must. As our battlefield changes so does how we deal with it. The Law of War helps keep ourselves honest and as morally straight as possible. When you get down to it, conventional is truly just an ideal….survival instinct is to switch to whatever tactics are needed when a nation or individual is threatened. Conventional is the way you fight when you are winning. It used to be the gentile way to deal with conflict, now it is embargos and political sanctions. Most nations or opponents we engage today were not part of the process of defining of conventional warfare. Conventional warfare could hold true only