Reports Focus Stratégique
Two destroyed tanks in front of a mosque in Azaz, Syria, 2012.

Le piège de la guerre hybride Focus stratégique, No. 63, October 2015

Since its inception in the mid-2000s, hybrid warfare has become a fashionable concept among Western strategic community. However, it lacks a clear definition and, if loosely used, could lead to possibly dangerous misunderstandings.


At the political and strategic level, the hybrid notion reflects the porosity between irregular and regular warfare. At the operational level, it describes sophisticated forms of maneuver combining dispersion and concentration. At the tactical and capability level, it portrays the lethal mix of modern conventional equipment traditionally associated with regular warfare, and the use of non-linear tactics, typical of irregular warfare. This innovative mode of fighting is now showing its successes on a wide variety of theatres and with belligerents as different as Russia in Ukraine, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or the drug cartels in Mexico. One should not, however, be blinded by the hybrid branding for only differentiated strategies will allow to counter such a wide variety of threats.


This content is available in French: Le piège de la guerre hybride