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Hybrid warfare and hybrid threats today and tomorrow: towards an analytical framework

Abstract

This article first traces the origin of hybrid warfare and the label game surrounding the concept, asking whether it is merely old wine in a new bottle, and if so, whether it is still a useful concept. It is found that while being old wine in new bottles, it is still a good wine well worth drinking. While there is not much new in the concept itself, it is a useful tool to think about past wars, today’s wars and the wars of the future. Thereafter, this paper analyses how hybrid warfare and hybrid threats are to be understood in the context of peace, conflict and war. It is shown how hybrid warfare and threats fit into our traditional understanding of conflict dynamics.

Open access
Hybrid warfare on the Ukrainian battlefield: developing theory based on empirical evidence

Abstract

With the takeover of Crimea by masked Russian soldiers/fighters without national insignia in February/March 2014, with the Kremlin at first denying its involvement, war became ‘hybrid’ in our minds. The follow-on conflict in Eastern Ukraine, with separatism supported by neighbouring countries and the armed establishment and military securing of pseudo-state people’s republics, including recourse to pro-Russian fighters ‘on holiday’, has reinforced the impression of a hybrid form of warfare, raising the question: what is hybrid warfare? This article argues that the specific nature of hybrid warfare is essentially a strategic matter characterised by three key tendencies and their orchestration within a hybrid ‘grand strategy’: 1. Focusing the decision of the war/conflict, as such, primarily on a broad spectrum of non-military centres of gravity in a flexible and dynamic manner. 2. Operating in the shadow of various interfaces against specific vulnerabilities of the opponent, thus challenging traditional lines of order and responsibilities, creating ambiguity and paralysing the decision-making process of the opponent. 3. Creative combination and parallel use of different civilian and military means and methods, categories and forms of warfare and fighting, thus creating ‘new’ mixed, hybrid forms.1 At the same time, there is a growing sense that hybrid forms of warfare will shape the face of war in the 21st century.2 They seem to offer unpretentious political success by smart recourse to limited, deniable and supposedly manageable use of force. The assumption that the risk of military escalation and political damage could be kept within limits may at the same time increase the likelihood of the offensive use of hybrid forms of warfare. For this reason, it is high time to improve our common and comprehensive understanding of hybrid forms of warfare as a precondition for common and comprehensive action in defence and response.

Open access
Researching Baltic security challenges after the annexation of Crimea

Abstract

The article aims to provide an insight into academic and military studies that investigate security challenges in the Baltic region after the annexation of Crimea. To do this in a systematic way, numerous academic and military studies and analyses in this field are divided into six broad categories: literature on conventional threat scenarios in the Baltic region; studies on nuclear escalation scenarios; publications that describe Russian viewpoints in the current confrontation with the West; studies that discuss security policy and security perceptions of the Baltic countries and the national security models of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; studies on anti-access and area denial; and articles that analyse the dilemmas and challenges in association with understanding the essence of deterrence in the context of modern hybrid warfare and the build-up of a viable deterrence model in the Baltic region. In total, about 40 publications from the period between 2014 and 2019 are represented in this article. While some studies are already well known, others have undeservedly remained somewhat overlooked. This article attempts to correct this by highlighting and comparing the results of the most interesting and intriguing studies in this field. Through this, the author strived to maintain a balance between studies conducted both by military experts and by academics.

Open access
The U.S. Foreign Policy Towards The Baltic States: The Implications Of Ukraine Crisis

Abstract

This paper aims to discuss the implications of Ukraine crisis to the U.S. foreign policy towards the Baltic States. This paper consists of several parts. To begin with, political discourse of Obama‘s and Trump‘s administrations‘ is analysed. The second part presents an analysis of practical level of U.S. relations with Baltic States during and after Ukraine crisis, focusing on three dimensions: political/diplomatic, military and economic. In the third part of this paper, implications of the Ukrainian crisis on U.S. relations with Baltic States are assessed, comparing trends in official political discourse and practical foreign policy of Baltic States prior to and after the Ukraine crisis.

Open access
ISDS Regimes and Democratic Practice: Creating Conflict of Interests between Governments, Investors and Local Populations

Abstract

The recent debate over the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) regimes of international arbitration has resulted in concerted efforts aimed mainly at protecting the rights of states to regulate, improving transparency of proceedings and eliminating inconsistency in decision making of the tribunals. While the existing scholarly work frequently addresses issues of the relationship between the existing investment regimes and good governance in general, increased attention is rarely paid to the effects that investment arbitration has on democratic practice. The article applies an “action-based” approach to democracy, in order to analyse the role that the ISDS regimes play in exacerbating conflicts between the local populations, foreign investors and governments. The analysis leads to a conclusion that the ISDS regimes create incentives for the governments and foreign investors to disregard sound democratic practice. The article represents an attempt to move the discussion about the ISDS regimes away from the question of legitimacy of the regimes to the question of the impacts that the regimes have in practice.

Open access
Reconciling after Transitional Justice: When Prosecutions are not Enough, the Case of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Abstract

The concept and study of transitional justice has grown exponentially over the last decades. Since the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials after the end of the Second World War, there have been a number of attempts made across the globe to achieve justice for human rights violations (International Peace Institute 2013: 10). How these attempts at achieving justice impact whether or not societies reconcile, continues to be one of the key discussions taking place in a transitional justice discourse. One particular context where this debate continues to rage on is in Bosnia and Herzegovina, many scholars argue that the transitional justice process and mechanism employed in Bosnia and Herzegovina have not fostered inter-group reconciliation, but in fact caused more divisions. To this end, this article explores the context of transitional justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina from a unique perspective that focuses on the need for reconciliation and healing after transitional justice processes like war crime prosecutions. This article explores why the prosecuting of war criminals has not fostered reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and how the processes have divided Bosnian society further. Additionally, this article presents the idea of state-sponsored dialog sessions as a way of dealing with the past and moving beyond the divisions of retributive justice.

Open access
Same Old (Macro-) Securitization? A Comparison of Political Reactions to Major Terrorist Attacks in the United States and France

Abstract

After the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, the French government reacted swiftly by declaring a state of emergency. This state of emergency remained in place for over two years before it was ended in November 2017, only after being replaced by the new anti-terror legislation. The attacks as well as the government’s reactions evoked parallels to 9/11 and its aftermath. This is a puzzling observation when taking into consideration that the Bush administration’s reactions have been criticized harshly and that the US ‘War on Terror’ (WoT) was initially considered a serious failure in France. We can assume that this adaption of the discourse and practices stems from a successful establishment of the WoT macro-securitization. By using Securitization Theory, we outline the development of this macro-securitization by comparing its current manifestation in France against the backdrop of its origins in the US after 9/11. We analysed securitizing moves in the discourses, as well as domestic and international emergency measure policies. We find extensive similarities with view of both; yet there are differing degrees of securitizing terrorism and the institutionalisation of the WoT in the two states. This suggests that the WoT narrative is still dominant internationally to frame the risk of terrorism as an existential threat, thus enabling repressive actions and the obstruction of a meaningful debate about the underlying problems causing terrorism in the first place.

Open access
All sails to the NDU wind? Review of European Military Culture and Security Governance. Soldiers, Scholars and National Defence Universities by Tamir Libel

Abstract

Reviews European Military Culture and Security Governance. Soldiers, scholars and national defence universities by Tamir Libel.

Open access