The Hybrid Mindset and Operationalizing Innovation: Toward a Theory of Hybrid
SAMS Monograph rept. Jun 2013-May 2014
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The United States US Army is currently training, manning, and equipping to fight a wide range of future threats within the complex and dynamic future US security environment. One of these threats centralizes on the concept of hybrid warfare and a hybrid threat. In the future, hybrid threats will continue to evolve in complexity as more lethal and precision weaponry become readily available to information-age guerillas supported by the proceeds of global criminal activities. Regardless of the future implications of hybrid warfare, the US Department of Defense and US Army have not completely embraced hybrid warfare as a distinctly different form of warfare. Most defense professionals and academics view hybrid warfare as simply the simultaneous melding of various forms of warfare. Perhaps, a better and more inclusive explanation of hybrid warfare and a hybrid threat is the existence and employment of a hybrid mindset. A hybrid mindset, or hybrid way of thinking, focuses on the interaction of four mental characteristics to develop innovative approaches to create desired operational environments. These four interacting characteristics are--understanding strategic context, a holistic approach to operations, internalization of propensity and potential opportunities, and embracing complexity at the edge of chaos. If future warfare eventually devolves into a battle of the minds, then a hybrid a way thinking will help US Army operational planners out-think and out-adapt future hybrid threats through innovative arrangements of tactical actions in time and space. The idea of a hybrid mindset could be the first step towards a theory of the hybrid phenomenon that explains the essence of a hybrid threat and hybrid warfare.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics