US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States
Over ten years have passed since the concept of hybrid warfare entered military and political discourse, and a shared understanding of what hybrid warfare is and how it relates to hybrid threats remains elusive. The concept of a hybrid threat has formally entered US Army doctrine, but doctrinal definitions and conceptualizations remain fixated on capabilities and tactics and lack context and explanation. Understanding hybrid warfare must also reflect an understanding of the unique strategic purpose and logic frames that emerge from the ideological, socio-political, and physical ecologies in which a hybrid threat exists. These ecologies likewise create a hybrid thinking and cognitive depth based upon this unique understanding. Therefore, understanding cognitive depth and visualizing hybrid threats as systems is a critically key aspect to understanding hybrid threats and their unique expressions of hybrid warfare. To date, Hezbollahs performance in the Second Lebanon War primarily served as an often-cited example of a hybrid threat based largely on their irregular organization, conventional capabilities, and perceived efficacy against the Israeli Defense Forces. This is an incomplete interpretation, and it ignores how Hezbollahs organization and capabilities were functions of an operational system informed by a unique and contextual hybrid strategy. This monograph seeks to demonstrate how Hezbollah, as a hybrid threat, arranged its operational system on a cognitive and physical depth informed by unique time, space, and logic frames.