top of page

THE HYBRID THREAT: Unpredictable warfare

The Hybrid Threat and the Grey Zone

January 2022

"The term hybrid threat was popularized after the 2006 clash between Israel and Hezbollah to designate the integration of unconventional and irregular tactics, techniques and procedures, mixed with terrorist acts, propaganda and connections with organized crime"[1].

The essential objective of the hybrid threat is to achieve results without resorting to actual warfare, pitting societies against each other rather than armies, almost completely breaking down the distinction between combatants and citizens. The military objective takes a back seat.

The actions carried out within this type of conflicts are focused on the use of means such as cyber-attacks, disinformation and propaganda. They aim at exploiting economic, political, technological and diplomatic vulnerabilities, breaking communities, national parties, electoral systems and producing a great effect on the energy sector. These actions are not random, they are planned and organized. These attacks are not linear in nature. They can have direct consequences elsewhere. For example, the drone strike on wells in Saudi Arabia in September 2019 had a direct impact on the global economy.


[1] This idea became popular among the defense community after the presentation of the essay "Conflict in the 21st Century" by Guillem Colom Piella. (2019). The hybrid threat: myths, legends and realities. 2019, from Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies (IEEE). (Read more)

bottom of page