Jan 25, 2018 in Political

Hybrid Wars

Preventing and engaging strategies that resist the evolution of hybrid war is essential in enhancing global economic growth and peace.  In most cases, hybrid wars have emanated from partisan parties or groups whose main agenda is not to enhance the quality of life among the general population, but rather for selfish gain. This has seen the most powerful western countries envisaging political and economic sanctions as international intervention with the notion of stabilizing a given state or group in expense of their national interest.  It is such factors that have encountered unusual combating forces that try to fight for their freedoms and democracy. This paper discusses the root causes of the development of hybrid war among the developed and the developing states and, more so, the various interested groups.

As pointed out by Hoffman (2007), conflict normally arises where there is inherent incompatibility between the mission and the aim of two or more individuals or forces. He notes that the nature of the conflict normally makes it result into instability due to impartial intervention between the two conflicting groups. According to Hoffman, the main conflict arising in the 21st century is the development of hybrid wars that have resulted into global insecurity. He adds that the flexibility and sophisticated nature of these wars were designed to incorporate a variety of forms that successfully suits one’s goal or national interest.

Hoffman (2007) points out that the development of hybrid war is based on the conflict of interests of non-state actors and nation-states. He notes that, usually, non-state actors do support and encourage or even participate in conventional conflict which enables them to deploy irregular forms of war in order to achieve their selfish interest. Conversely, the nation-states may also engage in irregular forms of conventional conflict in order to achieve their national interest. It is such a unique dilemma that has created a conflicting zone between forces which want to maintain status quo and those fighting for the change in enhancing global peace and economy. This paper discusses the root causes of the development of hybrid war between the developed and the developing states.


Causes of Hybrid Wars

One of the factors which have enhanced the eruption and development of hybrid wars is the intense demographic pressure due to an increase in population. According to Lesser, Nardulli & Arghavan (2009), the expansion of population has resulted into immense urban migration in search of jobs and social amenities. This has deepened the sources of interest between leaders or nations who harbor for their selfish interests and the affected general population.

Lesser, Nardulli & Arghavan (2009) point out that increased population has resulted into unprecedented urbanization concentration especially in the least developed areas in Africa, America, and Asia. For instance, they note that most of the coastal cities tend to be absorbed by human tides due to an increase in the population. Authors point out that the increased urbanization based on population influx has created economic, social, and governance disparities as these vulnerable states and cities are incapable of adequately accommodating the intruding population. It is through such population expansion that cases of disparities emanating from ethnic and religious lines take a fundamental role in the state’s politics. This, in turn, results into irregular forms of war in enhancing personal or national interest.

Additionally, the hybrids blend of traditional and irregular tactics deployed by non-state actors is another cause of the conflict. Fleming (2011) points out that most of the hybrid threat actors normally seek to master and deploy unrestricted operational form of war that would enable them to reconcile and protect their advanced interests. He notes that these non-state actors normally translate the strategy of organized revolutionary military as a premise for their unrestricted operations that allow them to potentiality enrich their selfish interest. Traditionally, Fleming adds that most of the states combatants have deployed a variety of forms of warfare and tools in order to achieve their end-states’ national interest.

Competition for authoritarian regime is another potential factor that has resulted into hybrid wars. According to Levitsky & Way (2010), potential autocrats were supported into power through meaningful election after which they become serious offenders of democratic process. This is widely evident among the African and Asian countries whose social, economic, and political insurgence is primarily based on extensive ties with the western countries. According to Levitsky & Way (2010), most of the African countries with limited western ties have weaker democratic processes as their developed and oppressive authoritarian leaders thwart the democratization processess. This, in turn, leads to the formation of militia organization that uses irregular forms of war in fighting for their democratic process.

According to Bond (2007), the other factor which has resulted into this war is the global terrorist threat that is normally presented by the failed and failing states. He notes that the peculiar challenges facing central governments with weak internal securities that cannot sufficiently prevent or resist infiltration from militia combatants have presented a favorable environment for expansive and irregular warfare activities. Through this, these weak central governments have been unable to form foreign policy strategy that enhances their peace operations, reconstruction, and, more so, stability.

Bond (2007) adds that the failing of states normally results from their inability to accomplish the outlined objectivities due to political, economic, and social reasons. For instance, the non-governmental and international organization in states may comprise of civilians who are not only ill-equipped, but are also unable to work in hostile environment. Bond notes that such hostile environment could be regions where both the government authorities and militia organization compete for control. Therefore, the affected population may capture the vested interest of their region and join either of the forces through irregular practices thereby contributing to hybrid warfare.


In conclusion, neglecting the root causes of hybrid war among the non-states actors or nation-states and the general population will continuously lead to international conflict. There is the need to identify and address the underlying contributing factors to hybrid wars that continue to threaten the global economy, security, and peace. It is important for the international communities to put the interest of the population first at the expense of their national interest or self-interest. This way, the international community would be able to effectively address the un-ending unrest that results into continued hybrid wars. 


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