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"Hybrid Warfare" – A Possible Trigger for Advances in the Comprehensive Approach? By Fouzieh Melanie Alamir

In short by Harald Keller

The political scientist Fouzieh Melanie Alamir shows that the term “hybrid warfare” lacks clarity, and consequently calls for greater precision, especially on a geographical basis. The conflict with Russia that has flared up as a result of events in the Ukraine demands a more specific vocabulary since, according to Alamir, shortcomings in the foreign and security policy of NATO states have become apparent in a situation where fronts and forms of conflict are blurred and actors operate covertly.

The cause cited by Alamir is the disparity in constitutions between the Western coalition and Russia. Authoritarian states, the political scientist explains, are able to take quick and effective action, without the burden of constitutional frictions or diplomatic considerations.

Alamir recommends that the West’s efforts at crisis management, which are currently scattered, should be brought together. In practice, this means combining humanitarian and development policy measures with policing and military activities, and tying in with economic, social policy and information policy instruments. At the same time, this would help to protect civil society from the threat posed by radical forces.

Alamir is critical of the debate surrounding the idea of “networked security”, saying that after an initial reform phase, it has failed to keep up with current challenges. In the new security policy white paper, which is planned for 2016, she sees an important opportunity to respond to criticism and develop holistic strategies in international crisis management.

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