Hybrid War: An Evolution of Theory
Soldiers from Technical Truck Squad, 2nd Platoon, Delta Company, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, replicate portions of a 'hybrid' threat opposing force at Fort Irwin, CA  (Photo: Sgt C. Klutts )  



Lieutenant Colonel James F. Harp
United States Marine Corps
U.S. Army War College Class of 2011

The views expressed in the document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Army War College, the U.S. Department of the Army, the United States Marine Corps, the U.S. Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.



The 'hybrid' theory of war set forth in this document is the result of combining the best aspects of existing war theories with the unique influences of the current strategic environment to produce a refined theory of war for the modern international arena. The foundation of all war theories stems from four basic questions: What is war? Why and by whom are wars fought? What constitutes the nature, character and characteristics of war? How are wars won?

This U.S. Army War College student author seeks to derive new answers to these questions through a careful analysis of classical and modern theorists alike, as measured against the harsh critique of history. He argues that the answers to these critical questions along with a dynamic evolution of Clausewitz's remarkable trinity form the greater concept of a 'hybrid' theory of war, providing a more congruous application of ends, ways and means to 21st century warfare. He concludes that while many of the examples used in this document correlate directly to U.S. interests, any state, nation, or party capable of war should find the immutable nature of these fundamental concepts intuitively relevant.

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