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Hybrid Warfare: Fighting Complex Opponents from the Ancient World to the Present Paperback – September 27, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 329 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (September 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1107643333
  • ISBN-13: 978-1107643338
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #559,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"... highly readable, cohesively organized, and enthusiastically recommended as an invaluable guide for understanding how previous antagonists have sought advantage with strategic combinations. It is suitable for serious students of military history, analysts of contemporary conflict, and professionals at the command and general staff college level."
Small Wars Journal

"The book achieves its ambitions in extending hybrid war in historical time and space, and of being a valuable starting point from which military professionals and historians can further explore the topic."
Peter Layton, RUSI Journal

Book Description

Great powers throughout history have confronted opponents who combined regular and irregular forces to negate the advantage of the great powers' superior conventional military strength. As this study shows, hybrid wars are labor-intensive, long-term struggles that defy the domestic logic of opinion polls and election cycles. Nine historical examples of hybrid warfare, from ancient Rome to the modern world, provide readers with context by clarifying the various aspects of conflicts and examining how great powers have dealt with them in the past.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Robbo on August 31, 2014
Format: Paperback
With the advent of the atomic bomb, pundits predicted that war had changed forever. The intervening years proved them wrong. Since the United States became embroiled in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first decade of the 21st Century, a new breed of analysts have now posited the emergence of a new type of war - with the appellation of `hybrid warfare.`

In this small volume, the editors show that far from being an emerging form of conflict, hybrid warfare - the buzz phrase doing the rounds of the Pentagon - has existed for centuries, and that a failure to understand its character, complexity and, importantly, the nature of the societies waging it, has resulted in either defeat, or falling far short of the expectations originally intended. Those who have been successful, on the other hand, have left on long legacy of ill-feeling, and often hatred, amongst the conquered peoples. Hybrid warfare is defined as a conflict in which a belligerent employs both conventional and unconventional forces, such as irregulars, partisans, and guerrillas, and while not new, it presents Western armies with an increasingly difficult problem, should they become involved in one, as the boundaries of war become blurred.

In nine essays ranging from the 1st Century AD to the American defeat in Vietnam, each written by a different historian, we are presented with a wide spectrum of such wars, across four continents and Ireland. Interesting though they are, in this reviewer's opinion the opening essay on the Romans in Germania draws a long bow in placing the conflict in the hybrid warfare basket, and the example of Tyrone's Rebellion (1594-1603), with a minor Spanish intervention, is more an example of a nascent hybrid war that was snuffed out before it could take hold.
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Format: Paperback
A summary of the review on StrategyPage.Com:

'An introduction by Prof. Mansoor (Ohio State) defines the nature of “hybrid warfare” – the complex interaction of regular and “irregular” forces – from ancient times to the present. There follow nine essay that form case studies: The Roman failure to conquer Germania, the English subjugation of Ireland in the late sixteenth century, the American Revolution, the French in the Peninsular War, the U.S. Civil War, the Franco-Prussian War, the British Empire across several centuries, the Japanese in China in World War II, and the U.S. in Vietnam. The volume concludes with a discussion by Prof. Murray (Ohio State) reviewing the historical patterns of success or failure in hybrid warfare, a font of experience often overlooked by political and military leaders when confronted with “unconventional” opponents, reminding us that we do not often learn from history. Hybrid Warfare will prove rewarding reading, providing much food for thought on what is likely to be the most common form of war in our century. '

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