China · Information operations · Information Warfare · Iran · North Korea · Russia

CSIS: By Other Means—Part I: Campaigning in the Gray Zone

THIS is the most alarming part of the report, and we, the United States, are not even engaged (except against ISIS). Look and see if this isn’t the playbook for China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, named in the report as the “Gray-Zone Challengers”.

The Gray Zone Toolkit

These challengers primarily use the following coercive tools in their gray zone toolkits:

    1. Information operations and disinformation
    2. Political coercion
    3. Economic coercion
    4. Cyber operations
    5. Space operations
    6. Proxy support
    7. Provocation by state-controlled forces

We hold hearings, yet we do nothing. Our professional politicians cluck-cluck, but push this issue off until the ‘next Congress’.  Why aren’t we screaming for action?

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July 8, 2019

The United States is being confronted by the liabilities of its strength. Competitors are contesting the rules of the international system and U.S. leadership. With the significant costs of engaging the United States in combat, and the growing range of indirect and non-military tools at their disposal, rivals are finding avenues for threatening U.S. interests without triggering escalation. Their approaches lie in the contested arena between routine statecraft and open warfare–the “gray zone.” The United States has yet to articulate a comprehensive approach to deterring competitors in the gray zone. A concrete and actionable campaign plan is needed to deal with the gray zone challenge; in order to do so, the United States must identify and employ a broad spectrum of tools and concepts to deter, and if needed, to compete and win contestations in the gray zone.

This report has been made possible by support from the Smith Richardson Foundation.

By Other Means—Part I: Campaigning in the Gray Zone