Russia’s marked foreign policy presence on the world stage can’t be ignored. They’re doing something and what they’re doing is working. People are calling it Hybrid Warfare, or multi-vector hybrid warfare. They’re just being resourceful and doing what they think must. They’re also benefiting from a West that has almost mocked them in recent years. Even today, politicians break down the actions of Russia and its President Putin, as a throwback to the Soviet Union; as though the only way to comprehend their work is to rewind the VHS.

Part of our problem is the need to categorize everything. ISIL is an army, not a terrorist group. But it’s a terrorist organization that has mobilized as an army. Russia conducts hybrid warfare. So, in turn, we will create units that do hybrid warfare. One of the funnier things I heard in Iraq while advising their counter-terror services and special operations forces – was when their commander lamented how difficult COIN was in comparison to tanks. He noted you could just plop tanks across from one another, and they go at it.

A tank-like approach is concocted in the Jedburghs as an answer to Hybrid Warfare. But, in reality – it’s probably most effective as a paper tiger and briefing tool. When briefed, everyone will want to chest bump. But years later they still won’t know what they’ve created, because the Russians aren’t following a doctrine. We had a major envisioning some paragliding team. It sounded like an “Escape from New York.” It’s ridiculous. Of course, you couldn’t carry anything with you in such a platform. So, when you arrive – what would be the plan in today’s modern technological world? A small world at that.

It’s still mind boggling why we need to jump from 550 feet for Airborne operations, which aren’t going to happen, every quarter. But, at the same time, we’re going to embrace Hybrid Warfare, whatever that is. But Russia is thinking ahead of us. In an attempt to clarify what Russia has been doing, it’s a combination of a few things. Russia has waged information warfare successfully and placed the West off-balance. Simultaneously, they wage secret insurgencies via “little green men,” the faceless green Russian men (see picture below). Third, and most interesting, Russia has put its thumb on the scale in America’s presidential election cycle. Russia and Putin were all over the DNC with the help of cyber warfare, and they’ve created a sense of ubiquity. It creates the perception that Russia is the superpower.