Gray zone conflict is a term that has been introduced by American strategists to describe the new reality of international conflict below the threshold of war and violence. The book aims to provide a broad overview of the covert and overt ambiguous measures hostile actors use to weaken the U.S. and the West more generally, including gray propaganda, disinformation, covert political influencing, foreign media operations, cultural influence, migration, financial destabilization, the use of protest movements, and even covert attacks using proxies and high-tech weaponry. The main argument is that these efforts of covert destabilization have historical precedents and that the Cold War provides a suitable paradigm for understanding and analyzing the current threats. The book relies on historical examples to illustrate how techniques have been used in the past and links them to practices and techniques used by U.S. adversaries today. The final chapter of the book lays out strategy options for preventing, deterring, and mitigating covert and ambiguous attacks on the U.S. by foreign powers.
Armin Krishnan is an Associate Professor and the Director of Security Studies at East Carolina University. He has received his MA in Political Science from the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich and his MA in Intelligence and International Relations and PhD in Security Studies from Salford University in the UK. Krishnan previously taught in the Intelligence and National Security Studies program at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is the author of five books and many journal articles on novel aspects of contemporary warfare and international security, including military outsourcing, autonomous weapons systems, targeted killings, neurowarfare, and paramilitary operations. At ECU he teaches courses on intelligence, foreign policy, weapons of mass destruction, and national security.
List of Abbreviations
2. The Strategic Debate
3. Covert Influence Operations
4. Violent Covert Measures
5. Gray Zone Conflict
6. Covert Attacks
7. Major Political Destabilization
8. Options for Defense
9. Conclusion: Are We in a New Cold War?
About the Author