For a recent online class, we were tasked to write about what American strategic thinkers call “the hybrid threat”. A hybrid threat is, essentially, the kind of threat that emerges when a nation state mixes conventional and unconventional military tactics to achieve its geopolitical goals. An example of this threat made reality can be found in Russia’s use of surrogates, propaganda, cyber attacks, and conventional military operations to destabilize Ukraine prior to its annexation of Crimea.
The essay motivator asked us to pick and choose among contemporary adversaries to determine the most significant hybrid threat to America over the next 10 years. We had five pages double spaced to write about the subject, which I thought wasn’t nearly enough, so I took the opportunity to instead argue that the threat America places to itself is the one we need to worry about most. I added an analytical note to justify this contrarian perspective and propose factors the analysis should consider if it were to be done.