September 14, 2016

Leaving the “Gray Zone”: The U.S. Need to Fight Aggression Below Conventional War

By Lauren Fish

The Commander-in-Chief Forum featuring Secretary Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s thoughts on national security missed an opportunity to engage the candidates on the gray zone tactics China and Russia are using to advance their agendas. Gray zone tactics represent asymmetric actions of many forms that do not trigger a robust adversarial response while still generating strategic gains. These states have acquired territory and expanded their influence, both politically and the physical range of their advanced weaponry, using “salami slicing” in recent years. Deterring these tactics requires comprehensive strategies. Gray zone tactics will be one of the most daunting policy challenges facing the next President of the United States. The next President, regardless of party, must have a plan.

 

To read the full op-ed, visit the Small Wars Journal website.

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