IAP. Contemporary Militar Topics. Gray Zone Conflict (MIT students, staff, faculty and affiliates only)y | 2019 | Events

IAP. Contemporary Military Topics. Gray Zone Conflict (MIT students, staff, faculty and affiliates only)
David Emmel & Josh Wenker
Lieutenant Colonel, US Marine Corps & Commander, US Navy
January 23, 2019
Building E40-496 (Pye Room)

The former National Security Advisor, General McMasters, once said, “There are two ways to fight the United States military: asymmetrically and stupid.”  Have the actions of our adversaries in recent years proven that there is potentially a third way?  Perhaps the perfect way to fight the U.S. military, paradoxically, is by not fighting it at all.  Through the execution of campaigns of incremental advances designed to remain below the threshold of escalation, revisionist nations have created opportunities to challenge the status quo while limiting both risk and cost.  Dubbed “Gray Zone Conflict,” these strategies have caught the attention of the U.S. Government and the broader strategic studies community alike.   Although not a new concept, have the recent successes by contemporary revisionist states signaled that something has changed?  Will Gray Zone Conflict define the character of war in the 21st Century?  And if so, what does the U.S. need to do to counter it?