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The current crisis in the Persian Gulf in the context of hybrid warfare

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The Middle East, or New Middle East as it also has become known after the Arab Spring of 2011, is going through seminal geographical and political changes and challenges. In the end, the Arab Spring did not lead to the advent of an Arab renaissance of democracy and good governance but only to increased regional instability. The latter has been highlighted by the rise of Islamic State (IS), firstly in Syria and Iraq, and then Libya, where it managed to exploit the vacuum left after Qaddafi. This short contribution discusses the present crisis within the context of security and conflict-related observations from the region, being played out through hybrid warfare, concluding with a brief synopsis of Qatar’s potential countermeasures.
Australian Defence Force Journal 53Australian Defence Force Journal
The Middle East, or New Middle East as it also
has become known after the Arab Spring of
2011, is going through seminal geographical
and political changes and challenges.1 In the
end, the Arab Spring did not lead to the advent
of an Arab renaissance of democracy and good
governance but only to increased regional insta-
bility. The latter has been highlighted by the rise
of Islamic State (IS), firstly in Syria and Iraq, and
then Libya, where it managed to exploit the vac-
uum left after Qaddafi.
The present crisis among the members of the
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the
Gulf (GCC but known colloquially as the Gulf
Cooperation Council) began when Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) cut diplo-
matic ties with Qatar and imposed a land, sea
and air embargo in early June 2017, in response
to the alleged role of Qatar in aiding and abet-
ting Islamist terrorism in the region, as well as its
diplomatic ties to Iran.
The crisis has laid bare the region’s insecurities
and vulnerabilities, against the backdrop of new
threats to the region’s stability, notably the emer-
gence of so-called hybrid threats and hybrid
warfare. This has repercussions far beyond the
region for economic, strategic and religious rea-
sons. The arrival of new strategic competitors to
US interests in the region, including China and
Russia, and the return of Turkey as the successor
of the former colonial occupier of Arab lands, the
Ottoman Empire, have complicated the situation.
This short contribution discusses the present
crisis within the context of security and con-
flict-related observations from the region, being
played out through hybrid warfare, conclud-
ing with a brief synopsis of Qatar’s potential
Associate Professor Sascha-Dominik Bachmann, Bournemouth University
and Swedish Defence University
The current crisis in the Persian Gulf
in the context of hybrid warfare
Issue No. 204, 201854 Australian Defence Force Journal
Associate Professor Sascha-Dominik Bachmann, Bournemouth University and Swedish Defence University
The GCC as a focal point of
Gulf prosperity and the need
for regional security
The GCC states represent some of the wealth-
iest states in the world (in terms of GDP per
capita). After the discovery of oil in many Gulf
nations, they united as the world’s main oil pro-
ducers: Saudi Arabia alone is the second-larg-
est producer of crude oil after Russia, and the
GCC’s share of global oil reserves accounts for
about 70 per cent of all global reserves.2 The
global dependency on oil (and liquefied gas) is
set to continue, despite increasing initiatives
among the G7 states to find non-fossil fuel alter-
natives, compounded by the steady industrial-
isation and urbanisation of countries such as
India and China.
Consequently, the security and stability of GCC
countries has become a matter of global con-
cern. Western nations, in particular, due to their
political, military and security interests, have
sought to strengthen security in the region, with
the US-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum of
2012 an example of successful cooperation for
the advancement of political, military and secu-
rity interests.3
Such security arrangements are clearly nec-
essary given that many GCC countries have
experienced armed conflict in recent decades:
the Iran-Iraq War in 1980, the Iraqi invasion of
Kuwait in 1990, the US-led invasion of Iraq in
2003, and the ongoing war in Yemen all high-
light the absence of a GCC security and defence
arrangement which is powerful enough to deter
or resolve regional disputes.
The problem lies in the nature of the GCC as an
economic and political grouping, with little appe-
tite for closer cooperation in the fields of security,
conflict prevention or defence. Its founding docu-
ment, the GCC Charter, was ratified in May 1981
and requires cooperation in financial and eco-
nomic interests, customs, education and culture,
as well as administrative procedures between
member-states.4 However, there is no provision
for external security or defence arrangements.
A planned GCC Internal Security Pact, as a suc-
cessor to the failed Internal Security Agreement
of 1982, focuses more on internal challenges and
has been criticised for its potential to be used as
a tool of internal persecution.5 The findings of
the Doha Declaration of 1990, which highlighted
the ineffectiveness of GCC defence and security
arrangements, are still valid.6 While a number
of GCC countries have bilateral defence agree-
ments, there is no doubt that addressing these
concerns in the GCC Charter could strengthen
the GCC and regional security.
The Second Lebanon War
2006 as a precursor of hybrid
Hybrid warfare is an emerging notion of 21st
century conflict that combines four elements
along the spectrum of warfare, namely con-
ventional warfare, irregular warfare (terrorism
and counter-insurgency), asymmetric warfare
(waged by resistance groups) and compound
warfare (wherein irregular forces supplement a
conventional force).7
As a potentially new method of warfare, it
expands on existing doctrinal elements in
three ways: firstly, by furthering unconventional
warfighting capacities alongside conventional
methods but beyond the existing compound
(spectrum) operations, such as cyber-warfare;
secondly, by pursuing activities in the so-called
‘information sphere’ and, thirdly, by using ‘law-
fare’ to achieve political and strategic objec-
The use of hybrid warfare in the Middle East
became recognised during the Lebanon War
in 2006, when Hezbollah fought a multifaceted
campaign against Israel, blending conventional
(the use of rocket bombardments of northern
Israel and employing robust anti-tank warfare
against Israeli armour) with unconventional
methods (such as the use of improvised explo-
sive devices) and cyber-based operations (such
as the sending of text messages of an official
character to Israeli mobile phone users notifying
them of the false death of a soldier on the front).9
Frank Hoffman described Hezbollah’s methods
as constituting both hybrid threats and hybrid
More recent examples include Russia’s involve-
ment in the conflict in Ukraine, and IS operations
Australian Defence Force Journal 55
The current crisis in the Persian Gulf in the context of hybrid warfare
in Iraq and Syria, as well as its recent recruitment
and radicalisation campaigns in EU countries for
the ‘jihad’ in Syria and ‘martyrdom’ operations
in Europe. These examples use a holistic mix
of conventional and non-conventional forms
of warfare, information operations, lawfare and
cyber-attacks, aimed at testing the resilience of
the affected states and societies. The way the
current GCC crisis has unfolded allows for some
comparison with these conflicts and how meth-
ods of hybrid warfare are being employed to
exploit vulnerabilities and lack of resilience, both
as measures and countermeasures.
As early as 2010, NATO identified ‘hybrid threats’
as low-intensity, kinetic and non-kinetic threats
to international peace and security, including
cyber war, low-intensity asymmetric conflict
scenarios, global terrorism, piracy, transnational
organised crime, demographic challenges,
resources, security, retrenchment from globali-
sation, and the proliferation of weapons of mass
One such type of hybrid threat is cyber threats,
which constitute threats in the ‘fifth dimension’
of warfare, as cyberwarfare is often described.12
Cyber threats refer to sustained campaigns of
concerted cyber operations against the IT infra-
structure of a targeted state, including mass
web disruption, spam use and malware infec-
While cyber-attacks do not involve the use of
force per se, their effects in terms of loss of
life and material damage to property may be
comparable to the effects of an armed attack.
Indeed, the Tallinn Manual, authored by a
panel of international experts and published
by NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre
of Excellence in 2013, contends that cyber-at-
tacks, if they cause death, injury or damage, can
be regarded as the use of force.14
Cyber-attacks can therefore constitute a method
of warfighting sui generis, as evident in Russia’s
cyber-attack on Estonia in 2009, or as part of a
conventional military campaign in a supporting
role and function. The use of cyber as a force
multiplier was also evident in Russia’s use to
augment its military capabilities during its military
campaigns against Georgia in 2008, and more
recently in Ukraine since 2014.15
Between 2010 and 2012, NATO—recognising
hybrid threats as a major risk—began work to
identify these threats and define a comprehen-
sive approach for countering them by including
state and non-state actors in a comprehen-
sive defence strategy. According to NATO’s
Issue No. 204, 201856 Australian Defence Force Journal
Associate Professor Sascha-Dominik Bachmann, Bournemouth University and Swedish Defence University
Bi-Strategic Command Capstone Concept of
2010, hybrid threats represent complex and
non-linear threats that are difficult to resolve
using one-dimensional measures such as mil-
itary action.16 Specifically, hybrid threats are
defined by NATO as ‘those threats posed by
adversaries with the ability to simultaneously
employ conventional and non-conventional
means adaptively in pursuit of their objectives’.
Perhaps short-sightedly, given Russia’s aggres-
sion in Eastern Europe, this project was discon-
tinued in 2012 due to lack of support from NATO
members. However, in December 2015, NATO
announced the development of a new Hybrid
Warfare Strategy which, in essence, recognises
the existing capstone document of 2010 as a
blueprint for countering hybrid threats ‘in a com-
prehensive way [and] in the complex geostrate-
gic environment posed by globalisation’.17 That
clearly was in response to events in Ukraine and
Russia’s annexation of Crimea, in which Rus-
sia used security, military, political, legal, infor-
mational, technical and economic means to
advance its interests.
Another element of hybrid warfare can be the
use of ‘lawfare’, the use of law as a weapon.18
Russia has succeeded in using law as a means
of warfare in its movement into Crimea, as the
absence of a clear definition of the nature of
‘intervention’ has made the action difficult to
categorise in international law. As a result, in
addition to Russia’s denial of these actions, the
legal assessment in terms of legality/illegality
has become a partisan undertaking.19 What has
become clear is that countering hybrid threats/
warfare will shape NATO’s future role in address-
ing armed conflict and global risk and crisis
Recent cyber-attacks in the
Gulf as a precursor to the
current crisis
Even before the current crisis, Qatar and other
GCC states recognised their vulnerability to
cyber-attacks on their critical infrastructure, not
least because of prior attacks directed against
Qatar and Saudi Arabia. In 2015, Qatar’s Minis-
ter of Information and Communication Technol-
ogy asserted that protecting the nation’s critical
infrastructure is a key objective of its cyberse-
curity policy:
Qatar has taken steps for transitioning from a
traditional hydrocarbon-based economy to a
digital economy…. However, digital inter-con-
nectedness is only beneficial if we can ensure
our citizens and businesses are safe in the
digital world that we are transitioning to a dig-
ital government.20
Security experts have hinted that Qatar may
face a high risk of cyber-attacks as the host of
the upcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup, cautioning
that the nation’s financial, oil and gas sectors
continue to be vulnerable to cyber-attacks.21
Indeed, an increasing number of cyber-attacks
have recently been reported in the Gulf. In 2012,
Qatar’s second-largest liquefied natural gas
producer, RasGas, was attacked by Shamoon,
a computer virus that caused its system to go
offline.22 Earlier, in 2010, it was reported that a
sophisticated virus/worm called Stuxnet had
been used, allegedly by Israel and/or the US, to
sabotage Iran’s nuclear weapons program.23
This vulnerability and the occurrence of such
attacks makes Qatar (and other GCC states) an
interesting case study for examining the nature
and form of cyber-attacks in terms of the Tallinn
guidelines, and as a form of hybrid threat or a
method of hybrid warfare. With its vast reserves
of natural resources and critical infrastructure,
and its strategic position in the Persian Gulf,
Qatar is particularly vulnerable to cyber and
hybrid attacks.
The Saudi Arabian Oil Company )ARAMCO) was
hacked in 2015, an act that has been described
as one of the most severe in the history of the
GCC.24 The impact of this cyber-attack and its
exploitation of network-related vulnerabilities
shook the confidence of Saudi Arabia’s global
business partners and contractors of ARAMCO.
The GCC position has been that this attack
originated from or on behalf of Iran, and led to
a consensus of how to improve resilience and
develop counter-attack options in the future.
That leads to the question of whether other
GCC states would have protected each other in
such instances prior to the current GCC crisis,
given the lack of a regional defence consensus
or arrangement.
Australian Defence Force Journal 57
The current crisis in the Persian Gulf in the context of hybrid warfare
The use of hybrid warfare in the
current Qatar-GCC crisis
In early June 2017, three GCC member states
(Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain) cut diplomatic
ties with Qatar, imposed a trade embargo, and
expelled Qatari nationals from their territories,
as well as banning any travel to Qatar. These
measures were justified as constituting a legiti-
mate response and countermeasure to Qatar’s
continuing support for terrorist organisations in
the region.25
The boycott/embargo was supported by sev-
eral regional but non-GCC states, such as
Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and other countries that
are generally seen to follow or be influenced by
GCC countries. The ensuing crisis was further
escalated by President Trump’s statement on
Twitter that Qatar ‘has been a funder of terrorism
at a very high level’, which directly contradicted
Secretary of State Tillerson’s attempts to ease
tension in the region.26
The present anti-Qatar policy is a model mix of
‘diplomatic, information, military, and economic’
actions, targeting political, military, economic,
social, information and infrastructure effects.27
The Saudi and UAE-led blockade was sup-
ported by classical ‘soft power’ action, notably
Saudi Arabia’s decision to close its land border
with Qatar, the only land border of the Qatari
peninsula. The ‘blockade’ countries have also
blocked their respective air space for any air
travel to and from Qatar.
The blockade policy by Saudi Arabia and UAE,
utilising a means short of the use of force, falls
within the operational spectrum of hybrid war-
fare. Given that the blockade has been aug-
mented by other supporting action, which also
falls under the wider umbrella of hybrid warfare,
it seems appropriate to view the current GCC
situation as falling within the wider hybrid war-
fare/hybrid threats warfare spectrum. Other
examples include exercising direct pressure on
religious leaders in Qatar, and the use of the
international media and information sphere to
support Saudi Arabia’s narrative of Qatar’s ter-
rorism links, as well as the attempt to use Arab
writers, intellectuals and tribal leaders to take a
stance against Qatar’s government.
The blockade of Qatar’s sea, land and air bor-
ders prevented Qatari citizens from entering or
leaving the country. They were also forced to
leave the affected states (and Saudi and UAE
citizens residing in Qatar were forced to leave
Qatar in response to pressure from their home
countries). These actions, which violate both
international law and GCC law, have surprised
both the Qatari people and their government,
particularly given the close links within GCC
member-states along and across tribal and fam-
ily lines.
Saudi Arabia’s decision also to send back cam-
els (and sheep) from Saudi Arabia to Qatar has
hit a particular raw nerve in the Arab nation due
to its cultural attachment to camels.28 Camels
are not only the main means of transport in the
region but are synonymous with the region’s
pre-petroleum wealth. Saudi Arabia also
imposed conditions on pilgrims from Qatar arriv-
ing in the country for the annual Hajj of 2017,
which was more-widely condemned as affecting
their freedom of religion.29
The current crisis commenced with a cyber-at-
tack targeting the Qatar News Agency and the
uploading of fake news involving statements
allegedly made by the Emir of Qatar (which he
later accused some of the embargoing coun-
tries of using as a pretext to carry out the block-
ade).30 The Washington Post reported in mid-
July that the UAE may have been behind this
cyber operation.31
The Gulf states’ campaign against Qatar has
the hallmarks of a hybrid warfare campaign,
combining a variety of non-kinetic means and
tools, including information operations, eco-
nomic and diplomatic blockade, and cyber
operations. Missing so far has been the use of
covert operatives, so-called local volunteers and
other non-attributable operatives, to escalate
the conflict to the next stage, which would turn
the present crisis into a fully-fledged hybrid war-
fare campaign comparable to Russia’s Crimea
campaign of 2014.
The use of hybrid warfare is not new to the
GCC. Another example of such multi-modal
hybrid warfare could be seen in the Bahraini
protests of 2011. Bahrain has a population of
various religions and sects (predominantly Sunni
Issue No. 204, 201858 Australian Defence Force Journal
Associate Professor Sascha-Dominik Bachmann, Bournemouth University and Swedish Defence University
and Shia). In 2011, demonstrators in Bahrain
demanded improved economic conditions and
human rights. What began as a local protest
became a hybrid threat when peaceful gather-
ings turned into a sectarian protest of the Shia
minority against the rule of the Sunni Emir. The
protestors were edged on by Shia leaders from
Iran and its Lebanese affiliate Hezbollah, media
outlets in Iran, and Hezbollah-supported pro-
testors on the ground.
This turned the original protests into a Sun-
ni-Shia conflict, with an increase in violence
originating from domestic and outside actors
aimed at the government of the state. The situ-
ation became so volatile that Bahrain had to ask
for military assistance from a Saudi-led GCC
coalition. This could be considered an example
of hybrid warfare, as internal unrest was turned
into a regional security threat with the support
of an external state (Iran) and its non-state
affiliates. Iran, while denying any interest and
involvement, used diplomacy, media operations
and eventually lawfare to support the unrest in a
fashion used successfully by Russia three years
later in Crimean.32
It seems that the Gulf states continue to be
vulnerable to both unconventional warfare and
hybrid attacks alike, whether originating from
GCC states, other states or non-state actors.
The only solution would seem to lie in the devel-
opment of an effective GCC defence arrange-
ment, rather than the continuation of unilateral
efforts—which create vulnerabilities on their
own and often lead to an increase in mutual dis-
trust among the GCC nations. It is also clearly
important, both for regional and broader global
stability, that the situation returns to a pre-crisis
status quo.
Qatar’s answer to the current crisis is not an
easy one. Indeed, given the quantity and quality
of the hybrid warfare campaign being targeted
at it, the response will require an equally com-
prehensive approach combining diplomacy,
lawfare, information operations and economic
countermeasures. The question remains, which
countermeasures should Qatar employ and
what would be the ramifications. For example,
were Qatar to use Al Jazeera more aggressively,
as a propaganda tool in the information sphere,
how would that play out? Could it escalate or
deescalate the situation?
Similarly, if Qatar were to deploy cyber counter-
measures against Saudi Arabia, what could be
achieved and how would this play out in terms
of achieving the overall objective of resolving
the present crisis? Is Qatar, realistically, able to
do very much, apart from sticking to the law-
ful response through lawfare? The Charter of
the GCC may be the legislative instrument to
address this situation. However, to date, the
Charter has largely only dealt with administra-
tive matters. So attempting to elevate the Char-
ter to security issues may put the cooperative
future of the GCC at stake.
At present, Qatar seems inclined to utilise
hybrid countermeasures, using ‘lawfare’ in the
wider sense, by making a legal complaint to the
World Trade Organization over the economic
blockade, and complaining to the International
Civil Aviation Organization, albeit without suc-
cess to date.33 It has also increased its produc-
tion of liquid gas by 30 per cent as an economic
countermeasure, as well as utilising trade and
diplomacy as strategic leverage.34
Given the continuing strategic relevance of the
GCC region for US and European foreign pol-
icy, the re-emergence of the threat posed by
Iran, and the need to reduce tensions among
GCC member-states in order to maintain US
(and other) strategic interests in terms of trade
and strategic cooperation, it seems likely that
the crisis will be resolved in the not too distant
future. In the meantime, it is a good example of
the broadening use and prospective success of
hybrid warfare.
Sascha-Dominik Dov Bachmann is an Associate Pro-
fessor in International Law at Bournemouth Univer-
sity (UK) and Associate Professor in War Studies at
the Swedish Defence University. As a reservist in the
German Army, he served in peacekeeping missions in
an operational and advisory capacity. He took part as
NATO’s ‘rule of law subject-matter expert’ in NATO’s
‘Hybrid Threat Experiment’ of 2011 and in related
workshops at NATO and national level. He has widely
written on the subject of hybrid threats/warfare and
lawfare from an operational perspective.
Australian Defence Force Journal 59
The current crisis in the Persian Gulf in the context of hybrid warfare
1 See P. Danahar, The New Middle East: the world after
the Arab Spring, Bloomsbury: London, 2013 for an
authoritative introduction and discussion of the term within
its political and historical context.
2 Trading Economic, ‘Crude oil production’, Trading Economic
[website], available at <
country-list/crude-oil-production> accessed 18 July 2017;
Arab News, ‘GCC share of global oil reserves likely to
raise to 70%’, Arab News [website], available at <http://
rise-70> accessed 18 July 2017.
3 See, for example, the British position highlighted in Al
Jazeera, ‘Britain to deepen security cooperation with the
GCC’, Al Jazeera [website], 7 December 2016, available
at <
html> accessed 18 July 2017; see also SUSRIS, ‘US-
GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum’, available at <http://
forum/> accessed 18 July 2017.
4 For an English version, see International Relations and
Security Network (SRN), ‘Charter of the Gulf Cooperation
Council (GCC)’, SRN [website], available at <https://www.> accessed 20
July 2017.
5 See Human Rights Watch, ‘GCC: joint security agreement
imperils rights’, Human Rights Watch [website],
26 April 2014, available at <
rights> accessed 20 July 2017.
6 See, for example, C. Koch, ‘The GCC as a regional
security organization’, KAS International Reports
[website], <
30.pdf?101110135754> accessed 18 July 2017.
7 S.D. Bachmann and A.B.M. Mosquera, ‘Lawfare and
hybrid warfare –how Russia is using the law as a weapon’,
Amicus Curiae, Issue 102, 2015, abstract available at
id=2841277> accessed 17 July 2017.
8 S.D. Bachmann and H. Gunneriusson, ‘Eyes wide shut:
how Russia’s hybrid warfare exposes and exploits Western
vulnerabilities’, Georgetown Journal of International
Affairs, 18 January 2017, available at <http://journal.
accessed 17 July 2017.
9 F.G. Hoffman, Conflict in the 21st century: the rise of hybrid
wars, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies: Arlington,
2007, p. 37.
10 Hoffman revisited his discussion of the hybridity of
Hezbollah’s warfighting approach in subsequent
academic works where he discussed the interchangeable
nature of the terms hybrid threats and warfare. See, for
example, F.G. Hoffman, ‘Hybrid warfare and challenges’,
Joint Forces Quarterly, Issue 52, 1st Quarter 2009, pp.
1-2; and F.G. Hoffman, ‘Hybrid vs. compound war: the
Janus choice of modern war: defining today’s multifaceted
conflict’, Armed Forces Journal, October 2009, pp. 1-2.
11 S. Bachmann, ‘Hybrid threats, cyber warfare and NATO’s
comprehensive approach for countering 21st century
threats—mapping the new frontier of global risk and
security management’, Amicus Curiae, Issue 88, January
2012; and NATO, ‘NATO countering the hybrid threat’,
NATO [website], available at <
nato-countering-the-hybrid-threat> accessed 17 July
12 S. Bachmann and H. Gunnariusson, ‘Russia’s hybrid
warfare in the East: the integral nature of the information
sphere’, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs,
2015, pp. 198-212.
13 S. Bachmann and H. Gunnariusson, ‘Hybrid wars: the
21st century’s new threats to global peace and security’,
South African Journal of Military Studies, Issue 43, No. 1,
2015, pp. 77-98.
14 See the latest edition at Cooperative Cyber Defence
Centre of Excellence, Tallinn Manual on the International
Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare, 2017, available at
accessed 25 January 2018.
15 Bachmann and Gunneriusson, ‘Eyes wide shut’.
16 P. Fleming, ‘The hybrid threat concept: contemporary war,
military planning and the advent of unrestricted operational
art’, Homeland Security Digital Library [website], available
at <> accessed
17 July 2017.
17 NATO, ‘Press statements by the NATO Secretary General
Jens Stoltenberg and the EU High Representative for
Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini,
1 December 2015’, NATO [website], available at <http://>
accessed 17 November 2015.
18 S.D. Bachmann and A.B.M. Mosquera, ‘Lawfare in hybrid
wars: the 21st century warfare’, Journal of International
Humanitarian Legal Studies, Issue 7, 2016, p. 63, with
reference to Dunlap who coined the term in 2001.
19 S.D. Bachmann and A.B.M. Mosquera, ‘Lawfare and
hybrid warfare –how Russia is using the law as a weapon’,
Amicus Curiae, Issue 102, 2015.
20 H. al-Jaber, ‘Protecting critical infrastructure key to Qatar’s
cyber security approach’, Gulf Times [website], 19 April
2015, available at <
approach%E2%80%99> accessed 23 November 2015.
21 Aarti Nagraj, ‘Qatar faces high risk of cyber-attacks during
FIFA 2022 World Cup’, Gulf Business [website], 23 April
2015, available at <
high-risk-cyber-attacks-fifa-2022-world-cup/> accessed
24 November 2015.
22 The New Arab, ‘GCC businesses are facing a major
cybersecurity deficit’, The New Arab [website], 12 June
2017, available at <
major-cybersecurity-deficit> accessed 3 June 2017; P.
Paganini, ‘RasGas, new cyber-attack against an energy
company’, Security Affairs [website], 31 August 2012,
available at <
company.html> accessed 3 August 2017.
23 C. Williams, ‘Stuxnet: cyber-attack on Iran “was carried
out by Western powers and Israel’”, The Telegraph
Australian Defence Force JournalIssue No. 204, 201860 Australian Defence Force Journal
Associate Professor Sascha-Dominik Bachmann, Bournemouth University and Swedish Defence University
[website], 21 January 2011, available at <http://www.
Israel.htm> accessed 25 January 2018.
24 J. Pagliery, ‘The inside story of the biggest hack in history’,
CNNMoney [website], 5 August 2015, available at <http://
index.html> accessed 20 July 2017.
25 For a short overview, see BBC News, ‘Qatar crisis: what
you need to know’, BBC News [website], 5 July 2017,
available at <
east-40173757> accessed 3 August 2017.
26 The Guardian, ‘Gulf crisis: Trump escalates row by
accusing Qatar of sponsoring terror’, The Guardian
[website], available at <
middle-east> accessed 20 July 2017.
27 R. Hillson, ‘The DIME/PMESII Model Suite Requirements
Project’, NRL Review [website], available at <https://www.>
accessed 20 July 2017.
28 Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, ‘Saudi Arabia deports 15,000
Qatari camels’, Foreign Policy [website], 20 June 2017,
available at <
arabia-deports-qatari-camels-gulf-diplomacy/> accessed
20 July 2017.
29 The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, ‘New
report: travel restrictions on Qataris seeking to perform
religious rituals in Saudi Arabia is serious violation that
requires investigation’, The Euro-Mediterranean Human
Rights Monitor [website], 21 November 2017, available
at <
requires-investigation> accessed 25 January 2018.
30 See, for example, R. Windrem and W. Arkin, ‘Who
planted the fake news at center of Qatar crisis’, NBC
News [website], 18 July 2017, available at <http://www.
center-qatar-crisis-n784056> accessed 20 July 2017.
31 Karen DeYoung and Ellen Nakashima, ‘UAE
orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites,
sparking regional upheaval, according to US intelligence
officials’, Washington Post [website], 16 July 2017,
available at <
term=.2c9ddcf63846> accessed 20 July 2017.
32 M. Slackman, ‘The proxy battle in Bahrain’ The New York
Times [website], 19 March 2011, available at <http://www.>
accessed 25 January 2018.
33 Reuters, ‘Qatar makes legal complaint over Gulf trade
boycott’, The Guardian [website], 1 August 2017,
available at <
trade-boycott> accessed 25 January 2018.
34 Reuters, ‘Qatar announces huge raise in gas production
amid diplomatic crisis’, CNBC [website], 4 July 2017,
available at <
sanctions.html> accessed 25 January 2018. See also
The Associated Press, ‘Seeking closer ties, Qatar to
expand base used by US troops’, [website],
1 February 2018, available at <https://www.military.
expand-base-used-us-troops.html> accessed 5 February
2018; and UK Ministry of Defence, ‘Defence Secretary
signs multi billion pound jet contract with Qatar’, Ministry
of Defence [website], 7 December 2017, available at
contract-with-qatar/> accessed 5 February 2018.
How Lawfare can be used to counter Hybrid Warfare activities by RUS & NSA such as Daesh/ISIS
October 2014
    Hybrid Threats as an emerging new form of armed conflict often lead to confusion regarding the nature of the threat itself and the choice and legality of potential countermeasures by the affected state. There seems to be a need for establishing a legal framework to regulate the response by a state to such threats in cases of asymmetric war, irregular warfare and hybrid war. Any military... [Show full abstract]
    June 2017
      Te Russian National Security Strategy of 2015 aims at achieving au-tarky from Western influences on global security, the rule of law and global trade. Russia aims at attaining this by applying a holistic mix of military, political and economic means to weaken the West and to strengthen its own role as a global player. Te Russian approach builds on a strategy of reflexive control which as such is... [Show full abstract]
      Conference Paper
      February 2015
        Moscow’s Hybrid War in Ukraine The Cluster Centre Conflict, Rule of Law and Society of Bournemouth University ( would like to invite you to an international one- day symposium in February which will discuss the events in the Ukraine. This symposium discusses a new form of war, ‘Hybrid War’, under inclusion of aspects... [Show full abstract]
          Resumé Med nya militära utmaningar ställs frågan vad taktisk utbildning egentligen? Är den taktis-ka utbildningen något som är tidsbundet och daterat? Tesen är att det centrala vid den tak-tiska utbildningen är förmedlandet och hanterandet av ett taktiskt språk. För att visa på det-ta inleds med ett exempel från det första världskrigets kejserliga tyska armé där relationen stat, krigsmakt,... [Show full abstract]
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