Asymmetric War

Asymmetric war can be defined as a way of fighting by a belligerent who rejects the rules of engagement and principles that underlie the strategic culture of its opponent, and uses methods which are unexpected, alien, and not acceptable by the adversary. Thus, it takes advantage of the psychological effects of culture shock and works by defeating one’s “strategic imagination.” For, as Colin S. Gray remarked, “one culture’s asymmetric threat is another’s standard modus operandi” (2002, p. 5). A 1998 RAND Corporation Paper provided a useful definition:

Asymmetric strategies attack vulnerabilities not appreciated by the “target” (victim) or capitalize on the victim’s limited preparation against the threat. These strategies rely (primarily, but not exclusively) on CONOPs [concepts of operations] that are fundamentally different from the victim’s ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles