Connecting Conflict Concepts: Hybrid Warfare and Warden’s Rings

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Information & Security: An International Journal, Volume 41 (2018)


decision making, hybrid warfare, security, system ap¬proach, unrestricted warfare, Warden’s rings


This article explores connections among existing descriptive concepts of conflict. The focus is on connecting the “five rings” concept of John Warden and hy¬brid threats in a wider sense. The motivation is three-fold: firstly, to explore, compare and complement old and new concepts; secondly, to contribute to the systematization of numerous modes of security violation; and thirdly, to propose some basics for the creation of a tool for optimal choice of hybrid activities and countermeasures. Con¬temporary security violations are complex, not always visible, hard to detect, hard to be attributed and very different by nature and characteristics. Systemic analyses of in¬dicated attempts of hybrid security violations through the prism of Warden’s rings con¬tribute to better perception and recognition of the real purpose of hybrid attack and even indicate possible initiators. For the defender’s side, this approach is useful to ana¬lyse and recognize own vulnerabilities, which is a good starting point to prepare de¬fences and countermeasures. For a hybrid attacker, this approach offers good tool for optimal choice of appropriate options from the spectrum of hybrid warfare tools.