August 9, 2015

Historical Aspects of “Hybrid Warfare” (in American terms)


1. From the History of the American War of Independence (1775-1783)

The American War for Independence (American Revolutionary War, American War of Independence), in American literature often called the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) was the war between Great Britain and “loyalists” (supporters of the British Crown, sometimes not quite correctly called “royalists”) on the one hand, and the revolutionaries of 13 (thirteen) British colonies in North America (patriots) (which declared their independence from Great Britain, as an independent federal state in 1776) — on the other hand.

Great Britain's strategy in that war was mobilization by all available ways and means, of the loyal to it American population, arming it and relying on the militias.

The revolutionaries-patriots' strategy in the war was struggle for creation of an independent from the “British Crown” separate state of the union type.

Without going into detail on the content and chronology of the American War of Independence, it should be noted that it had a full set of features, methods and components of the “hybrid war”, which for a year and a half has been led by Russia against Ukraine, namely: political intrigues (”hybrid policy” of the metropolis towards its colonies), a relentless struggle for political-economic dominance over the young country, for its territories, resources and financial flows; anti-British protests of patriots of British colonies in North America, which escalated into a violent civil strife and ended in the UK's foreign intervention; large-scale nature of guerrilla warfare throughout North America; irregular armed groups of loyalists (militias) and revolutionaries (patriots); units of foreign mercenaries (Germans/“Hessen soldiers”/ — on the side of the metropolis, and French and Spanish — on the side of revolutionary patriots); private military companies of the metropolis; armed units of representatives of non-European ethnic groups /Africans and Indians/; criminal gangs and terrorists.

Significant political and social changes in the life of the inhabitants of North America, caused by the war, and victory in it of supporters of independence (revolutionaries-patriots), in the American history and literature are referred to as the “American Revolution.”

All this only underscores the unprecedented analogy and surprising similarity of meaningfulness, nature, mechanisms of implementation and tools of the “hybrid war” of the past and of the present.


The defeat at YorktownAfter the defeat in the hostile northern territories, the United Kingdom focused on the South, which brought success in the initial phase, and even the capture of several important cities. Only a grand defeat at Yorktown, where 7000 soldiers were captured, broke the spirit of the British and put them off continuing the war.

1781 — the 20-thousand American-French army forced the 9 thousand army of British General Cornwallis to surrender October 19, at Yorktown in Virginia, after the French fleet of Admiral de Grasse cut off the British troops from the metropolis on September 5.

The defeat at Yorktown was a heavy blow to Great Britain, which foredoomed the outcome of the war. The battle of Yorktown was the last major battle on land, although the 30 thousand British army still held New York and several other cities (Savannah, Charleston).

After the loss of the main British forces in North America, the war lost support in Great Britain itself. March 20, 1782, Prime Minister Frederick North, resigned after being sentenced to a vote of no confidence. In April 1782 the House of Commons voted in favor of ending the war.

Great Britain had to sit down at the negotiating table in Paris. November 30, 1782 a truce was signed, and September 3, 1783 Great Britain recognized the independence of the United States. November 25 the same year, the last British troops left New York.


However, that war was very costly to the participants.

The forces ans losses of the partiesBy the way, almost all wealthy (rich) people during the war, emigrated to Great Britain while patriots stayed in America.


The huge debts caused by the war, became a reason for a series of painful reforms in Great Britain and the catalyst of the Great French Revolution (1789-1792). France's support for the separatists — American Republicans, resulted in France's own revolution, active participants in which were veterans — “Americans”.



2. Some features, results and consequences of the American Civil War of 1861-1865


The war between the USA's Federal Government relying on the country's northern states, and the 11 southern states, that had announced their withdrawal from the Federation (because of disagreement with the plans of President Abraham Lincoln for the abolition of slavery), and formed an independent state — the Confederate States of America or the Confederacy.

The election of Lincoln (candidate from the Republican party, a staunch opponent of slavery) the President caused a rebellion of the southern states. In the economy of the South a great role was played by slavery, on which was based the main export industry of the South — cotton growing. At the initiative of the governor of South Carolina U. Gist, the authorities of the southern states in October 1860 secretly agreed to withdraw from the union if the Republicans' won the elections. December 20 South Carolina was the first to declare its secession from the United States of America. Its example was followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas. February 4, 1861, they created a new state — the Confederacy, with a rich planter and former Defense Minister Jefferson Davis as its President. Later the Confederacy was joined by Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas and North Carolina.

President A. Lincoln called on the Confederates to end the matter peacefully and return to the Union. But the rebels, wanting to preserve slavery in their states and realizing that the Republican President would cancel it, chose the split. In April 1861 the militia of the Confederate States occupied several forts and arsenals, starting a civil war.

Northern states had an overwhelming superiority over the Southern ones both, in population (22 million to 9 million, of which 3.5 million were African slaves),and( to an even greater extent) in the military-industrial potential. While unionists fought only for the complete victory — destruction of the Confederacy, Confederates sought only to preserve the existing composition of the Confederacy, but not to capture the territory of the Union.


The American Civil War of 1861-1865Without dwelling on the analysis of the progress of the American Civil War of 1861-1865, let us try and highlight in this war some of the features, results and sequences of technologies of “hybrid war”.

For example, we can point out the President's (A. Lincoln's) tasks — to formulate the military strategy, to organize mobilization and to arrange supply of troops, to unite and inspire the citizens.

Politicians, commanders and nearly all the personnel had no experience of decision making in wartime, and in real combat actions.

Several months of small clashes had passed. People started adjusting their lives in the situation of war. Because of the limited scale and geography, the war did not affect many people directly. However, it was impossible to remain in ignorance, that some citizens were killing other citizens of the same country.

Many hoped that the conflict would be short. Everyone wanted to believe that after several serious defeats of Confederates, sensible people would stand up and get rid of separatists. In reality, the war was long, it cost a lot of lives and money, mainly for the separatists, and involved their civilian population as human casualties and refugees.

The Government's plan “Anaconda” provided for the encirclement and blockade of the Confederates (separatists), forcing them to surrender. In this case, human losses and damages to the property could be limited. The plan was not popular with the public, who demanded more active actions.

In their turn, separatists believed their aim was to delay the armed confrontation in time (”war of attrition”) until the Government ran out resources, and gave up continuing the war.

The plan provided for the establishment of an increasing number of points of resistance, organization of assistance from abroad and as maximum — of foreign intervention.

The Civil War was recognized the greatest crisis in the history of America, which had led to the greatest political, economic and social revolution. By the end of the war, almost every family had witnessed heavy losses and destruction. 630,000 were killed. Every tenth white male was killed.

Losses during the Civil warThere are very contradictory data about the losses during the Civil war. According to different sources, the number of those killed in the army of the South, was 67 to 94 thousand, and in the Army of the North — 33 to 97 thousand. But it is known that of wounds there died fewer Confederates than Unionists — 27 and 43 thousand respectively. We can assume that the ratio of the killed was the same. The most accurate figure of losses of Confederates is considered the figure of 67 thousand. While for the losses of Northerners the closest to the truth figure will be 97 thousand killed. More than 194 thousand Northerners and 59 thousand Southerners died of diseases. This ratio was due to the fact that into the Confederate troops were recruited about three times fewer soldiers than into the troops of the Union — 1.1 million versus 2.7 million. All in all, the North in the Civil War lost 334 thousand of its citizens, and the South — 153 thousand. The USA's total losses in the Civil War exceeded their losses in the two world wars taken together.

For years after the war, free elections in the former territory of the separatists were simply impossible. Thus, in 1874 (9 years after the war ended), the victorious Commander-in-Chief of Northerners, President W. Grant, expressed deep disappointment with the continuing violence and unrest in the southern states, “I am tired of this nonsense. Let Louisiana care of itself, and so will Texas have to do. I do not want any disputes on public affairs with the Mississippi. Feeding monsters has almost exhausted our strength. Enough is enough, they have to take care of themselves “.

Although after the war, economic power came back to many plantation owners who had dominated in the South before the war, the South never again had those positions in the global cotton market.

The deep hatred between the parties to the conflict, generated by the Civil War and the postwar period, remains the collective heritage to the present day. 150 years have passed, but the economic damage suffered by the South, is still not made up.

During the Civil War for the first time in the American history, a massive regular army of the modern type was created in the USA. After all, before the war, the number of Federal troops was a little more than 16 thousand people, and during the war under the banners of the North and the South nearly 4 million people were called. The experience and military traditions, acquired in 1861-1865, were used during the formation of a multi-million US Army half a century later, during the First World War.


As a result of the American Civil War of 1861-1865 at the cost of heavy losses the USA preserved its unity and eliminated slavery. The subsequent industrial boom by the beginning of the 20th century had turned America into one of the most economically developed countries.


So, even a preliminary analysis of the historical aspects of “hybrid warfare” allows us to conclude that elements of their technologies had been effectively used in the past, are widely used nowadays and with a high degree of possibility will actively be used in wars and conflicts of the future. At this, the spectrum of mechanisms and tools of realization of “hybrid wars” of the future will constantly grow and improve, taking into consideration the historical experience.