Asymmetrical Hybrid Warfare

Casey Fleming, CEO Of Blackops Partners and Advisor to The Top Leadership of Business, Government, The Military, The White House and Congress; The Co-Author Of SPECTRE– The Hybrid Warfare Exercise and Recipient of The Cyber-Security Excellence Awards Participates in Risk Roundup To Discuss Asymmetrical Hybrid Warfare.


The nature of warfare is clearly changing and evolving. Over the years, wars have gotten smaller, are generally not declared, and are even won without the need to fire a single shot or missile. This is understandably alarming everyone– individuals as well as entities across nations: its governments, industries, organizations and academia (NGIOA).

There are clear and visible signs that technology is reshaping the way wars are fought in cyberspace, geospace and space (CGS). In a world that is increasingly depending on technology, as the nature of warfare evolves and become hi-tech, so does the dividing sovereignty lines blurring across cyberspace, geospace and space.

Irrespective of cyberspace, geospace and space today, wars are simply happening when individuals, groups, or nation/states, armed with advanced information, communication and other powerful technologies, create the conditions for hybrid warfare to achieve their strategic objectives in CGS. This vicious, technology driven power struggle, raging on in cyberspace, geospace and space, this new connected CGS battleground are full of unknowns, including major players, minor players, rules of war and reasons for war. In these connected CGS battlefields, the war casualties have been quietly piling up. It seems everyone, individuals and entities across NGIOA are being hit, and are at a risk of being hit. No one is being spared.

As computer code, connected computers, internet and advances in cyberspace, geospace and space technology fundamentally transforms warfare, the new reality of connected asymmetric hybrid warfare is causing panic across nations decision makers.

  • So, the question is how can any nation contain the threats posed by asymmetric hybrid CGS warfare?

Let us evaluate that further.

Blurring boundaries between Cyberspace, Geospace and Space

The dividing lines of sovereignty in cyberspace, geospace and space are blurring. The connected CGS battlegrounds bring each NGIOA; the good, the bad and the unknown. With the world getting immersed in rapid advances in technology across CGS, the activities in cyberspace have become inseparable from activities in geospace and space. The blurring boundaries of cyberspace with geospace and space, has pushed each nation to a significant decision point today, as they must continue to defend their current systems and networks in cyberspace, geospace and space; while simultaneously struggle, to get out in front of their challengers and competitors in the cyberspace.

  • Part of preparing for warfare is to understand it. Do we effectively understand on-going hybrid warfare across CGS?

Technology Evolution and Revolution

As we see advances in drone technology, artificial intelligence, robotics, cyber-warfare, militarization of space and synthetic biology that can manufacture life or bioweapons, warfare seems to be undergoing fundamental transformation. It is important that we collectively evaluate the current state of warfare across CGS and understand where we are heading.

The reality across nations is that advances in science and technology has given scientists potential to now manufacture living organisms, including new deadly pathogens. There is also another reality that Drones can assassinate individuals who are thousands of miles away by a click of a remote control. The cyber systems are compromised and cyber-attacks are a new norm.

  • As technology advances, it is important to understand and evaluate how is technology impacting the nature of warfare?
  • What role existing and emerging technology plays in hybrid warfare?

Democratization of War Weapons

Warfare boundaries are blurring across CGS. We have reached a point where anyone across nation can get access to all kinds of weapons, that were once the exclusive territory of nation/states. It is important to understand and evaluate-

  • Where is the warfare going because of the democratization of war weapons?

As even nation/states are increasingly turning to unconventional and asymmetric hybrid warfare strategies, the possibility of fierce, armed conflict in cyberspace, geospace and space; waged on several levels by any individual, group or nation/state, means that war is likely to transcend CGS boundaries and impact individuals and entities across NGIOA.

Asymmetric Hybrid Warfare

As the asymmetric hybrid warfare is beginning to take hold across nations, each individual and entities across NGIOA is going to have to look at all possible components of the emerging CGS Combat System and see what is necessary in this growing spectrum of CGS conflict. It is therefore important to evaluate further-

  • What, is an asymmetric hybrid warfare to different components of a nation?
  • What is necessary to combat the CGS conflict and the asymmetric hybrid warfare?
  • What are asymmetric warfare defense strategies that individuals and entities across NGIOA has at their disposal today?
  • What hybrid threats do nations face currently?
  • How do we manage such complex battlefield across CGS?
  • While technology has fundamentally democratized warfare, do we have enough understanding about the drivers of the emerging asymmetric hybrid warfare?
  • What can be done to develop capabilities to resist hybrid warfare in CGS?
  • What role culture plays in confronting technology’s version of conflict?
  • How does hybrid CGS warfare use a growing-array of cyber-technologies like; wearable electronics, social media, internet of things, medical implants, cyber-tools, and digital devices, to create new vulnerabilities and advantages against an adaptive enemy?
  • How do entities across NGIOA stay competitive while fighting hybrid CGS warfare?
  • How to create effective guidelines and framework for hybrid warfare?
  • Is there a shared understanding of the asymmetric hybrid warfare situation that can be utilized to lead defense activities across NGIOA?
  • Are the intelligence activities providing early warning, ongoing situational awareness and analysis that could help entities across NGIOA?

When everything that is connected to the internet becomes a target and a war zone, who will we defend, what will we defend, and how will we defend?


Historically, the implications of any technology revolution and evolution is often not understood at first. That was true of the tank, the machine gun, and the telephone over the years, and is still true today when we evaluate blockchain, machine learning and Crispr technology that changes the fundamentals of cyber weapons, nano weapons, bio-weapons and space weapons.

It may take time for NGIOA decision makers to realize that inserting new technologies in cyberspace, geospace or space: be it something as simple as information, communication and digitization technology to artificial intelligence, blockchain or Crispr technology; the new ways of doing things always creates new inefficiencies, vulnerabilities and risks.

Irrespective of CGS, any new technology revolution and evolution necessitates restructuring of every dimension and variable around it, to not only realize the full potential of the technology promise but also defend from its perils.

The challenge is, decision makers across NGIOA are very slow to adapt to any change. Even if nations implement a new technology, the ecosystem around it remains the same creating failures, inefficiencies and complications. This is a cause of serious concern!!

Time is now to talk about Asymmetric Hybrid Warfare!

For more please watch the Risk Roundup Webcast or hear Risk Roundup Podcast

About the Guest

T. Casey Fleming serves as Chief Executive Officer of BLACKOPS Partners Corporation, the leading intelligence, think tank, strategy, and cyber-security advisors to senior leadership of the world’s largest organizations. Mr. Fleming is widely recognized as a top thought-leader, leading expert and speaker on intelligence, strategy, national security, hybrid warfare, DarkNet and cyber-security. He regularly advises top leadership of business, government, the military, The White House and Congress. He is co-author of SPECTRE, the breakthrough hybrid warfare exercise. The Cyber-security Excellence Awards recently named him Cyber-security Professional of the Year. Mr. Fleming led global organizations for IBM Corporation, Deloitte Consulting, and Good Technology. He served as founding managing director of IBM’s highly successful Cyber division, now IBM Security. Mr. Fleming received his Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University with Honors and has participated in executive programs with Harvard Business School, The Wharton School, and IBM Corporation.

About the Host of Risk Roundup
Jayshree Pandya (née Bhatt) is a visionary leader, who is working passionately with imagination, insight and boldness to achieve Global Peace through Risk Management. It is her strong belief that collaboration between and across nations: its government, industries, organizations and academia (NGIOA) will be mutually beneficial to all—for not only in the identification and understanding of critical risks facing one nation, but also for managing the interconnected and interdependent risks facing all nations. She calls on nations to build a shared sense of identity and purpose, for how the NGIOA framework is structured will determine the survival and success of nations in the digital global age. She sees the big picture, thinks strategically and works with the power of intentionality and alignment for a higher purpose—for her eyes are not just on the near at hand but on the future of humanity!
At Risk Group, Jayshree is defining the language of risks and currently developing thought leadership, researching needed practices, tools, framework and systems to manage the “strategic and shared cyber-security, geo-security and space-security risks facing nations today in a digital global age. She believes that the contested commons of cyberspace or space cannot be secured if NGIOA works in silo within and across its geographical boundaries in cyberspace, geospace and space. As security requires an integrated NGIOA approach with a common language, she has launched cyber-security, geo-security and space-security risk research centers that will merge the boundaries of geo-security, cyber-security and space-security.
Previously, she launched and managed “Risk Management Matters”, an online risk journal and one of the first risk publications, publishing “Industry Risk Reports of Biotechnology, Energy, Healthcare, Nanotechnology, and Natural Disasters” over the course of five years. Jayshree’s inaugural book, “The Global Age: NGIOA @ Risk”, was published by Springer in 2012.

About Risk Roundup

Risk Roundup, a global initiative launched by Risk Group, is an integrated cyberspace, geospace, and space (CGS) security risk dialogue for individuals and entities across nations: its government, industries, organizations and academia (NGIOA).

Risk Roundup is released in both audio (Podcast) and video (Webcast) format and is available for subscription at (Risk Group WebsiteiTunesGoogle PlayStitcher RadioAndroid, and Risk Group Professional Social Media).

About Risk Group

Risk Group is a strategic security risk research organization. It focuses broadly on the risks facing individuals and entities across nations: its governments, industries, organizations, and academia (in short referred to as NGIOA). Its approach is broad, encircling cyberspace, geospace and space (in short referred to as CGS). It firmly believes that collaboration within, between and across NGIOA will be mutually beneficial to all stakeholders across nations—for not only in the identification and understanding of critical CGS security risks facing one nation, but all nations.

Risk Group believes that risk management, security and peace walk together hand in hand. Though security is related to management of threats and peace to the management of conflict, risk management is related to management of security vulnerabilities as well as management of conflict, and it is not possible to conceive any one of the three without the existence of the other two. All three concepts feed into each other. Risk Group believes that the security we build for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for everyone across nations. Tradition becomes our security-so if we build a culture of managing risks effectively it will lead us to security and security will lead us to peace!

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