Contemporary Liminal Warfare: A Case Study
When Russia's "little green men" appeared at key points across Crimea in late-February 2014, it was the first time many people in Europe and the United States realized Russia was moving to seize the peninsula. In fact, this was the culmination of many months of preparation and a carefully calibrated strategy designed to seize Crimea without provoking a US or NATO response. Dr. David Kilcullen of the MAGS team calls this approach "liminal warfare"--a method evolved by Russia over decades, and that integrates political and information warfare with rapid conventional maneuver, unconventional warfare teams and highly capable special operations forces. In this talk he discusses the Russian seizure of Crimea in detail as a case study in the new-generation Russian grey zone way of warfare, links it to Russia's broader evolution since the Cold War, and explores its implications for the future.