Operating on the Margins: SOF in the Gray Zone

Edited by:
Dr. Howard G. Coombs , Dr. Christopher Marsh
Published on 4/15/2023
Digital Only

This volume examines “gray zone conflict,” or the space between peace and war in which state and non-state actors engage in competition. Even with the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, this interpretive paradigm retains great utility and helps explain the current strategic environment and the holistic nature of contemporary conflict. The idea of the gray zone needs to be kept in the special operations forces planners’ conceptual toolkit since it helps clarify and articulate the contemporary global operating environment, particularly in Russia’s near abroad and in the South China Sea and China’s relations with Taiwan. This conflict model – the gray zone – is a valuable cognitive tool that facilitates a holistic comprehension of the unseen competitive struggle in which the West is currently engaged against various adversaries.