The working title of my research is The concept of hybrid war and the limits of international reaction.
The world is constantly changing, and international legislation is not always capable to adapt to these changing quickly (Marcel: 2016). The idea to conduct such a research emerged when I was reading the analytics on the recent events in the Eastern Europe. I realized that the most complicated aspect of this armed conflict is that the state-aggressor refused to recognize its involvement in war and to responsibility for the crimes that were conducted by gunmen, hired by Russian Federation. Therefore, there is a need to deepen into analysis of hybrid war phenomena and how international community should react on it. I want to study this topic because it is challenging in terms of lack of legal definitions, regulations and traditions of coping with this form of a war conflict. My contribution to this problem would be to address legal and policy issues that are related to hybrid war and to offer a definition of it.
The outline of my research that will contribute to the development of legal issues is the following:
1. Based on definitions of hybrid war in military and political dictionaries, to identify the essential characteristics of a hybrid war;
2. To study the sources that cover the features of the hybrid war and how these sources address them;
3. To define the hybrid war;
4. To emphasize potential international recognition of this war and reaction on it by international community.
To answer the research questions, the following aims will be followed:
1. To critically analyze current military, political and legal issues regarding the hybrid war concept;
2. To identify the status of a hybrid war in current international legislation;
3. To form a working definition of the hybrid war and provide recommendations for legal issues concerning its recognition international community.
These aims may be divided into several objectives:
1. To conduct a literature review on hybrid war issues;
2. To identify the relevant legal sources that address hybrid war;
3. To study how international community and leading military organizations react on contemporary hybrid wars;
4. To offer and analyze requirements for the definition of hybrid war;
5. To formulate the definition;
6. To provide the examples of definition application in current policy and legislation;
7. To draw the recommendations for reaction on hybrid wars based on the definition.
The theoretical framework that is to be used in this paper rests on F. Hoffmanns and P. Mansurs (2005), M. Aysgervudas, S. Reevess, O. Korhonens, as well as other theorists contributions. Hybrid war is viewed as the same in nature as other war conflicts (Murray: 2012), however, the term hybrid refers to the way the troops are involved in the conflict and to the ratio of diverse war tactics and strategies (Josok et al; 2016).
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The methodology of the research is justified by its aims and objectives. The general scientific methods include analysis, synthesis, descriptive method, hermeneutic method, comparative method, logical reasoning method and historical method. The international law methods that are to be used in this paper involve the empirical methodology will also imply the method of observation. In addition, the social approach holds that law is a social fact, whereas the idea of law is a creation of human mind. It is also worth mentioning deductive and inductive method that are not mutually exclusive and, therefore, should be introduced in theoretical framework to achieve the aims of the research.
As to answer the research questions a variety of objectives must be fulfilled, the multi-dimensional source base will be used. The first group of the sources include the crucial sources of international humanitarian law, military statutes, reports of international military organizations, security reports, the international criminal law norms. To work on the definition of a hybrid war, the political, legal and military dictionaries are necessary. The literature analysis will be based on classical and recent studies on the hybrid war issues, including the books, journal articles, dissertations, magazine articles, theses, website articles and news releases. Some sources will be accessed online, while others have to be bought or taken in the library.
The associated difficulties involve limited access to certain sources and the need to buy it, which is may not be affordable. Another difficulty is access to library and availability of the needed sources there. As the hybrid wars such as the war in Eastern Ukraine are still in process, it may be difficult to become emotionally suspended and focus on reliable and unprejudiced sources. Own political views may change the evaluation of current situation regarding hybrid war definition, which may require approval and recommendations from the ethical committee. In addition, the research requires awareness of military laws and of the history of political conflicts, which makes it necessary to research these fields additionally in relation to international criminal law.