What is grey zone warfare, mentioned by India’s Chief of Defence Staff recently?

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Internal Security, Topic: Current affairs, Issue: Terms in news

Context: during Raisina Dialogue, India’s Chief of Defense Staff General said that “grey zone warfare” is the latest in informal warfare.

Grey zone warfare:

  • A middle ground between direct conflict and peace in international relations,
  • Involves activities like cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns, and proxy wars.
  • Has historical roots but became more prevalent during the Cold War era due to nuclear deterrence.
  • Less powerful actors to gain advantage over stronger adversaries often use grey zone tactics.
  • Examples include Chinese military presence in the South China Sea and Chinese military actions against Taiwan.
  • The US has also engaged in grey zone tactics, such as economic sanctions against China.
  • Grey zone warfare poses unique challenges, as responses must be tailored to covert or indirect actions, avoiding escalation.
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