The second day of the Defence and Security Forum began by discussing the topics related to a hybrid warfare. The speakers of the Panel “Hybrid Warfare and its Impact on NATO Member and Partner Nations” were Deputy Chief of the General Staff of GAF COL Omar Begoidze, Czech Junior Deputy Foreign Minister Ivan Jestřáb, Nonresident Senior Fellow of Atlantic Council Ariel Cohen, Former Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Policy, NATO Allied Command Transformation Retired Brigadier General Matthew Brand and Hudson University Director. Vice Chairman of Albright Stonebridge Group James O'Brien led the session.
COL Omar Begoidze focused on the influence of Russian-led hybrid war against Georgia. He gave the example of 2008 August War and outlined that the hybrid war played an important role in this conflict. Russia streamlined warfare methods with regard to Georgia and used them more efficiently in Ukraine. Russia`s aggression in Ukraine, Abkhazia and Samachablo are clear examples of hybrid war conducted against these countries. When delivering the speech COL Omar Begoidze highlighted the measures to be taken against it through inter-agency coordination. To this end military trainings are regularly conducted under the organization of Georgian Armed Forces.
Dr. Ariel Cohen called Georgia as the victim of this campaign after regaining independence: “Hybrid Warfare is a historical challenge existing for thousands of years. It is necessary to learn how to cope with similar problems. This challenge poses threats to not only Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces but the whole society-Police, Security Service, economic regulators and actors. It is important that all the decision-making bodies will they be high-ranking officials or military men should be well informed about these dangers and work in an active coordination with one another. Ministry of Finances, Ministry of Justice, Police and Security Service must combat these threats. This is a very complicated process and certain procedures must be worked out to cope with it. The public also must be aware that the government will not limit their rights. The hybrid warfare related threats might be overcome only through an open and strong society capable to defend itself.
Czech Junior Deputy Foreign Minister Ivan Jestřáb outlined that during hybrid warfare main advantage is on the side of an attacker because the effect of unexpectedness is great and has no limits. He focused on the impacts of the hybrid wars providing examples of developed and developing countries. According to Ivan Jestřáb, it can destroy even powerful states, and corrupt ineffective and conflicting societies are highly vulnerable to such threats.
Defence and Security Forum will last until the end of the day. The different issues and accents underlined during the conference will be summed up by Minister of Defence and other organizers of the Forum.