America’s comparative advantage in conventional military power guarantees that its adversaries will seek to confront it below the threshold of traditional “war” in order to achieve their objectives. Russia’s recent aggression in Ukraine demonstrates one aspect of this battleground with troubling implications for the viability of the NATO alliance. Eliminating sanctuaries of impunity, whether they be within the political space of the “gray zone” being manipulated by Russia, or physical territory utilized by al-Qaeda or the Islamic State to launch attacks on the US homeland, requires the US to employ unconventional measures to compete and win.

Read full article in Small Wars Journal here.