Background Readings

Academic Articles

George F. Kinnan, Policy Planning Staff Memorandum (1948)

Todd C. Huntley and Andrew Levitz, Controlling the Use of Power in the Shadows: Challenges in the Application of Jus in Bello to Clandestine and Unconventional War Activities, Harvard National Security Journal, Vol. 5 (2014)

Catherine Lotrionte, Reconsidering the Consequences for State-Sponsored Hostile Cyber Operations Under International Law, 3 The Cyber Defense Review 73 (2018) 

Michael N. Schmidt, Virtual Disenfranchisement: Cyber Election Meddling in the Grey Zones of International Law, 19 Chicago Journal of International Law 30 (2018)

Michael Waltzer, Soft War: The Ethics of Unarmed Conflict, Cambridge University Press, Foreword (2017) 

Lt/ Douglas Cantwell, Hybrid Warfare: Aggression and Coercion in the Gray Zone, ASIL Insights, Vol. 21, Issue 19 (2017)

Mary Ellen O’Connell, Cyber Security without Cyber War, Journal of Conflict & Security Law, Vol. 17 No. 2, 187-209  (2012)

Michael N. Schmitt, Grey Zones in the International Law of Cyberspace, Yale Journal of International Law Online (2017) 

George R. Lucas, Jr., State Sponsored Hacktivism and the Rise of ‘Soft’ War, Soft War: The Ethics of Unarmed Conflict, Cambridge University Press (2017)

Oona A. Hathaway, Rebecca Crootof, Philip Levitz, Haley Nix, Aileen Nowlan, William Perdue & Julia Spiegel, The Law of Cyber-Attack, 100 Calif. L. Rev. 817 (2012)

Barrie Sander; Democracy Under The Influence: Paradigms of State Responsibility for Cyber Influence Operations on Elections, Chinese Journal of International Law (2019)

Claire Finkelstein, Book Review, Michael L. Gross and Tamar Meisels (eds). Soft war: the ethics of unarmed conflict. Cambridge University Press (2017)

Derek Jinks, State Responsibility for the Acts of Private Armed Groups, 4 Chicago Journal of International Law (2003)

C. Anthony Pfaff, Proxy War Ethics, Journal of National Security Law and Policy, Vol 9:305 (2017) 

Luca Ferro & Nele Verlinden, Neutrality During Armed Conflicts: A Coherent Approach to Third-State Support for Warring Parties, 17 Chinese Journal of International Law 15 (2018)

Gloria Gaggioli, Targeting Individuals Belonging to an Armed Group, 51 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 901 (2018)

Rory Cormac & Richard J. Aldrich, Grey is the New Black: Covert Action and Implausible Deniability, 94 International Affairs 477 (2018)

David Carment et al., Gray zone mediation in the Ukraine crisis: comparing Crimea and Donbas (forthcoming 2019)

A. V. Demin, Soft Law Concept in a Globalized World: Issues and Prospects, Law Journal of the Higher School of Economics 49 (2018)

Andrew Mumford, Proxy Warfare and the Future of Conflict, The RUSI Journal (2013)

James Pattison, The Ethics of Arming Rebels, Ethics & International Affairs 29, no. 4 (2015)

Michael Jefferson Adams, Jus Extra Bellum: Reconstructing the Ordinary, Realistic Conditions of Peace Harvard National Security Journal (2014)  

Mihail Naydenov, Building the Capacity Of NATO’S Eastern European Members to Fight Hybrid War, 41 Information & Security 45 (2018)

Roger McDermott, Does Russia Have a Gerasimov Doctrine, Parameters 46, no. 1 (Spring 2016)  

Claire Finkelstein and Kevin Govern, Introduction: Cyber and the Changing Face of War (2015)

Sean Watts, Low-Intensity Cyber Operations and the Principle of Non-Intervention (May 5, 2014)

Michael L. Gross and Tamar Meisels (eds). Soft war: the ethics of unarmed conflict. Cambridge University Press (2017)

Robert R. Greene Sands, Language and Culture Note #1: On the Gray Zone and the Space Between War and Peace, Small Wars Journal 


Popular Press Coverage

Aurel Sari, Legal Aspects of Hybrid Warfare, Lawfare blog post (October 2, 2015) 

General Joseph T. Votel et al., Unconventional Warfare in the Gray Zone, NDU Press (July 2016)

Neither War Nor Peace: The uses of constructive ambiguity. The Economist (January 25, 2018)

David Daoud, Meet the Proxies: How Iran Spreads is Empire through Terrorist Militias. The Tower (March 2015)

Daniel L. Byman, Why Engage in Proxy War? A State’s Perspective, Lawfare (2008)

Laurence Peter, Syria War: Who Are Russia’s Shadowy Wagner Mercenaries?, BBC News (February 2018)  

Rosa Brooks, Rule of Law in the Gray Zone, Modern War Institute (July 2, 2018)  

Nicholas Heras, Gray Zones in the Middle East, CNAS (September 18, 2017)

Frank Hoffman, On Not-So-New-Warfare: Political Warfare vs. Hybrid Threats, War on the Rocks (July 2014)

Michael Kofman, Russian Hybrid Warfare and Other Dark Arts, War on the Rocks (March 2016)

Ofek Riemer and Daniel Sobel, Coercive Disclosure: Israel’s Weaponization of Intelligence, War on the Rocks (August 30, 2019)

Philip Kapusta, The Gray Zone, Special Warfare Magazine (October – December 2015)



Hal Brands, Paradoxes of the Gray Zone, Foreign Policy Research Institute (February 5, 2016)

International Security Advisory Board: Report on Gray Zone Conflict, United States Department of State (January 3, 2017)

Lord Jopling, Countering Russia’s Hybrid Threats: An Update, NATO Parliamentary Assembly (2018)

Outplayed: Regaining Strategic Initiative in the Grey Zone. United Stated Army War College Strategic Studies Institute (2016)

Michael Mazaar, Mastering the Gray Zone: Understanding a Changing Era of Conflict, United States Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, p. 126-137 (2015)

Linda Robinson, Todd C. Helmus, Raphael S. Cohen, Alireza Nader, Andrew Radin, Madeline Magnuson, and Katya Migacheva, Modern Political Warfare: Current Practices and Possible Responses. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation (2018)

John Chambers, Countering Gray-zone Hybrid Threats: An Analysis of Russia’s ‘New Generation Warfare and Implications for the U.S. Army. Modern War Institute (October 2016)  

United States Special Operations Command, The Gray Zone, White Paper (September 2015)   

The Challenge of Operating in the Gray Zone, Special Warfare (October – December 2015)