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Demystifying Gray Zone Conflict: A Typology of Conflict Dyads and Instruments of Power in Colombia, 2002-present


Demystifying Gray Zone Conflict: A Typology of Conflict Dyads and Instruments of Power in Colombia, 2002-present

Abstract: 

This investigation explains the dynamics of Gray Zone conflict in Colombia with particular emphasis on the role of violent non-state actors (VNSAs) and the instruments of power utilized. We define Gray Zone, in concert with a broader research effort, as “a conceptual space between peace and war, occurring when actors purposefully use multiple instruments of power to achieve political-security objectives with activities that are ambiguous or cloud attribution and exceed the threshold of ordinary competition, yet fall below the level of large-scale direct military conflict, and threaten U.S. and allied interests by challenging, undermining, or violating international customs, norms, or laws.”[1] This research aims to assist practitioners and policy makers in determining how the types of actors involved in a conflict can influence which instruments of power deserve special consideration in that conflict.

 

[1] Department of Defense Strategic Multi-Layer Assessment, “Gray Zone Effort Update,” September 2016.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Koven, Barnett. 2016. "Demystifying Gray Zone Conflict: A Typology of Conflict Dyads and Instruments of Power in Colombia, 2002-present." START. College Park, Maryland. December.

START Author(s): 
Barnett Koven
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