GREY ZONE WARFARE (Syllabus GS Paper 3 – Security)

News-CRUX-10     4th March 2024        
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Context: India’s Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan recently emphasized that "grey zone warfare" represents the latest trend in informal warfare during the Raisina Dialogue.

Grey Zone Warfare

  • About: Grey zone warfare encompasses activities that blur the lines between direct conflict and peace in international relations.

oIt includes a spectrum of actions such as economic subversion, cyberattacks, and disinformation campaigns.

  • Examples of Grey Zone Tactics: Recent actions by Russia and China have been identified as instances of grey zone warfare.

oChinese military presence in the South China Sea exemplifies this concept, especially concerning territorial disputes with countries like the Philippines.

  • The South China Sea Dispute: The Philippines has contested China's claims in the South China Sea, particularly over disputed reefs.

oChina's presence, including maritime militia vessels, has sparked tensions and accusations of illegal activities.

Why Grey Zone Warfare is Distinct?

  • Grey zone tactics pose unique challenges compared to overt conflict.
  • Actions are often covert or indirect, necessitating nuanced responses from affected nations.
  • Tactics may be aimed at baiting adversaries into escalation or normalizing disputed claims through repeated presence in contested regions.