PMF IAS Test Series for UPSC Prelims Banner Ad
PMF IAS Test Series for UPSC Prelims Banner Ad
  • Context (TH): Chief of Defence Staff discussed about Grey-zone warfare during the Raisina Dialogue, organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation.
  • The term grey zone gained prominence from events in the South China Sea and India’s northern borders.

What is Grey-zone warfare?

Grey Warfare

  • The grey zone represents activities between peace and war, including illegal economic activities, cyberattacks, and disinformation campaigns to destabilise a target state.
  • it involves military actions below a certain threshold to avoid immediate response.
  • State and non-state actors use non-military tools, targeting vulnerabilities to weaken adversaries.
  • The benefits of such actions may only become apparent over time.
  • Initiating grey-zone warfare often requires exploiting historical disputes for success.
  • When engaging in grey zone actions, like China in the South China Sea, the actions are openly justified using legal and political arguments.
  • Aggressors also seek support from other countries, even if their claims’ international legal standing is questionable.

Why do Countries engage in Grey zone warfare?

  • To prevent nuclear war: The Cold War era started after World War II in 1945 and created conditions conducive to grey zone warfare. The US and USSR having nuclear weapons meant avoiding direct conflicts due to the nuclear threat.
  • Conventional conflicts have become expensive: Nations prefer promoting their goals through covert aggression. For example, state-sponsored cyber-attacks.
  • For Strategic Advantage: According to experts, parties with limited resources or power commonly use these methods. Such tactics can provide an advantage over a technically well-equipped adversary. This is especially true when the adversary is more accustomed to conventional warfare.

Examples of Grey zone warfare

  • Presence of more than 135 Chinese maritime militia vessels near a disputed reef (between China & Philippines) in the South China Sea.
  • Stepped-up Chinese military action, such as fighters regularly flying over the strait of Taiwan.
  • The US economic sanctions against China and imposition of duties on Chinese imports to the US.

Why is grey zone warfare seen as a separate category?

  • Firstly, actions are often covert or indirect, demanding a measured and proportionate response from a country. So that the use of force would then be legitimised later as a form of self-defence.
  • Secondly, for projecting their strength and asserting territorial claims by consistently maintaining a presence in disputed regions.
  • Example: Galwan Valley attack.
Sharing is Caring !!

Newsletter Updates

Subscribe to our newsletter and never miss an important update!

Assured Discounts on our New Products!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Never miss an important update!