The Effectiveness of DIMEFIL Instruments of Power in the Gray Zone

(The international environment has always been host to competition between contending groups. Historically, this competition occurred primarily between nation-states and involved all instruments of state power.

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However, as the world changes, so does the ability of instruments of power to effectively deal with such changes. This report assesses the effectiveness of DIMEFIL instruments in the context of two main threats that characterize the current security landscape.

First is the rise of aggressive non-state actors in the global security space. Second is the return of strategic competition between strong states with conflicting interests.2 Indeed, a variety of risk assessments project that the US-led post-WWII liberal world order will face persistent resistance from non-state actors and revisionist states that strive to change the political, social, and economic landscape. 3 This resistance is increasingly taking the form of hybrid competition and conflict. While hybrid warfare is not new, the globalized, digitized and hyper-connected world in which power is diffused beyond traditional nationstates is changing the effectiveness of traditional DIMEFIL instruments ability to prevent, deter or defeat these hybrid threats. Using Russia and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as a lens to assess the effectiveness of DIMEFIL against state and non-state actors engaged in an effective hybrid warfare, OPEN has identified the following trends:

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