What is the Grey Zone?

According to the US State Department, the Grey Zone “[occupies] a space between normal diplomacy and commercial competition and open military conflict…Grey Zone attacks go beyond the forms of political and social action and military operations with which liberal democracies are familiar, to make deliberate use of instruments of violence, terrorism, and dissembling.”

Security experts believe the world is returning to the era of “Great Power Competition”. As the Cold War shows us, great powers complete less with planes, ships, and tanks and much more with proxies, mercenaries, drones, bytes, and social media bots — in other words, the dark arts of the Grey Zone.

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Something unusual is always happening in the Gray Zone.


Retired military officer focused on counterinsurgency, terrorism, drones, cyber, and information warfare. 2023 graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (Master of Arts in Strategy, Cybersecurity, and Intelligence)