“Gray zone” challenges have been defined by the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) as “competitive interactions… that fall between the traditional war and peace duality,”* going beyond normal international interactions yet falling short of overt military force.
When a country is faced with the need to counter gray-zone operations, it's typically faced with military target ambiguity and the need to have a proportionate response. There is little margin for error—an unintended injury or casualty could dramatically escalate international tensions.
Non-kinetic weapons may provide a useful proportional alternative to conventional kinetic capabilities. Watch our virtual event recording on the potential application of directed energy to some of the unique challenges presented by gray-zone scenarios.