A Quarterly, Peer Reviewed Online Journal

The Combating Threats Exchange staff are happy to bring you the April 2022 issue of CTX. 

Asset Publisher
Letter from the Editor

Today’s global environment of strategic competition poses new challenges from adversaries seeking to disrupt the international order and further their antidemocratic influence at the expense of US, ally, and partner interests. While the threat of a conventionally fought international war has, so far, deterred actions that might trigger a major conflict, adversaries are conducting hybrid operations that are often not attributable and/or fall below the threshold of a traditional casus belli.

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Operational Energy: Essential Knowledge for Military Officers

Operational Energy (OE) can be thought of as a foundation of national defense and an indispensable attribute of military strength. Therefore, military members of all ranks should be educated on every aspect of OE. Over the past 100 years, energy has evolved to power literally every military capability of consequence; since the beginning of World War I, OE has played a decisive role in all major conflicts. In the present day, OE powers almost all forms of communication and sensing; fuels all air, land, sea, and space platforms; energizes all electrical devices; and is itself becoming a primary direct-fire weapon.

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NATO Tabletop Exercises to Further Energy Resilience and Security: Ukraine as a Case Study

Freedom, democracy, and security threatened in many parts of the world by today’s strategic competition and hybrid threats. Critical infrastructure (CI), including electricity grids, transportation systems, water systems, and so on, is an essential component of modern societies’ economic strength, security, governance, and way of life. To mitigate the challenges posed by hybrid threats to CI, many nations are seeking to enhance the resilience of their critical infrastructure protection (CIP) systems through a range of legislation and government action.

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Exercise Roadmap for Resilience: Requirements, Results, and Resourcing

The United States experienced 1.33 billion power outage hours in 2020, a 73 percent increase from about 770 million hours in 2019. This increasing number of power outages impacts other infrastructure sectors and threatens the health of US citizens, and the nation’s economy and security. The US Department of Defense (DoD) relies heavily on the nation’s commercial electrical infrastructure to conduct critical missions, such as piloting remote aircraft, reviewing reconnaissance, and planning supply logistics from DoD facilities within the continental United States rather than from overseas bases.

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Energy in Conflict: The Case of the 2020 Armenia Azerbaijan War

With the rise in frequency of hybrid warfare, combatants in various conflicts are increasingly targeting domestic energy infrastructure and energy supply flows. In conventional warfare, militaries traditionally have sought to meet their operational energy needs, gain access to energy supplies, and deny energy supplies to their adversaries. However, new energy-related elements of warfare have emerged.

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The Integration of Special Forces in Cyber Operations

The vast societal and technological changes that characterize the Information Age, such as the so-called “Internet of Things,” a more interconnected world, and faster and better digital networks, have both enriched and imperiled humanity. The four traditional operational environments of land, maritime, air, and space are now inextricable from a new, fifth domain: the information environment, or cyberspace.

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Ethics and Insights | The Ethics of AI in Warfare

Professor Bradley J. Strawser of the US Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) invited Dr. Jeremy Davis to address students in the Defense Analysis department on the ethical implications of using artificial intelligence in combat operations. Dr. Davis’s primary research explores questions of normative and applied ethics, particularly with regard to war and policing. The lecture took place at NPS on 27 September 2021.

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See what’s new from the JSOU Press and other publishers in the area of irregular warfare and special operations.

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This journal is not an official DoD publication. The views expressed or implied within are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any governmental or nongovernmental organization or agency of the United States of America or any other country.


Copyright © 2023 by the author(s), except where otherwise noted. The Combating Threats Exchange journal (CTX) is a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal available free of charge to individuals and institutions. Copies of this journal and the articles contained herein may be printed or downloaded and redistributed for personal, research, or educational purposes free of charge and without permission, except if otherwise noted. Any commercial use of CTX or the articles published herein is expressly prohibited without the written consent of the copyright holder. The copyright of all articles published herein rests with the author(s) of the article, unless otherwise noted.


  • SALLY BAHO, Copy Editor
  • LAYOUT AND DESIGN, Graduate Education Advancement Center, Naval Postgraduate School


  • VICTOR ASAL, University of Albany SUNY
  • CHRIS HARMON, Marine Corps University
  • TROELS HENNINGSEN, Royal Danish Defense College
  • PETER MCCABE, Joint Special Operations University
  • RAJAN RAVINDRAN, Indian Army (Ret.)
  • IAN C. RICE, US Army (Ret.)
  • ANNA SIMONS, Naval Postgraduate School
  • SHYAMSUNDER TEKWANI, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies
  • CRAIG WHITESIDE, Naval War College


  • AMINA KATOR-MUBAREZ, Naval Postgraduate School