04:57 GMT +324 October 2019
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    Flames from an explosion light up the Belgrade skyline near a power station after NATO cruise missiles and warplanes attacked Yugoslavia late Wednesday, March 24, 1999

    NATO First to Apply Hybrid Warfare During Yugoslavia Bombings

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    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was first to mix conventional warfare with non-traditional means in carrying out hybrid warfare, Russian Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – NATO approved a new hybrid strategy at a foreign ministerial meeting last week, which the alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said may trigger a collective response from all 28 members.

    "We know perfectly well that NATO countries were first to apply hybrid warfare," Grushko said at a Moscow-Brussels video conference organized by the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency. "This is demonstrated by the 1999 bombings in Yugoslavia, accompanied by enormous propaganda, the demonization of the country, economic pressure, the threat of economic and political sanctions."

    Grushko noted the importance of NATO’s stated cooperation with the European Union.

    "It is important that this strategy, as the secretary general said, that the states themselves must be the first on the frontline in the fight against so-called hybrid threats. NATO is in the second tier," he said.

    Stoltenberg posited that hybrid attacks could trigger the North Atlantic Treaty’s Article 5, classifying an attack on the alliance’s single member an attack on all NATO allies.

    Hybrid warfare refers to a military strategy that uses a broad range of tools, combining conventional warfare with cyberwarfare, information warfare and guerrilla warfare. It may also be used to describe attacks using weapons of mass destruction, such as chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

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    Tags:
    NATO, hybrid warfare, Alexander Grushko, Russia, Yugoslavia
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