For those students of Special Operations and who have an interest in the future of American military Special Operations, I would invite your attention to the fine article in the National Defense University Press by a team of knowledgeable authors led by General Joseph Votel, Commander, U.S. Special Operations command. They define the Grey Zone from a historical, Cold War, and current, ongoing operational perspective. My takeaway of this article is that success in the Grey Zone will require a careful and nuanced reading of the human terrain–one that is dependent on the application of a by-with-and-through approach and a de-emphasis on direction. I quote:
In these human-centric struggles, our successes cannot be solely our own in that they must be largely defined and accomplished by our indigenous friends and coalition partners as they realize respectively acceptable political outcomes. Successful culmination of Gray Zone conflicts will not be marked by pomp and ceremony, but rather should, ideally, pass with little or no fanfare or indication of our degree of involvement.
The article: Unconventional Warfare in the Grey zone. http:// smallwarsjournal.com/blog/