The Center and FPRI to Host Conference Emphasizing IW Lessons Learned Since 9/11

The Department of Defense’s Irregular Warfare Center (IWC) and the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s (FPRI) Center for the Study of Intelligence and Nontraditional Warfare will co-host a two-day conference on September 17 and 18, 2024, to discuss irregular warfare lessons learned since 9/11 at the U.S. Naval Institute Jack C. Taylor Conference Center, Annapolis, Maryland. The conference aims to capture […]

The Irregular Warfare Center and Hybrid CoE Cooperation: A Vital Partnership for the Future

The Irregular Warfare Center (IWC) and the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (HCOE) entered into a unique partnership in FY 24 making both institutions stronger and more globally connected. The HCOE was born out of a desire to strengthen NATO-EU cooperation on hybrid threats with the 2016 Joint NATO/EU declaration committing both institutions to counter hybrid threats in a cooperative manner. In this declaration, NATO and the EU voiced the realization that hybrid threats exploited the divisions between civil and military responses. Success in countering these threats requires combining individual strengths and areas of expertise. Finland answered the call in 2017 by creating the HCOE and, to date, 36 NATO Allies and EU Member States have become members of the Center.

June 2024 Newsletter

Welcome to the monthly newsletter for the IWC. This newsletter is designed to keep our community up-to-date on the latest news and events happening within the organization. Please click here download a PDF version of the IWC Spotlight Newsletter.

SOF Should Not Be Used as Assault Troops: Lessons from the Russo-Ukraine Conflict

Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, and its subsequent transition into a large-scale war, has shown that conventional warfare maintains its relevance in a world of strategic competition. At the same time, however, it has also underscored the inherently hybrid nature of modern warfare, with blurred boundaries between conventional and irregular elements. For Russia and Ukraine, this means that the conflict is occurring at all levels, tactical to strategic, and in multiple domains simultaneously: the front lines, rear areas, areas of occupation, the cyber domain, the information environment, and beyond. In planning for national and territorial defense, countries must account for this element, or risk mismatching resources in ways that degrade their warfighting capability. In this complex threat environment, Special Operations Forces (SOF) have proven invaluable.

The Vital Role of Airlines and Commercial Aviation in Irregular Warfare

Commercial airlines and aviation have emerged as a critical yet often overlooked element in the context of irregular warfare (IW). These assets are not just part of a state’s infrastructure, but they also significantly contribute to a state’s response capabilities. A prime example of this was seen during the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan, where commercial aviation extended beyond its traditional role of transportation. It played a crucial role in strategic operations and logistics, demonstrating how governments, like the U.S., are increasingly relying on commercial airlines for matters of national security and political significance. In the face of IW threats, commercial aviation’s capabilities encompass the ability to rapidly mobilize resources, ensure the continuity of critical services, and maintain the resilience of societal structures.