The Irregular Warfare Center (IWC) has just launched its first openly available online course and it is called Irregular Warfare 101 or IW101. This course is meant for both military and civilians of all ranks and all grades, as well as our partners and allies. IW101 offers an introduction to the fundamental aspects of Irregular Warfare and it consolidates key […]
Russian offensive resistance operations include the recruiting, training, and equipping of irregular forces abroad for the pursuit of national objectives. For example, in the Ukrainian province of Zakarpatia, a right-wing Polish nationalist threw a Molotov cocktail into the window of the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Uzhhorod in 2018. In another example, Alexander Zakharchenko, a Ukrainian of Russian heritage in Donetsk, was so outraged by the 2014 Euromaidan protests in Kyiv that he went out to his garden, unearthed weapons that he had buried there, and joined the effort to found the Donetsk People’s Republic, a puppet regime controlled by Moscow.
This report is the second in a series of volumes in which the Irregular Warfare Center (IWC) explores the commonalities and differences of the conceptualization of irregular warfare across U.S. allied and partner stakeholders in regions important for U.S. national security. This volume focuses on the Indo-Pacific region.
In the grand theater of global conflict, the strategic mindsets of the two world powers are often best summarized by the ancient board games of Chess and Wei Qi (Go). These games, emblematic of divergent cultural philosophies, illuminate the contrasting approaches to irregular warfare adopted by the United States and China. Chess, with its focus on the decisive defeat of a singular king, mirrors the direct, force-centric tactics of American military strategy. In stark contrast, Wei Qi, with its slow encirclement and control of territory, reflects the Chinese penchant for gradual, indirect methods and long-term strategic positioning.
In our rapidly evolving technological age, the face of irregular warfare — historically characterized by asymmetric tactics and human-centric operations — finds itself undergoing a transformation. While technology promises amplified capabilities for those involved in irregular warfare, it also brings along its own set of unprecedented challenges.
Engulfed within the nebulous terrain that delineates the boundaries of irregular warfare, a domain characterized by its defiance of conventionality and its asymmetrical tactics, we find ourselves confronted with a pantheon of enigmatic leaders whose tales are etched in the annals of history. These leaders, whose inherent amalgamation of idiosyncratic traits and characteristics demarcates them from their contemporaries, also serve as indomitable beacons illuminating the path toward victory. While history has lauded leaders like Mao Zedong, T.E. Lawrence, Michael Collins, and Vo Nguyen Giap for their contributions in this arena, a closer examination of their strategies reveals both triumphs and controversies that surrounded their methods.
The Irregular Warfare Center (IWC) is scheduled to host its IW Medical Resiliency and Sustainment Working Group event from Jan. 30 – Feb. 2, 2024, at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine in Bethesda, Md. The IW Medical Resiliency and Sustainment Working Group will feature more than 70 medical professionals from across the Department of […]
J.D. Maddox, IWC Subject Matter Expert, Operations in the Information EnvironmentAndrew Liflyandchick, IWC Russia Analyst This Irregular Warfare Center (IWC) Insights article introduces and builds upon the IWC’s new translation of a Russian military article titled “Informational Support for National Security: Information Warfare Strategy.” This article, originally published in the 2016 issue of the Russian academic journal “National Security/nota bene,” […]
Since at least the Cuban Revolution during the Eisenhower administration, the conventional wisdom has been that the U.S. consistently fails in irregular warfare (IW) and that dramatic changes are required to remedy this situation. In the spirit of full disclosure, the Irregular Warfare Center (IWC) is an effort by the U.S. Congress to address the perceived IW crisis. The consensus view is so pervasive that, in a recent irregular warfare planning effort, a retired U.S. Army three-star, turned to this author and said: “maybe if we get this right, we will finally win a war.”