Irregular Warfare Center Hosts Inaugural Colloquium Featuring Scholars From 15 Universities

Irregular Warfare Center Hosts Inaugural Colloquium Featuring Scholars From 15 Universities

The newly established Irregular Warfare Center (IWC) hosted its inaugural IWC Colloquium event, July 27-28, 2023, at the AMA Conference Center in Arlington, VA.

 “This event stems from our University Day event back in April and the possibility of hosting a research conference, which developed into a smaller colloquium for scholars to highlight the work that they are doing and to encourage practitioners to bring and share their research,” said Joshua Hastey, IWC Chair of Research. “Part of the IWC’s mandate is to engage with academia and to connect scholars who are working on IW-related projects with counterparts in government who work in the IW space both for the benefit of academics and our national security practitioners.”

The colloquium encompasses weeks of reviewing submissions from more than 35 scholars and narrowing down finalists during the selection and nomination process. Submissions from each participant included a 250-word maximum description of the scholars’ research and how it contributes to the Center’s understanding of contemporary irregular warfare challenges.

“Irregular warfare has always been an interest of mine,” said Anneliese Preske, graduate student at Seton Hall University School of Diplomacy and International Relations. “I discovered the IWC on LinkedIn and visited their website to find out more about what they do and offer.”

“I learned about this event when I attended IWC’s University Days in April and met with the Center’s leadership to discuss future research collaboration opportunities in the future,” said Elizabeth Radziszewski, START Program scholar, University of Maryland. “When I learned about the IWC Colloquium I was interested in applying because I thought the research areas overlapped with the work we both do.”

Sixteen scholars from 15 different universities were selected as finalists and attended the two-day event to present their IW-related academic topics. These presentations drew upon the participants’ research in all stages of its development and included preliminary prospectuses, case studies, theses, dissertations, working papers and other unpublished work. 

“I was very excited to attend the event, but as a young scholar finishing my first year of graduate school I wasn’t really sure what to expect,” said Preske, who’s also a member of the National Security Fellowship Program. “This was my very first conference and I’m so thankful that it was in a colloquium setting because we were able to engage with scholars and practitioners while receiving instant feedback. The overwhelmingly positive and constructive environment was truly amazing!”

Upon conclusion of the presentations, scholars were placed in small groups with nominees from other academic institutions who shared similar research interests and complementary capabilities. Each presentation served as the basis for peer discussions and planning for further research.

Themes of particular interest to the Center for this colloquium included cyber operations; information and influence operations; resistance movements and occupation; proxy warfare; strategic competition below the threshold of war; and women, peace, and security. Nominees proposed topics that explored one or more of these themes and explained how their research might enhance the ability of the United States, allies, and partners to address the challenges posed by irregular warfare.

“Going into the event I didn’t have any expectations, this was my first time presenting at a conference,” said Asher Peck, graduate student at Regent University. “I went into it hoping to have a good experience, meet some interesting new people, make professional connections and receive some guidance from the practitioners for my project. It’s been a phenomenal experience; it could not have gone any better!”

“The goal for this event is three-fold,” said Hastey. “We are building a network and connecting junior scholars to senior scholars and IW SMEs; providing useable and actionable IW-related research to practitioners; building a repository of information and supporting the IWC’s mission which includes providing information and education within the IW space.”

The Center would like to extend a special thank you to all the participating scholars and universities for taking part in this remarkable event!

IWC inaugural Colloquium scholars:

Ian Birdwell, Old Dominion University; Brian Hamel, CGSC; Elizabeth Radziszewski, University of Maryland; Joshua Smith, Seton Hall University; Nazar Syvak, Regent University; Griffin Windheuser, American University; Peter Wostenberg, Baylor University; Adam Knight, Notre Dame of Maryland University; Prescott Paulin, University of Illinois; Mason Remondelli, Uniformed Services University; Maria Harika, University of Alabama-Birmingham; Anneliese Preske, Seton Hall University; Matthew Kuhlman, George Mason University; Allen Newton, National Intelligence University; Caroline Orr, University of Maryland; Asher Peck, Regent University and Rebecca Anderson, Penn State University.

“This event has been lifechanging in a way that’s helped me realize where my path lies and solidify those areas of interests that I already had within,” said Preske. “This experience has helped me academically in where I want to take my research, and professionally to where I’d like to see my future self.”

“I really enjoyed the warm atmosphere, and it helped set the stage for amazing networking and collaboration opportunities,” said Radziszewski. “Another aspect of the event that was really appealing was the possibility of receiving grants and funding for research projects.”

The IWC serves as the central mechanism for developing the Department of Defense’s (DOD) irregular warfare knowledge and advancing the Department’s understanding of irregular warfare concepts and doctrine in collaboration with key allies and partners.

The IWC serves as the central mechanism for developing the Department of Defense’s (DoD) irregular warfare knowledge and advancing the Department’s understanding of irregular warfare concepts and doctrine in collaboration with key allies and partners.

The Center’s foundation is built upon three Lines of Effort:

  • AMPLIFY and collaborate to build an innovative and adaptable global networked IW community of interest.
  • Strategically ILLUMINATE current and future irregular threats, crises, and obstacles.
  • ADDRESS current and future irregular threats to the US, allies, and partners by providing optionality to leaders.

Through these LOEs, the Irregular Warfare Center addresses current and emerging security concerns and challenges with world-class research, rigorous analysis, top-tier strategic education and training for U.S. and international partners.

The IWC recently hosted several informative and educational irregular warfare-themed events including its inaugural event, The IW Medical Resiliency Workgroup (Feb. 2022), IWC International IW Week (March 2023), IWC IW Seminar at Georgetown University (March 2023), University Days (April 2023), and PME Day (April 2023), as well as the facilitating Transformational Irregular Warfare Leaders Thought Courses (TILT-C) for the U.S. interagency (March 2023), U.S. Special Operations Command (April 2023), the intelligence community (May 2023), and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) (June 2023), and the National Resistance Application Course (NRAC) in conjunction with this year’s Ridge Runner planning conference (March 2023) and academic week (June 2023) and many other international programs with various allied and partner nations.