IWC to Sponsor IW Forum Presented by NDU’s CISA and U.S. Army JFK SWCS

IWC to Sponsor IW Forum Presented by NDU’s CISA and U.S. Army JFK SWCS

The newly established Irregular Warfare Center (IWC) is sponsoring the Irregular Warfare (IW) Forum, co-hosted by the National Defense University’s (NDU) College of International Security Affairs (CISA) and the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School (SWCS). The Forum is scheduled from December 5-7, 2023, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, VA.

Dr. Dennis Walters, IWC Director, noting the special relationship between CISA and SWCS, said, “Irregular warfare requires a new way of thinking. The IWC plays a key role in this mission providing education throughout the IW domain. The collaboration between SWCS and CISA represents the intent of the IWC authorities and our vital work in this environment. The IWC is pleased to host the IW Forum bringing the IW community of interest together for collaboration and advancement.”

The Forum is being held in conjunction with the celebration of CISA’s 20th anniversary. The overarching theme for this year’s event is “Preparing for Strategic Competition through Policy, Doctrine, Training, and Education.”

“We are excited to host the IW Forum in Washington, DC and include a broader audience of critical actors in the irregular warfare space. Irregular warfare necessitates a team effort that includes conventional military and SOF, U.S. interagency, and international partners and allies,” said Denise M. Marsh, Acting Chancellor of the College of International Security Affairs. “As the Department of Defense premier educational institution for irregular warfare, CISA is uniquely positioned to lead that teamwork in professional military education. The Forum showcases our emphasis on creating advantage for the United States through education, scholarship, and practice in our master’s degree programs at Ft. McNair and Ft. Liberty.”

The Irregular Warfare Forum embraces the definition of a forum as “a place, meeting, or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.” The Forum features keynote addresses from experienced leaders, including ASD Maier and General Flynn, alongside panels with participants drawn from the academic, policy, interagency, and military, designed to encourage discussion among the growing IW Community of Interest. The intent in moving this year’s event to the Washington, DC-area from Ft. Liberty, NC, is to reach a wider audience, including the Joint Force, Policy, Department of State, and Intelligence Community. With over 300 participants registered to attend the three-day event, the level of interest in irregular warfare is clear. The organizers hope the discussions in December will build on previous IW Fora and generate a solid platform from which further collaboration on doctrine, policy, training, and education relevant to irregular warfare and strategic competition can continue. In May, the Forum will return to Ft. Liberty, NC, before returning to DC in December 2024.

“We must advance Irregular Warfare training, leader development, education, and doctrine in our institutions,” said Brig. Gen. Guillaume ‘Will’ Beaurpere, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School Commanding General. “This requires new and innovative structures for collaboration across the Joint Force, the interagency, allies, and international partners. As the Special Operations Center of Excellence and Army-specified proponent for Irregular Warfare, we are establishing the Irregular Warfare Academy in our 2030 strategy to serve as that education and collaboration institution for the Army and the Joint Force.”

While registration for the December 2023 event has now closed, more information about the 2023 IW Forum is available at

You can join our community of interest via the link on the above site or here.

This year, National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs celebrates its 20th anniversary as the Department of Defense flagship for irregular warfare education and the building of partner capacity in combating terrorism and providing integrated deterrence at the strategic level. CISA’s mission is to educate joint warfighters, civilian national security leaders, and partner nation counterparts in critical thinking to inform national strategy and globally integrated operations, under conditions of disruptive change, to prevail across the continuum of competition and war, with a special emphasis on irregular warfare.

The US Army SWCS is the Army’s premier educational and training institution for all Army special operations soldiers, including Special Forces, Civil Affairs, and Psychological Operations.

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 has hosted a variety of 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), IWC Inaugural Colloquium (July 2023), IW Medical Resiliency Wargame & IW Logistics Resiliency Working Group (Aug. 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.