The Center Hosts IWC Community of Interest Symposium & INDOPACOM IW Conceptualization Workshop

The Center Hosts IWC Community of Interest Symposium & INDOPACOM IW Conceptualization Workshop

The Irregular Warfare Center (IWC) hosted its Irregular Warfare Center Community of Interest Symposium (IWCCOIS March 11-13, 2024) and INDOPACOM IW Conceptualization Workshop (March 14-15, 2024) events in Tyson’s Corner, Va.

IWCCOIS gathered Irregular Warfare (IW) practitioners, industry leaders, and representatives from the interagency and academia to expand the IW-focused community of interest. The three-day symposium kicked off with a keynote address from special guest Ms. Maren Brooks, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism, followed by a series of panels focused on the IWC’s three lines of effort: Illuminate, Amplify, and Address. Day 1 illuminated the IW efforts of Department organizations, operations in the information environment, and IW sustainment. Day two illuminated lessons learned and emerging trends in Europe, Asia, and Africa, while the final day explored ways allies and partners can address IW threats moving forward and reconvened the group for a high-level review.

“The vision for the IWC symposium facilitated the congregation of IW communities of interest, broadly defined, with the goal of illuminating emerging IW threats, opportunities, and amplifying current efforts,” said Dr. Dennis Walters, IWC Director. “One critical objective was to provide visualization of how the Irregular Warfare Center’s Functional Area Networks (FAN) can interact to collaboratively problem solve global, complex IW challenges.”

IWCCOIS Keys for Success:

• Interconnect various IW communities to create a collaborative network to solve complex problems.

• Amplify IW community successes and introduce the concept of IW global networks as a strategic approach to complex problem solving.

• Illuminate emerging trends and threat trends to focus education and training to better prepare strategists and practitioners to address irregular activities that threaten national security and allies and partners.

• Improve integrated deterrence and capabilities with ally and partner nations, industry, academia, and nongovernmental organizations.

• Explain the evolutionary concept of empowered Functional Area Networks (FANs) and solicit feedback on the concept.

The INDOPACOM IW Conceptualization Workshop was a follow-up to a study the IWC conducted, comparing and contrasting the conceptualization of irregular warfare (IW) between different academic institutions in the Indo-Pacific Region.

The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the conceptualization of IW in order to better understand differences and potential connection points enabling more effective international cooperation on the topic.

“Our team worked diligently preparing for the IW Conceptualization Workshop by bringing in vital IW subject matter experts from the region,” said Lori Leffler, IWC Deputy Director & Chief of Staff. “We are very proud to host such an important event and feel it provided many valuable and resourceful outcomes in support of the Center’s mission.”

Workshop attendees included study participants from key academic institutions from the Indo-Pacific region, chiefly the Indian Manohar Parikkar Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, the Sri Lankan Bandaranaike Center for International Studies, the Operations Research Center of the Philippine Army, the Singaporean S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University, the Malaysian National Defense University, the Australian University of New South Wales, the Australian National Defense University, and the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies as well as U.S. stakeholders involved in constructing the definition of IW and/or in IW activities.

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.