If necessary, the authors will propose a more fitting definition for IW that is aligned with its doctrinal characterization. The reason for this is the almost exclusive association of UW with SOF. 78, by Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, by International Review of the Red Cross (IRRC) No. How is irregular war conducted? The 5 Pillars of Irregular Warfare : COIN - Counter InsurgencyCT - Counter TerrorismFID- Foriegn Internal DefenseUW - Unconvential WarfareSO - Stability Ops . The authors "...have determined that the definition of IW should be:
"Combat operations conducted by the overt element of an insurgency in enemy-held territory, by predominately indigenous and irregular forces organized on a military or paramilitary basis, characterized by the extensive use of unorthodox tactics to reduce the combat effectiveness, industrial capacity, and morale of an enemy, usually an established civil and military authority. This global war has brought to life a timeless tactic called irregular warfare (IW). The terrorists who conducted the Madrid bombings were not focused on Spain's economy or security forces, but rather influencing the voting population, which in this case effectively resulted in the anti-war candidate being elected and the withdrawal of their military from Iraq. This paper seeks to better understand ethics in irregular war and cyber warfare. First they claim the strategic level of IW is the underground, and that the underground is largely focused on the populace (thus strategic victory = populace), and then they argue that IW should only be focused on the overt guerrillas, or at the tactical level? September 11, 2001 the Global War on Terror began. The dividing line between regular and irregular warfare grew more distinct with the spread of standing national armies after the Thirty Years' War. Unconventional warfare is operations conducted by, with, or through irregular forces in support of a resistance movement, insurgency, or conventional military operations. Those kinds of folks are called Irregulars. Subversion, sabotage, disruption, attacking civilians, influencing population, terrorism, organized crime, etc What are the 5 pillars of irregular warfare A war conducted by irregular forces (supported by an external power) to bring about a change in the social-political order of a country without engaging it in a formal, declared war Photo Credit: Master Sgt. The authors base the logic of their disagreement with IW in general and the IW JOC in particular on two false assumptions: Therefore, when a new concept for building partner capacity and training, advising and assisting was needed for the regular Army and Marine Corps, doctrine writers developed Security Force Assistance rather than start from the established doctrine in FID and altering it as necessary. Lawrence Will Commanders Trust Their New AI Weapons and Tools? As it turns out, the pre-9/11 FID doctrine expressly stated that all services were to provide trained and ready forces to conduct FID in support of the GCCs.  Yet when the need arose the services chose to start from scratch due to a mistaken belief that FID was exclusively a SOF activity. It is folly to argue that the IW JOC is wrong because it does not comply with 1951 Army doctrine. I learned long ago that you present COAs to the commander and he makes the call. But the most extreme example of the misconceptions about UW concerns Irregular Warfare.   The DOD Instruction 3000.7 codifies Irregular Warfare as consisting of Counterinsurgency, Stability Operations, Foreign Internal Defense, Counterterrorism, and, importantly, Unconventional Warfare.  After 9/11, we identified a need to create a description for what to many appeared to be a new form of warfare – this became Irregular Warfare.  Then in 2008 we grouped the above five activities in the DOD Instruction “specifically defining and describing Irregular Warfare as: A violent struggle among state and non-state actors for legitimacy and influence over the relevant population(s). Let's all look to the future, think strategically about how to win wars against irregular challenges or by irregular methods, and propose refinements to the forward-looking concepts captured in the IW JOC. As the authors probably know, there may be several relevant population groups that the competitors may want to influence, to include external actors. I'm not at all sure General Giap would agree. IW is difficult to define, explain, and employ. 913 Words 4 Pages. Nonetheless, the definition currently resides in Joint Publication 1-02 the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms and is now the foundation for US military unconventional warfare doctrine:  Unconventional warfare consists of “activities to enable a resistance or insurgency to coerce, disrupt or overthrow a government or occupying power through and with an underground, auxiliary, and guerrilla force in a denied area.”. Covert Action and the CIA. IW is difficult to define, explain, and employ.  But the fact remains that, notwithstanding the notoriety of  highly visible missions such as the Bin Laden raid, years of paying little attention to SOF has led to a situation in which SOF activities and missions are not well understood, accepted, or sought after. Examples of those variables also exist. Well worth the read. a. It includes, but is not limited to, guerrilla warfare, subversion, sabotage, intelligence activities, and unconventional assisted recovery. Within the context of this understanding of the operating environment, five types of activities or operations (the 5 “pillars” of conducting irregular warfare) comprise the strategy for addressing irregular threats; these include: counterterrorism, unconventional warfare, foreign internal defense, counterinsurgency, and stability operations. What does irregular warfare mean? Furthermore it is hard to kill the bad guys you can't see, and we can't win by only defeating the overt forces. Irregular warfare favors indirect and asymmetric approaches, though it may employ the full range of military and other capabilities, in order to erode an adversary’s power, influence, and will. I propose that the time to debate the term and meaning of IW is long past. In a global struggle against such adversries, it no longer makes sense to think about insurgency, counterinsurgency, and counterterrorirsm as disjointed activities. Unconventional warfare consists of activities conducted to enable a resistance movement or insurgency to. A people's war or revolution against existing authority The CIA would organize, train, equip the underground, so that piece of the puzzle was never written into unclassified Army doctrine and the strategic purpose of UW was downplayed because it was not within the purview of DOD. He explained that irregular warfare (IW) included counter-insurgency (COIN), counter-terrorism (CT), unconventional warfare (UW), foreign internal defense (FID), sabotage and subversion, as well as stabilization (warfare) and information operations (IO), among other areas. UW. 5 Pillars of Irregular Warfare (IW) FID. Due to the prevailing wisdom that SF owns the UW mission, many senior decision makers, policymakers and strategists both inside the Beltway and at the Geographic Combatant Commands (GCC) rarely consider the strategic option of conducting UW.  Furthermore, as evidenced by our myopic view of terrorism, we do not fully comprehend that our enemies are, in fact, conducting unconventional warfare. Original content is published under a Creative Commons License per our Terms of Use.Â, © Copyright 2021 | Site by 3C Web Services, Irregular Warfare: Everything yet Nothing, by Air University: Wright Flyer Paper No. Reinforces my feeling that we need a strategic pause in new concept development as we have reached concept/terminology/definition paralysis or overload. coerce, disrupt, or overthrow a government or occupying power by operating through or with an underground, Irregular warfare is the oldest form of warfare, and it is a phenomenon that goes by many names, including tribal warfare, primitive warfare, "little wars," and low-intensity conflict. 5 IRREGULAR WARFARE JOINT OPERATING CONCEPT 1. The hostile states and state-like adversaries that challenge our nation seek to gain legitimacy and influence or control over relevant populations, and if we are to prevail we must prevent them from doing so and instead win the suppport of those populations for an alternative strategic narrative at least as compelling as our adversaries' narratives. Such a campaign and strategy should focus on the population, not the adversary, because it is the population that will ultimately decide which side prevails in the struggle for legitimcy, influence, and control. That belief is reinforced as they also assert that:
"This proposed definition of IW captures the essence of what IW has always been, and clearly outlines that IW belongs in discussion of activities at the tactical level of war."
Heh. The Irregular Warfare Annex to the National Defense Strategy called for the capabilities that the U.S. developed in irregular warfare during the war on terrorism to be shifted to the higher priorities of the NDS of rogue state actors and great-power competitors. Another logic disconnect jumped out at me, when they identified the strategic issue and only wanted to address the tactical one. In short, I think this is a search for unneeded precision.  SF is organized, trained, equipped, educated and optimized for a particular aspect of UW: to work “through and with an underground, auxiliary and guerrilla force in a denied area.”   Beyond that, the decision, the strategy, and the campaign plan to enable a resistance or guerrilla force to coerce, disrupt or overthrow a government or occupying power is made at the strategic level at what we once called the National Command Authority – this is outside the sole purview of SOF and SF. I found it interesting that the authors did not address recent IW historical examples, such as Iraq where we initially made little to no progress when our effort was focused on the so called overt guerrilla elements. I suggest that the IW currently being waged in Afghanistan is in fact at the operational level as it effectively occupies the whole of NATO and US effort there. Meaning of irregular warfare. Of course there were numerous parallels where the populace was critical in IW conflicts such as Malaysia, the Philippines, El Salvador, Algeria, etc. While it is important to know our history, it is a sin to become enslaved by it. The Vietnamese didn't intend to defeat us by defeating our military, all their attacks were focused on our home population, which effectively led to political paralysis in the end. I have written those words many times in the past thirty plus years of my military service.  With those words I have implied that the unconventional warfare mission belongs solely to US Army Special Forces (SF).  I was wrong. To me it simply means a least one side in the fight is not an organized and sworn, uniformed and recognized military organization IAW the nominal international rules of land warfare. While I agree with the authors that the apparent decision to not use the term Low Intensity Conflict for a number of miltary potentialities that do not include IW or GW, I think perhaps they also have missed the boat on what exactly IW is. Just as combined arms are complementary at the tactical level, the IW JOC argues for complementary COIN, FID, CT, and UW activities woven into the tapestry of a holistic IW campaign designed to achieve the objectives of a global or theater IW strategy. Consequently, hybrid warfare is … Progress wasn't made until the additional troops were sent in to protect the populace to break the coercive influence link between the insurgent and the populace. The DOD Instruction 3000.7 codifies Irregular Warfare as consisting of Counterinsurgency, Stability Operations, Foreign Internal Defense, Counterterrorism, and, importantly, Unconventional Warfare. DOD is now thinking about IW operationally and strategically, not merely as a tactical adjunct to CIA covert actions or conventional military operaions. Stability Operations . What we need are policy makers, strategists and planners who have a deep understanding of and an appreciation for unconventional warfare.  We need UW to be taught in professional military education institutions to non-SOF personnel.  We need to ensure that members of the interagency and the joint military have a thorough understanding of threats conducting UW and how to counter them.  We need academic institutions and think tanks to recognize, study, write about and advocate and education for UW.  Perhaps the historic Special Operations Research Office at American University, which was disbanded in the 1960s, should be re-established. Small Wars Journal is published by Small Wars Foundation - a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.  (IW JOC 1.0) Because the conduct of UW is linked with a little known and poorly understood force, policymakers, strategists, and planners dismiss UW as a less relevant threat to the US, and fail to see it as a practical and sometimes appropriate offensive option. Covert action is a tool U.S. policymakers employ to meet U.S. national security objectives. All the options on the term and the definition were presented to the Senior Leadership and they decided. COIN. While Velupillai Prabhakaran is very much concerned with a population, I suspect he also thinks his effort is a strategic effort. We tried that a few times in our history, and I can't think of a case where it was a successful strategy. He is a retired US Army Special Forces Colonel with 30 years of service. In Vietnam, securing and mobilizing the populace was critical (CIDG, Phoenix, etc. States Air Force, Irregular Warfare, AFDD 2-3, Washington, D.C., August 1, 2007, p. 11.  Nowhere has this been better exemplified than in Afghanistan in 2001, where the mission combined the resources, human contacts, and authorities of the CIA with the capability, capacity, and expertise of the SF, to mount a very effective UW campaign. It is their holistic applicaiton to achieve a strategic purpose of global or regional significance that is new within DOD. COPYRIGHT © 2019 WAR ON THE ROCKS. How they fight and what or who they fight for is widely variable; the population may be involved or may not be; they may support or may not. After 9/11, we identified a need to create a description for what to many appeared to be a new form of warfare – this became Irregular Warfare. Concepts associated with irregular warfare are older than the term itself. The lines between these categories are blurred more frequently than not. Army Special Forces would orgnize, train, equip guerrilla forces just as the Operational Group Command of the OSS did in WWII. While the construct of guerrilla, underground, and auxillary can be a useful model to visualize an insurgency's structure, it is not dogma, and not all insurgencies or resistence elements organize along these lines(odd that we still find it odd that other groups and countries do not feel obligated to follow our doctrine). The authors of the IW JOC freely admit that the components of IW are of ancient origin. It is the term now in use by DOD, is defined in the DoD Dictionary (JP 1.02), and has be codified in the recent DOD Directive on IW (DODD 3000.07), dated 1 Dec 08. Donald Sparks, U.S. Army, Signing up for this newsletter means you agree to our data policy, Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. Winning Damaged Hearts and Minds: An Irregular Warfare Concept David L. Grange, S. Swanson, and Patrick Christian 29 Chapter 6. They were much more diplomatic than what I intended to post. I contend that the Department is better served by this community devoting energy to implementing the decision, instead of wasting time re-debating the commander's decision. For example, the term IW ia an anathema to the civil departments and agencies of the US Government, and to many of our allies and coalition partners. It is generally associated with broad movements that may be briefly described as UW is not a mission for all threats, and not all threats are unconventional.  But such threats do exist and they should not be neglected, overlooked, or left only to SOF. In fact that statement was superceded when the term UW replaced the term GW as the umbrella term in the 1955 version of FM 31-21. 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