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:
"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. Â SF is organized, trained, equipped, educated and optimized for a particular aspect of UW: to work âthrough and with an underground, auxiliary and guerrilla force in a denied area.âÂ Â 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.Â With those words I have implied that the unconventional warfare mission belongs solely to US Army Special Forces (SF).Â 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.Â We need UW to be taught in professional military education institutions to non-SOF personnel.Â 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.Â We need academic institutions and think tanks to recognize, study, write about and advocate and education for UW.Â 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.Â (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. Â 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 Â© 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.Â 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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