Written by sanfordsheaks on April 8, 2013 in Army Irregular Warfare Center Blog – No comments
From the Director
One thing that good leaders do when assuming responsibility for an action, activity, job or command is to research it to death. Can you relate to this? To really know a subject you must study everything about it to gain situational understanding. Some call this issue immersion. In fact, we have immersed ourselves here at the IW Fusion Center about the subject of irregular warfare. Here is one shocking conclusion: the term itself lacks clarity, as any review of the definition of IW will show that it is defined in MANY ways.
It was a term first coined by the Marines in their 1940 Small Wars Manual and has been restated and changed to things like low intensity conflict, guerrilla warfare, unconventional warfare, revolutionary warfare, partisan warfare, military operations other than war, etc. Additionally, there is much variance in the activities that comprise irregular warfare. Department of Defense Directive 3000.07 Irregular Warfare (Dec 08) lists five activities: counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, foreign internal defense, stability operations, and unconventional warfare, but other literature and guiding documents list many other activities. Consider these official documents and testimony:
• QDR, 6 Feb 06: 4 IW activities
• JFCOM IW Special Study, 4 Aug 06: 10 IW activities
• BG Otis statement to HASC, 27 Sep 06: 8 IW activities
• ADM Olson testimony to HASC, 27 Sep 06: 5 IW activities
• IW JOC 1.0, 11 Sep 07: 14 IW activities
• FM 3-05.130, Sep 08: 14 IW activities
• DoDD 3000.07, 1 Dec 08: 5 IW activities
• JP 1, 20 Mar 09: 7 IW activities
• IW JOC 2.0, 17 May 10: 11 IW activities
Yes, this is confusing – not only for the Soldiers and Marines who must execute it, but also to the “generating force” who have to develop IW doctrine and training and education. Our aim is to help the Army and others in the Joint Force create a coherent strategy for irregular warfare. As a result of our immersion and study, we will publish a monograph on irregular warfare which includes a robust discussion about what comprises IW with recommendations for a way ahead. See this link for detail on the various definitions here. In the meantime, tell me what you think on the AIWFC blog or send us an email.
Thanks for your service.
COL Nestor Sadler, Director
To view the rest of the AIWFC Newsletter, click this link.