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Irregular Warfare (IW)

"To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill." -
Sun Tzu


Irregular Warfare is defined as ". . . activities in support of predetermined United States policy and military objectives conducted by, with, and through regular forces, irregular forces, groups, and individuals participating in competition between state and non-state actors short of traditional armed conflict." [1]


Summary of the Irregular Warfare Annex to the National Defense Strategy, Department of Defense, 2020, PDF, 12 pages.

Summary of the National Defense Strategy, Department of Defense, 2018, PDF, 14 pages.

Special Forces and Irregular Warfare, (

Irregular Warfare Publications, (

Irregular Warfare News, (

Articles about Irregular Warfare

Michael P. Noonan, "Not Just for SOF Anymore: Envisioning Irregular Warfare as a Joint Force Priority", Modern War Institute at West Point, April 21, 2021.

Seth Jones, "The Future of Competition: U.S. Adversaries and the Growth of Irregular Warfare", Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), February 4, 2021.


[1] Definition by Congress, found on 131 STAT. 1642 (page 360), Public Law 115-91, December 12, 2017, U.S. Congress.











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