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130626-N-YU175-023 NEWPORT, R.I. (June 26, 2013) Capt. Carl Tiska, U.S. Naval War College’s (NWC) Robert S. Harward professor of special operations, Lt. Gen. Charles T. Cleveland, commanding general, U.S. Army Special Operations Command and Rear Adm. Scott P. Moore, deputy commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, speak to guests during the NWC’s 5th annual Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Group (CIWAG) “Irregular Warfare: Afghanistan and Beyond” symposium at NWC in Newport, R.I. The two-day event served as an opportunity to promote research and develop curriculum on irregular warfare and armed groups. More than 50 academic professionals and practitioners specializing in irregular warfare attended the symposium. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Alice C. Hall/Released)


By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Alice C. Hall, U.S. Naval War College Public Affairs

NEWPORT, R.I. - More than 50 academic professionals and practitioners specializing in irregular warfare participated in the U.S. Naval War College’s (NWC) 5th annual Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Group (CIWAG) symposium at NWC in Newport, R.I., June 26-27.

The two-day symposium “Irregular Warfare: Afghanistan and Beyond” served as an opportunity to promote research and develop curriculum on irregular warfare and armed groups.

CIWAG members utilize sustained collaboration that draws on expertise from a wide range of disciplines. Additionally, they generate case studies that focus on developing counter-strategies and operating concepts for irregular warfare in the maritime environment.

“We increase the quality of teaching and research at this institution,” said NWC professor and CIWAG co-director Marc A. Genest. “We’re producing products that go right into the NWC curriculum. One of our case studies was used as the basis for the final exam in the joint military operations department.”

Mr. Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a senior correspondent and associate editor for the Washington Post, was a guest speaker at the event and provided insight from his time as an objective journalist in Afghanistan, 2009-2011.

“Our forces have been told to befriend villagers and bombard insurgents with fervor, often in the same day,” said Chandrasekaran. “Too few of our soldiers were ordered to leave their air-condition bases and live among the people in fly-infested villages. Too few of our diplomats invested the effort to understand the languages and cultures of the places in which they were stationed.”

Flag and general officers, international experts and civilian scholars gathered at the CIWAG symposium to talk about topics that included lessons learned in Afghanistan and future consequences, special operations force’s perspectives on the future of irregular warfare, revolutionary risks with cyber technology, civil affairs in irregular warfare and British perspectives on counterinsurgency operations.

“Over the last several years our military leaders have seemed to understand the idea that conventional war really is something that we are structured to fight. More and more the challenges that face us are irregular in nature. Terrorism, insurgents and piracy are all kinds of problems that are other than conventional threats,” said Genest.

For more information on CIWAG visit http://www.usnwc.edu/ciwag.


Edited by Chief Mass Communication Specialist James E. Foehl