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Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups: Exploiting Seams and Closing Gaps
NOTE: Participation / Registration is By Invitation Only

On June 26 and 27, more than 50 academics and practitioners knowledgeable about irregular warfare and armed groups met at the Naval War College, Newport, R.I. to discuss how to bring cutting edge research and operational lessons into the PME/JPME classrooms. The invitational symposium focused on cultivating domestic and international perspectives and advancing interdisciplinary research on irregular warfare and armed groups. The meeting also promoted curriculum development that will have a lasting impact on the way we analyze and address the national and international security challenges posed by armed groups and irregular warfare across a range of environments.
Our attendees included flag officers; noted U.S. and international experts and civilian scholars; members from the Department of State, Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration; the Intelligence Community; Special Operation Forces; the U.S. Marine Corps; the U.S. Coast Guard; and faculty from National Defense University and the U.S. Air Force, Army, and Naval war colleges. 
Panels included:
  • Defeating the FARC: Evaluating Colombia's Whole of Goverment Approach
  • Exploiting the Maritime and Military Instruments of Power: The Sri Lankan Case
  • Countering Iran's Irregular Warfare Maritime Strategy
  • Armed Groups Exploitation of Transnational Networks
  • Role of Irregular Warfare in The Quadrennial Defense Review
  • The Utility of Economic Warfare in the 21st Century
The symposium is directed by Drs. Andrea Dew and Marc Genest, professors in the Strategy and Policy Department at the Naval War College and co-directors of the Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups (CIWAG), and CAPT John Houfek, a professor in the Joint Military Operations Department, SOF chair, and deputy director of CIWAG.
For more information, please email us at

About CIWAG: The 2012 Symposium on Irregular Warfare & Armed Groups: Exploiting Seams and Closing Gaps was sponsored by the Naval War College’s Center on Irregular Warfare & Armed Groups (CIWAG).

The core mission of CIWAG is to promote and support research and teaching on irregular warfare and armed groups. As part of its research and outreach activities, CIWAG holds conferences and workshops that bring civilian scholars together with military faculty and practitioners to analyze the national and international strategic and operational security challenges posed by armed groups and irregular warfare.
CIWAG was created to ensure that education on irregular warfare and armed groups remains timely and easily accessible to military officers and their interagency counterparts who devise strategies for dealing with armed groups in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world.

CIWAG activities directly support Defense Directive 3000.07 (Dec 2008) in improving DOD proficiency at IW, explicitly integrating concepts and capabilities relevant to IW into DOD activities, and maintaining and sustaining IW capabilities and capacity. CIWAG activities also support the core missions of the US Naval War College: education, research, and
analysis to support the US Navy and to help the US Navy define its future roles and missions.

CIWAG fosters interaction, collaboration and inter agency coordination across professional military educational institutions throughout the country and with US allies.