Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups

Established in 2008, our Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups pursues the study of contemporary irregular warfare and non-state actors.

CIWAG Program Manager


The Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups (CIWAG) is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of the challenges presented by irregular warfare (IW) and non-state actors (armed groups) in the 21st Century.


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Our Mission

The mission of the CIWAG is fourfold:

  1. Promote and support research and teaching on irregular warfare and armed groups;
  2. Facilitate interaction and collaboration between professional military educational institutions, civilian academics and battlefield practitioners;
  3. Disseminate current analysis via symposia and workshops to provide a forum for dialogue at the Naval War College between U.S. and international practitioners and scholars;
  4. Expand outreach and networking activities to establish and sustain a community of interest devoted to the study and teaching of irregular warfare and armed groups as well as create case studies.

Operational Objectives

The operational objectives for the CIWAG are:

  1. Promoting collaborative research among scholars and practitioners resulting in panel presentations at major conferences, workshops and seminars as well as published research;
  2. Expanding the institutions represented at CIWAG workshops and symposia in order to improve the quality of research and exchange on the issue of irregular warfare and armed groups;
  3. Fostering collaboration and increasing institutional ties between civilian and professional military educational institutions, and between U.S. and international academics and practitioners.  

CIWAG symposium

CIWAG hosts an annual symposium each year at the Naval War College.  The purpose of the symposium is to focus needed attention on irregular warfare and bring together scholars and operators in order to stimulate interaction between the two communities.

CIWAG Case Studies

CIWAG’s primary mission is twofold: first, to bring cutting edge research on Irregular Warfare into the Joint Professional Military Educational (JPME) curricula; and second, to bring operators, practitioners, and scholars together to share their knowledge and experiences about a vast array of violent and non-violent irregular challenges.

See CIWAG Case Studies

See Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups Faculty

Our experienced and renowned faculty has years of earned expertise across a wide range of naval and educational topics. To learn more, please use the link below to access the online directory.

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