A Confusion over Stability Operations

During a regular review held in 2014 of DoDD 3000.07, the directive guiding IW development, concern was expressed by some that the proposed definition of IW unduly characterized Stability Operations as an IW activity, vice a traditional military activity. The following attempts to identify and address the concerns with the inclusion of “stability operations” as […]

The Core Activities of Irregular Warfare

As discussed briefly in the previous post, current US military doctrine describes irregular warfare as having five core activities: counterterrorism (CT), unconventional warfare (UW), foreign internal defense (FID), counterinsurgency (COIN), and stability operations (SO). Rather than being viewed as a list of discrete options, these activities (sometimes called the five “pillars” of irregular warfare), according […]

Defining Irregular Warfare

“IW is a complex,’messy,’ and ambiguous social phenomenon that does not lend itself to clean, neat, concise, or precise definition.” Irregular Warfare Joint Operating Concept, 2008 The above quote reflects the discomfort that the US military had (and continues to have) in coming to terms with an aspect of warfare that was becoming increasingly apparent […]


Welcome to the Irregular Warrior. This is a blog about irregular warfare in all of its various manifestations. We will take a methodical approach, discussing each facet of irregular warfare and its component parts independently. There will therefore be a great deal of overlap between sections, so we will necessarily revisit different topics again and […]