Irregular Warfare Initiative

Irregular Warfare Initiative Conference

The Irregular Warfare Initiative will bring together scholars, practitioners, and policymakers for a virtual conference focused on irregular warfare. This inaugural conference is a joint venture between the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project, based at Princeton University, and the Modern War Institute at West Point. In line with the Irregular Warfare Initiative’s vision, events will emphasize opportunities for engagement among participants with diverse experiences and viewpoints—bridging the gap between scholars and practitioners—to build a community of irregular warfare professionals.

This conference is scheduled for September 10, 2021—just before the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks against the United States—providing an opportunity both to reflect on lessons learned from the past two decades of conflict and to consider the future of irregular warfare as an enduring component of modern warfare.

An assemblage of senior officers, policymakers, and members of academia will be discussing these themes, in addition to small group sessions that will engage in specific irregular warfare subtopics with groups of practitioners and scholars.

The conference’s proceedings will take place over four hours:

1300–1700 EDT (Washington, DC)
1800–2200 BST (London)
(+1 day) 0300-0700 AEST (Canberra)


1300–1415 EDT

Panel: Irregular Warfare Policy

        Dr. Jacob Shapiro

        Ambassador Doug Lute
        Dr. Audrey Kurth Cronin
        Maj. Gen. Richard Angle, US Army
        Dr. David Kilcullen

1430–1530 EDT

Small Group Discussions


        Foreign Internal Defense
        Unconventional Warfare
        Information/Influence Operations
        Ethics in Irregular Warfare

Speakers include retired US Army Lt. Gen. Michael Nagata, Dr. David Kilcullen, Dr. Melissa Lee, Prof. Candace Rondeaux, Dr. Deane-Peter Baker, and retired US Navy Capt. Roger Herbert, alongside other prominent irregular warfare experts. These breakout rooms will be populated via nomination of interest, and then invitation, in order to keep group size small and to balance representation across topics.

1530–1700 EDT

Fireside Chat with retired US Army Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker.

        Dr. Stephen Biddle


Please register your interest by completing the form here.

Please expect confirmation of your attendance to your requested sessions with respective links several days prior to the event. We look forward to you joining us!