Episode 62 of the Irregular Warfare Podcast explores the diverse concepts that undergird irregular warfare (IW) as a whole. These theoretical structures offer innovative ways to conceptualize and envision the wide array of unconventional activities that comprise IW.

Our guests begin by addressing the various ways the US government defines irregular warfare, drawing from their unique areas of expertise. They continue by discussing the interplay between nations and nonstate actors—and how sovereign states are increasingly adopting methods traditionally employed by irregular actors to achieve their larger geopolitical aims. Finally, they conclude by reflecting on different frameworks that strategic- and operational-level professionals can use to plan, implement, and evaluate IW campaigns more effectively.

Dr. Thomas Marks is a distinguished professor and serves as the Major General Edward G. Lansdale chair of irregular warfighting strategy at the National Defense University. He has authored hundreds of publications on warfare and in July 2020 published a monograph entitled Crafting Strategy for Irregular Warfare: A Framework for Analysis and Action. This piece, which serves as the foundation for our conversation, offers an analytical construct for planning irregular warfare operations.

Chief Warrant Officer (CW5) Maurice “Duc” Duclos enlisted in the Army in 1985. Over his career he has served in various positions in the 75th Ranger Regiment and at 1st Special Forces Group. Mr. DuClos has deployed in support of multiple combat operations including Panama, Somalia, the Philippines, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He also holds a PhD in social psychology with a focus on civil resistance and revolution and helped stand up Joint Task Force INDOPACOM (Indo-Pacific Command) in Singapore, which synchronizes competition efforts in the Pacific. He now serves at US Special Operations Command, working on several high-profile programs including the command’s comprehensive review of its culture and ethics and the implementation of the command’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2021.

Ben Jebb and Laura Jones are the hosts for Episode 62. Please reach out to Ben and Laura with any questions about this episode or the Irregular Warfare Podcast.

The Irregular Warfare Podcast is a production of the Irregular Warfare Initiative (IWI). We are a team of volunteers dedicated to bridging the gap between scholars and practitioners in the field of irregular warfare. IWI generates written and audio content, coordinates events for the IW community, and hosts critical thinkers in the field of irregular warfare as IWI fellows. You can follow and engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or LinkedIn.

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Image credit: 1st Lt. Benjamin Haulenbeek, US Army