IWAR Briefing Maltz


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Case 2 (Irregular Warfare) of the Major Combat Operations (MCO) Joint Operating Concept, focusing on cognitive aspects of asymmetric warfare.

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IWAR Briefing Maltz

  1. 1. “ Irregular Warfare” in the Major Combat Operations Joint Operating Concept Richard Maltz
  2. 2. Purpose <ul><li>Share results of current research on IWAR </li></ul><ul><li>Provide forum for discussion of IWAR </li></ul><ul><li>Frame the IWAR challenge in MCO context </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>” This is another type of warfare - new in its intensity, ancient in its origin - war by guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins; war by ambush instead of by combat, by infiltration instead of aggression, seeking victory by eroding and exhausting the enemy instead of engaging him…it preys on unrest” </li></ul><ul><li>John F. Kennedy </li></ul><ul><li>US Naval Academy June 6, 1962 </li></ul>
  4. 4. New Security Environment <ul><li>Means : Adversary can plan and communicate at the speed of internet; maneuver at the speed of aircraft; seemingly unlimited personnel; unconstrained by organizational or national restrictions </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation : Adversary is motivated by zealous ideologies and hate; nothing we would recognize as political; there is no theoretical option for negotiation or compromise </li></ul><ul><li>Focus : Adversary is focused strategically, not geographic-ally; isolated action in one area can achieve effects globally </li></ul><ul><li>Organization : Adversary is networked, unconstrained by hierarchical, often-ponderous decision-making constructs </li></ul><ul><li>Morality : Adversary is unconcerned with (and often wants) collateral damage; believes his ends justify any means </li></ul><ul><li>-- Culled from Address by Admiral Giambastiani </li></ul>
  5. 5. Characteristics of Regular Warfare (Regular Warfare is usually characterized by all of the below) <ul><li>Combat waged by armed forces of nation states </li></ul><ul><li>Observation of set rules and laws of warfare </li></ul><ul><li>Large generic military formations </li></ul><ul><li>Set geographic boundaries of operations </li></ul><ul><li>Set demographic boundaries with distinct combatants and noncombatants </li></ul><ul><li>Generally brief periods of high intensity conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Large confrontations and set-piece battles </li></ul><ul><li>Uniformed combatants </li></ul><ul><li>Force-on-force engagements leading to defeat of one side’s forces </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on decisive combat as means to victory </li></ul>
  6. 6. Characteristics of Irregular Warfare (Irregular Warfare is usually characterized by any of the below) <ul><li>Combat by forces other than those of states </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of observation of set rules and laws of warfare </li></ul><ul><li>Small specialized (often elite) military formations </li></ul><ul><li>Few rigid geographic boundaries of operations </li></ul><ul><li>Elastic demographic boundaries, little distinction between combatants and noncombatants; deliberate, sometimes predominant targeting of civilians </li></ul><ul><li>Generally protracted low-intensity conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Evasion of large confrontations and battles in favor of harassment and attrition </li></ul><ul><li>Combatants in civilian clothing </li></ul><ul><li>Population-on-force engagements leading to attrition and demoralization of regular forces </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological warfare as the means to victory </li></ul>
  7. 7. Forms of Irregular Warfare <ul><li>Guerrilla Warfare </li></ul><ul><li>Propaganda </li></ul><ul><li>Special Operations </li></ul><ul><li>Subversion </li></ul><ul><li>Terrorism </li></ul>
  8. 8. Definitions <ul><li>Guerrilla Warfare – (DOD, NATO) Military and paramilitary operations conducted in enemy-held or hostile territory by irregular, predominantly indigenous forces. Also called GW. See also unconventional warfare. </li></ul><ul><li>Propaganda -- (DOD) Any form of communication in support of national objectives designed to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, or behavior of any group in order to benefit the sponsor, either directly or indirectly. See also black propaganda; grey propaganda; white propaganda. </li></ul><ul><li>Special Operations – (DOD) Operations conducted in … sensitive environ-ments to achieve … objectives employing military capabilities for which there is no broad conventional force … often require covert, clandestine, or low visibility capabilities … can be conducted independently or in conjunction with opera-tions of conventional forces or other government agencies and may include … indigenous or surrogate forces … differ from conventional operations in degree of physical and political risk, operational techniques, mode of employment, independence from friendly support, and dependence on detailed operational intelligence and indigenous assets. Also called SO. </li></ul><ul><li>Subversion -- (DOD) Action designed to undermine the military, economic, psycho-logical, or political strength or morale of a regime. See also unconventional warfare. </li></ul><ul><li>Terrorism – (Unofficial; official definitions were not deemed to be useful) Deliberate threat or use of violence against civilians for political purposes </li></ul>
  9. 9. Guerrilla Warfare <ul><li>Military and paramilitary operations in enemy-held or hostile territory by irregular forces </li></ul><ul><li>These may be conducted independently or as an adjunct to regular military operations elsewhere </li></ul><ul><li>Based on temporary concentrations when on the offensive, followed by defensive dispersion </li></ul><ul><li>Avoidance of pitched battles; focus on attrition of superior forces by attacks on outposts and by ambushes along lines of communications </li></ul><ul><li>May be an adjunct of subversion, with supplies and intelligence extracted from the local population through covert “administration” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Propaganda <ul><li>Any form of communication designed to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, or behavior of any group in order to benefit the sponsor, either directly or indirectly </li></ul><ul><li>Information crafted and disseminated to support political objectives </li></ul>
  11. 11. Special Operations <ul><li>Operations conducted by specially organized, trained, and equipped military and paramilitary forces to achieve military, political, economic, or informational objectives by unconventional military means in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive areas </li></ul><ul><li>These operations are conducted across the full range of military operations, independently or in coordination with conventional forces </li></ul>
  12. 12. Subversion <ul><li>Action designed to undermine the military, economic, psychological, or political strength or morale of a regime </li></ul><ul><li>Often used to achieve effective control over a group or population formally under the control of another authority </li></ul><ul><li>Its tools are propaganda, sabotage, and terrorism </li></ul>
  13. 13. Terrorism <ul><li>Deliberate threat or use of violence against civilians for political purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Bombings, shootings, kidnapping, hijacking, assassination, and mutilation are used by terrorists to lower public morale, reduce confidence in official authorities and institutions, obtain concessions, and provoke official acts of repression which they hope will lead to popular disaffection </li></ul>
  14. 14. Critical Elements of Irregular Warfare <ul><li>Tailored to the political, social, economic, and military conditions of the targeted areas and populations </li></ul><ul><li>Highly dependent on motivation and ideology of followers </li></ul><ul><li>Composed of execution cells, support infrastructure (also often in cells), and a base of popular and media support (the junctions between these are its critical vulnerabilities) </li></ul><ul><li>Operates covertly, employs infiltration and “front” groups </li></ul><ul><li>Dependent on funding (taxes, crime, charity, NGOs, govts) </li></ul><ul><li>Integrates tactical, operational, strategic objectives & plans </li></ul><ul><li>Leverages & exacerbates existing prejudices & grievances </li></ul><ul><li>Carefully integrated with most other aspects of IWAR </li></ul><ul><li>Exploits time, space, and method/dimension to pose asymmetric & perceptual challenges to conventional forces </li></ul><ul><li>Targets multiple audiences (locally, regionally, & globally, to include US population) primarily in cognitive domain </li></ul>
  15. 15. Other Types of Irregular Warfare <ul><li>Economic and Financial Warfare </li></ul><ul><li>Diplomatic and Political Warfare </li></ul><ul><li>Weather and Environmental Warfare </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural and Information Warfare </li></ul>
  16. 16. Nature of Irregular Warfare <ul><li>Irregular Warfare is built upon the principle of dislocation (neutral-ization of the strengths of the adversary). It achieves this by expanding the traditional (for us) theater of warfare in time, space, method or dimension, thereby taxing the capabilities of forces designed for conventional warfare. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Expansion in Time <ul><li>The adversary will deliberately prolong conflict, knowing our aversion to protracted campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>He does this by dispersing in the face of our strength and massing only in the face of our weakness </li></ul><ul><li>Where possible, he will retreat to sanctuaries and hide in closed terrain (mountains, jungles, cities, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>He will avoid decisive engagement at all costs </li></ul><ul><li>He will use time, and the belief that time is on his side (that our influence is transitory), to intimidate local popul-ations, making their resources available to him, not us </li></ul><ul><li>He will use time to employ all available means to attrite our forces, sap our morale, and subvert political support for our aims in country, in theatre, globally, and at home </li></ul>
  18. 18. Expansion in Time <ul><li>The Western tradition focuses on wars of limited duration, typically months or years </li></ul><ul><li>The American paradigm of war is now one of weeks </li></ul><ul><li>It is difficult for us to conceive of, much less conduct, wars lasting years, decades, or longer </li></ul><ul><li>If the adversary expands conflict in time beyond our expectations, preparation, or imagination, we are in danger of being defeated </li></ul><ul><li>This danger is compounded by our preference to have a transitory presence in areas of hostilities; we wish to enter, win, and leave very quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Our adversary need only elude our grasp while we are in-theater. Once we leave, the field of battle is his by default </li></ul>
  19. 19. Expansion in Space <ul><li>The adversary will deliberately extend conflict into neighboring lands, countries, and disparate regions, knowing our difficulty in dealing with the unbounded </li></ul><ul><li>Where possible, he will retreat to sanctuaries and hide in closed terrain (mountains, jungles, cities, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>He will cross borders with impunity, knows that we are of-ten constrained from following him, or targeting him there </li></ul><ul><li>He will threaten and harass neighboring or distant groups or states that support our efforts, provide access to us, or fail to support him </li></ul><ul><li>He will employ all available means (propaganda, subver-sion, terrorism) to further his cause throughout the world, including in the United States </li></ul><ul><li>He will create, cultivate, and harness support from expatriate communities and the disaffected, globally </li></ul>
  20. 20. Expansion in Space <ul><li>We like to delineate conflict in a defined space </li></ul><ul><li>We expect to isolate and dominate the limited area where we expect conflicts occur </li></ul><ul><li>We often do not prepare for, and are often deterred by, the prospect of a conflict spilling beyond set limits </li></ul><ul><li>We are usually ill-prepared when war comes to LOCs, rear areas, cities, allied nations, or our own soil </li></ul>
  21. 21. Expansion in Method/Dimension <ul><li>The adversary will extend conflict beyond traditional, conventional means, and beyond the physical domain </li></ul><ul><li>He will avoid decisive engagement and force-on-force encounters except under the most favorable circum-stances; instead, he will target civilians and rear areas, using propaganda, subversion, sabotage, and terrorism </li></ul><ul><li>He will often operate more like a crime syndicate than a military force, more like a warlord than a national leader </li></ul><ul><li>He will avoid our strengths in the physical and informa-tion domains & focus his efforts on the cognitive domain </li></ul><ul><li>He will leverage our inherent cultural difficulty in anticipat-ing, recognizing, and responding effectively to unconven-tional methods and dimensions of engagement </li></ul><ul><li>He will seek to defeat us wherever we are not prepared </li></ul>
  22. 22. Expansion in Method/Dimension <ul><li>We prefer to operate in the physical domain </li></ul><ul><li>We have enhanced our capabilities in the information domain </li></ul><ul><li>Operations in the cognitive domain are our greatest area of weakness </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond conventional force-on-force engagements, we are often at a loss for an appropriate response </li></ul><ul><li>This is most true when the US population is attacked in the cognitive domain </li></ul>
  23. 23. Irregular Warfare’s Implications <ul><li>We are limited in our ability to address Irregular Warfare’s challenges </li></ul><ul><li>We can be stymied by an adversary who expands confrontation in time, space, or method/dimension </li></ul><ul><li>Not anticipating or perceiving engagement outside our paradigm is a major vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>We need to understand the nature of IWAR and its environment, develop capabilities to operate there, actively engage, refine our techniques and capabil-ities, and learn to both defend ourselves and prevail </li></ul><ul><li>We must better prepare ourselves for Irregular Warfare culturally and organizationally </li></ul>
  24. 24. Our Challenge <ul><li>The extraordinary challenges of Irregular Warfare demand that we aggressively look outside of our traditional warfighting paradigm in order to adapt, create and seize opportunities, and prevail. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Lessons Learned from the Field <ul><li>Lessons must be routinely re-learned </li></ul><ul><li>Information Operations and PSYOPS are critical – the Cognitive Domain is decisive </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural awareness and language skills are critical </li></ul><ul><li>We are too prescriptive and centralized, depriving junior leaders of initiative, inhibiting the conduct of fluid operations, delaying exploitation of Tac Intel </li></ul><ul><li>We must understand and work better with Coali-tion and Interagency partners to promote synergy </li></ul><ul><li>We need more focus on intelligence and logistics </li></ul>
  26. 26. Irregular Warfare in MCO <ul><li>Various forms of IWAR are usually employed together </li></ul><ul><li>Often in concert with regular (conventional) warfare </li></ul><ul><li>Three overlapping groupings: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Special (Elite, Commando) Operations, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Militia (Guerrilla and Partisan) Operations, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and Psychological (Subversion, Propaganda, and Terrorism) Operations. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focus on aspects of Special, Militia, and Psychological Operations that impact MCO directly </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on mitigation of the effects of Militia and PsyOps targeting US-led forces conducting MCO </li></ul><ul><li>Can take form of offensive and defensive actions </li></ul>