April 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Although there are numerous definitions, past and present, that try to articulate what UW is and, to a lesser degree, what its scope is, I recommend posting the new, SOCOM approved, 2009 definition as a base from which to begin the debate.

That said, to appease those that like doctrinal terms, let's consider the "scope" briefly from a few angles:
1) In comparing Unconventional Warfare to one of the three levels of war, where does it fit? Tactical? - No. To micro of a level to apply the definition to. SF Teams will use every possible tool in the box to accomplish the mission. If that mission is to disrupt, coerce, or overthrow a hostile government or occupying power...how do you do that tactically? Raid, ambush, meet a tribal leader...? Operational? - Most likely. Could depend on the level of external support provided to an insurgency or resistance. Strategic? - Definitely - For the US to engage in such a form of warfare there would most likely be a Presidential Finding to support its execution.
2) In evaluating UW to JP 3-05's SOF mission criteria, is it operational or strategic in nature? Yes...overall. One should not confuse the tactical-level actions of an ODA with a definition that has an operational or strategic level meaning. Maybe this is the problem.

Now for those who don't care about doctrine:
1) Stop reading. You'll only get a headache.
2) If you decide to continue reading, read the shortest book with the coolest pictures.
3) Wing-it. Hasn't stopped you yet.

a) JP 3-05
b) FM 3-0

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Irregular Warfare Annotated Bibliography
    The aim of this bibliography is to provide readers an offering of both a more traditional military perspective as well as perspectives from social scientists, including political scientists, sociologists, psychologists, and anthropologists studying similar phenomena. The following sources include general history and analysis related to each core task; operational or “how to” guides; and works discussing particular insurgencies.
  • Casebook on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare, Volume II 1962-2009
    This Casebook provides a summary of twenty-three insurgencies and revolutions; the goal of the book is to introduce the reader to modern-style irregular and unconventional warfare, as well as to act as an informational resource on these particular cases. While not trying to provide an in-depth analysis of any case, our intent was to provide enough background material and description of the revolution to allow comparisons and analysis of broader ideas and insights across this broad spectrum of cases.


  • Annotated Bibliography of SORO Publications
    This is the February 1968 version of the Special Operations Research Office’s annual Annotated Bibliography of SORO Products. The publications listed in this bibliography have been divided into three sections corresponding to the above areas of activity. The reader is advised to consult all sections and the indexes to make maximum use of the bibliography.
  • Case Study in Guerrilla War: Greece during World War II
    By D. M. Condit, Special Warfare Research Division, SPECIAL OPERATIONS RESEARCH OFFICE The American University, Washington D.C. operating under contract with The Department of the Army. 1961
  • Casebook on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare: 23 Summary Accounts
    Original Version referred to as Volume I by the ARIS project. Primary research responsibility Paul A. Jureidini, Norman A. La Charite, Bert H. Cooper, and William A. Lybrand. Special Operations Research Office The American University, Washington D.C., December 1962.
  • Human Factors Considerations of Undergrounds in Insurgencies
    Original Version. Primary research responsibility Andrew R. Molnar with research collaboration of: Jerry M. Tinker, and John D. LeNoir. SPECIAL OPERATIONS RESEARCH OFFICE, The American University, Washington, D. C. operating under contract with The Department of the Army. Research and writing completed: 1 December 1965.
  • Undergrounds in Insurgent, Revolutionary, and Resistance Warfare
    Original Version. Primary Research Responsibility Andrew R. Molnar with Research Collaboration of William A. Lybrand, Lorna Hahn, James L. Kirkman, and Peter B. Riddleberger of the SPECIAL OPERATIONS RESEARCH OFFICE, The American University Washington D.C. 20016, November 1963