Sunday, August 31, 2014

Department of Defense Directive 3000.07 (Irregular Warfare)

No significant change from the December 2008 version.  In fact I have not been able to find anything significantly different except that the 2014 version is signed by DEPSECDEF Robert Work as the new DEPSECDEF,  the elimination of US Joint Forces Command (which of course no longer exists today but did in 2008), and the new one is 14 pages long while the 2008 version was 12 pages long.

The document can be viewed directly at this link:

I would also point out that like the 2008 version there are three  terms that are not doctrinal and not in JP 1-02 (Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms).  I would have thought that by now these two terms would have been added to the Joint Dictionary.

civilian-military teams. Temporary organizations of civilian and military personnel specifically 
task-organized to provide an optimal mix of capabilities and expertise to accomplish specific 
operational and planning tasks, or to achieve objectives at the strategic, operational, or tactical 
levels. Civilian-military teams may conduct both overt and clandestine operations. 

irregular. Characterization used to describe a deviation from the traditional form of warfare 
where actors may use non-traditional methods such as guerrilla warfare, terrorism, sabotage, 
subversion, criminal activities, and insurgency for control of relevant populations.  

(note in JP 1-02 there are the terms irregular forces and irregular warfare but not the singular irregular with the above definition)

traditional warfare. A form of warfare between the regulated militaries of states, or alliances of 
states, in which the objective is to defeat an adversary’s armed forces, destroy an adversary’s 
war-making capacity, or seize or retain territory in order to force a change in an adversary’s 
government or policies.

(For reference for the next comment:  IW. A violent struggle among state and non-state actors for legitimacy and influence over the 
relevant population(s).)

I wish that we could relook the definition of irregular warfare (and irregular above) because I think the focus on "control of relevant populations" or a struggle for legitimacy and influence over the relevant population(s).  In my mind this implies that IW is overly focused on insurgency and being "population centric."  I think this limits our thinking about IW.  I would say that in Ukraine, in Syria, and in Iraq the actions and strategies of Russian and the ISIL/IS are not dependent on the legitimacy and influence over the "relevant" population.  Counterinsurgency tactics, techniques and procedures or a campaign designed around the principles of FM 3-14 are unlikely to have much utility in Ukraine, Syria, and Iraq today.

Department of Defense Directive 3000.07

by SWJ Editors

SWJ Blog Post | August 31, 2014 - 8:00pm
Department of Defense Directive 3000.07 - Irregular Warfare (IW) Dated August 28, 2014
Of note, it is DoD policy that:
a. IW is as strategically important as traditional warfare and DoD must be equally capable in both. Many of the capabilities and skills required for IW are applicable to traditional warfare, but their role in IW can be proportionally greater.
b. DoD will be proficient in IW.
c. IW is conducted independently of, or in combination with, traditional warfare.
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