The Irregular Warfare Initiative began as the Irregular Warfare Podcast in May 2020, when two active duty military officers at Princeton University recognized that there was an abundance of scholarly research on irregular warfare topics that was largely inaccessible to irregular warfare practitioners. The podcast was established to bridge this gap among scholars, practitioners, and policymakers, making research and experience-based insight more accessible across the force.
IWI continues the mission of the Irregular Warfare Podcast to support the community of irregular warfare professionals, providing a forum to cultivate the incorporation of irregular warfare competencies in the context of modern national security strategy. Capitalizing on its sponsorship by the Modern War Institute at West Point and the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project, IWI is a collaborative space to engage in professional and public discourse structured around three key pillars:
1. Content production. IWI produces both biweekly podcasts and written content. This content is designed to marry practitioner perspectives with scholarly research to contribute to substantive dialogue on topics relevant to irregular warfare.
2. Engagements. IWI engagement includes an annual conference held in conjunction with the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project annual meeting. The conference format facilitates further collaboration through interactive panels and presentations.
3. Fellows program. IWI fellows will include representation from across the community of interest. The fellows program provides a venue for scholars and practitioners to study and debate irregular warfare topics under the sponsorship of the Modern War Institute and the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.
As the US Department of Defense shifts focus to great power competition, IWI contributes to efforts to synthesize and archive the historical legacy of post-9/11 irregular warfare competencies with the requirements for competition and conflict anticipated over the next few decades. Moreover, it provides an opportunity to characterize the actions of the pacing threats facing the United States and its allies—threats that are increasingly employing novel approaches that push the boundaries of strategic competition in nontraditional spaces. IWI thus offers a platform that is credible, accessible, and interactive, facilitating a more comprehensive understanding of the modern national security environment and opportunities for more productive engagement in this space.