106 episodes

The Irregular Warfare Podcast explores an important component of war throughout history. Small wars, drone strikes, special operations forces, counterterrorism, proxies—this podcast covers the full range of topics related to irregular war and features in-depth conversations with guests from the military, academia, and the policy community. The podcast is a collaboration between the Modern War Institute at West Point and Princeton University’s Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.

Irregular Warfare Podcast Ben Jebb

    • News

The Irregular Warfare Podcast explores an important component of war throughout history. Small wars, drone strikes, special operations forces, counterterrorism, proxies—this podcast covers the full range of topics related to irregular war and features in-depth conversations with guests from the military, academia, and the policy community. The podcast is a collaboration between the Modern War Institute at West Point and Princeton University’s Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.

    Lessons from the Eastern Front: Security Force Assistance in Ukraine

    Lessons from the Eastern Front: Security Force Assistance in Ukraine

    Episode 105 of the Irregular Warfare Podcast contrasts security force assistance (SFA) efforts in Ukraine and Afghanistan.
     
    Our guests begin by outlining the significance of security force assistance and its pivotal role in Washington’s wider national security strategy. From there, they delve into a detailed analysis of SFA in both Afghanistan and Ukraine, extracting valuable lessons for policymakers and practitioners to inform future SFA policies. Finally, they end with a deep dive into SFA activities in Eastern Europe, shedding light on the socialization and transactional approaches needed to align incentives and enhance the combat capabilities of the United States’ international partners. 

    • 53 min
    Insiders, Outsiders and Enablers: Intelligence Support to Irregular Warfare

    Insiders, Outsiders and Enablers: Intelligence Support to Irregular Warfare

    Episode 104 examines the role of intelligence professionals and agencies at the tactical and operational levels of irregular warfare while diving deeply into the links between US SOF and the CIA. 
    Our guests begin with an overview of the history of the CIA and the development in intelligence capabilities throughout the Global War on Terror, and then they discuss ways that intelligence professionals can partner most effectively with other organizations. Finally, they close with a discussion about the future of intelligence collection.

    • 59 min
    Cold War Lessons for a New Era: Connecting IW and Great Power Competition

    Cold War Lessons for a New Era: Connecting IW and Great Power Competition

    Episode 103 of the Irregular Warfare Podcast examines the role that irregular conflicts played during the Cold War to inform today’s era of strategic competition.
     
    Our guests begin by explaining how irregular conflicts and capabilities play a role in strategic competition, despite policy structures in Washington that often silo great power conflict from irregular warfare. They then discuss evidence from the Cold War that suggests small, local wars often become battlegrounds between great powers. Finally, our guests conclude with a discussion of the kinds of irregular warfare interventions policymakers should consider for today’s era of great power competition and make recommendations for removing bureaucratic hurdles that would better integrate policies and practice for IW and strategic competition.

    • 50 min
    Strategic Disruption by Special Operations Forces

    Strategic Disruption by Special Operations Forces

    Episode 102 of the Irregular Warfare Podcast examines how special operations forces can disrupt the strategic designs of Washington’s adversaries.
    Our guests begin with an in-depth discussion on civil-military relations, examining the relationship between SOL/IC and SOCOM. They then discuss the unique capabilities that special operations forces bring to the table, both during peacetime competition and large scale combat operations. Finally, they address the complexities of interagency cooperation, and how irregular warfare units can leverage their skills to deter adversaries, impose outsized costs, and create relative positions of advantage.

    • 51 min
    Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration of Ex-Combatants

    Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration of Ex-Combatants

    In today's episode, we delve into the topic of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants. Our guests explore the theoretical underpinnings of DDR, the motivations behind individuals joining armed groups, and effective strategies for reintegrating former combatants back into society.

    • 55 min
    Secret Wars: Covert Action and Irregular Warfare

    Secret Wars: Covert Action and Irregular Warfare

    In Episode 100 of the Irregular Warfare Podcast, we delve into the world of covert operations.
    Our guests begin by defining covert and clandestine operations, shedding light on their intricacies and historical significance. They then discuss the complexities of clandestine activities, and address the difficulties associated with translating irregular warfare and covert operations into tangible policies.

    • 54 min

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