52 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's Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.

Irregular Warfare Podcast Modern War Institute at West Point

    • News
    • 4.8 • 231 Ratings

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's Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.

    Little Blue Men in the South China Sea: Unmasking China’s Maritime Militia

    Little Blue Men in the South China Sea: Unmasking China’s Maritime Militia

    Since completing its terraforming and island reclamation projects in the Spratly Islands in 2016, the People’s Republic of China has shifted its emphasis to asserting dominance over the South China Sea. A key component of this pivot has been the expansion of China’s maritime militia—a force of vessels ostensibly engaged in commercial activity, but which in fact conducts operations in concert with Chinese law enforcement and military institutions to help the party-state achieve its military and political aims in the South China Sea’s disputed waters. Gregory B. Poling and Colonel Sean Berg join this episode to discuss China’s gray zone strategy in littoral Asia, and the role that the maritime militia plays in advancing China’s illegal sovereignty claims.
    Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa
    Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

    • 48 min
    Digital Terrorists: Policy and Practice in the Online Counterterrorism Fight

    Digital Terrorists: Policy and Practice in the Online Counterterrorism Fight

    In this episode, we consider how extremists of all types have exploited maneuver space online, and what this means for efforts to counter violent extremism today. To do so, we're joined by Nick Rasmussen, executive director of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, and Dr. Daniel Byman, professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service whose most recent book is Spreading Hate: The Global Rise of White Supremacist Terrorism. They discuss how the online environment has changed over the past fifteen years, creating opportunities for violent extremists and challenges for the stakeholders working to counter their efforts. They also describe both emerging and enduring threats facing the counterterrorism community, before considering how governments and civil society can work to identify, disrupt, and prevent violent extremism in ways that balance security, free expression, privacy, and trust.
    Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa
    Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

    • 44 min
    Dynamite to Drones: The Diffusion of Lethal Technology to Terrorists and Insurgents

    Dynamite to Drones: The Diffusion of Lethal Technology to Terrorists and Insurgents

    From dynamite in the early twentieth century to drones, bioweapons, and private-sector satellite constellations today, lethal technologies are increasingly available to nonstate actors and individuals. At a time when states are focused on competition and potential conflict between great powers, the decentralization of today’s low-end technologies could equip nonstate actors, private companies, and terrorists with unprecedented irregular and asymmetric capabilities. In this episode, Professor Audrey Kurth Cronin and Major General Patrick B. Roberson join to discuss the history of technological innovation, examples of current and burgeoning technologies that will impact future warfare, and how governments can (and sometimes cannot) regulate the development and distribution of potentially dangerous technologies to malign actors.
    Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa
    Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

    • 48 min
    COIN and Culture: How Important is Cultural Intelligence in Counterinsurgency?

    COIN and Culture: How Important is Cultural Intelligence in Counterinsurgency?

    It has become axiomatic that cultural intelligence is key to success in counterinsurgency operations. But is it? This episode examines this assumption, exploring whether the cultural training we receive in the military is indeed the linchpin to success—or a red herring, even a harmful distractor, in the absence of coherent strategy. Why does cultural awareness tend to be absent at the strategic level, and does this really matter? Our guests on this episode, Sir Simon Mayall and Dr. Christian Tripodi, discuss these questions and more, including what cultural awareness should mean in the context of counterinsurgency and, looking ahead, in the era of great power competition.
    Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa
    Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

    • 47 min
    The Motivations and Methods Behind Russian Hybrid Warfare

    The Motivations and Methods Behind Russian Hybrid Warfare

    How do significant historical events and Russian cultural memory—especially those surrounding the collapse of the Soviet Union—shape the Russian worldview? How do they motiviate Russia President Vladimir Putin? And what impact does that have on the way Russia employs hybrid warfare? In this episode, Shashank Joshi and Dr. Rob Person join to discuss these questions and more, including potential Western responses to an increasingly aggressive Russia. They conclude by exploring some of the implications for both the public and the practitioner.
    Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa
    Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

    • 49 min
    Russia, China, and Iran: The Face of Competition in the Middle East

    Russia, China, and Iran: The Face of Competition in the Middle East

    Russia, China, and Iran have all been learning how to conduct irregular warfare from the United States, modeling their approaches to IW on observations of recent US interventions in the world. This episode examines strategic competition with these three states—specifically how it plays out in the Middle East. Our guests, Dr. Seth Jones and Rear Admiral Mitch Bradley, discuss how all three of these US competitors have used irregular warfare to achieve a position of geopolitical advantage over the United States. They go on to propose a solution, one that employs irregular warfare as part of an integrated strategy of deterrence and that requires the United States to look beyond platforms and invest in education, talent management, and human capital.
    Intro music: "Unsilenced" by Ketsa
    Outro music: "Launch" by Ketsa
    CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

    • 59 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
231 Ratings

231 Ratings

LCMM2007 ,

Fantastic podcast—topics, hosts, guests.

Currently my favorite podcast. Always learn something new. They have a great variety of topics and guests and the hosts do a fantastic job of asking the right (but tough!) questions. With so many podcasts out there and limited time, the IW podcast is my favorite because the guests are top-notch and I like the way they usually pair a senior practitioner with an academic, which provides different perspectives and nuance to the discussion.

Poseidon0311 ,

Trash: Pushing a liberal agenda

I could barely get through one episode before they started pushing the “far-right” extremism narrative without ever mentioning the destruction and chaos that was caused by FAR-LEFT extremism resulting in millions of dollars worth of damage and dozens of lives in recent years. Don’t waste your precious time listening to these idiots.

mrschase1 ,

Great Podcast!!

I love listening to this podcast and it’s ranked as my #1 podcast. I’m always recommending it to my friends and colleagues. The topics discussed are always thought provoking and intriguing. Overall, I would recommend this to anyone.

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