‘Building a Bridge: Cultivating an Irregular Warfare Mindset in the 83d Civil Affairs Battalion’

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

By MAJ Mike Karlson, MAJ Ian Duke, and MAJ Kyle May

The Space Between GPC and LSCO

The entirety of the Department of Defense (DoD) is wrestling with how best to array, train, and employ its forces to deter threats during Great Power Competition (GPC) and set conditions to fight and win during Large Scale Combat Operations (LSCO). The space that exists between competition and all-out war is IW, a “…struggle among state and non-state actors to influence populations and affect legitimacy”.[i] The recently released Irregular Warfare (IW) annex to the National Defense Strategy (NDS) directs the Department of Defense (DoD) to “…make permanent the mindset and capabilities necessary to succeed in its current irregular warfare mission”.[ii] It also highlights the need to “…institutionalize irregular warfare as a core competency for both conventional and special operations forces”.