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15 Sep, 36 tweets, 6 min read
In a few minutes we’ll be live-tweeting today’s National Security Seminar Series event on irregular warfare, with Michael Kofman (@KofmanMichael), Kevin Pollpeter, and special guest Markus Garlauskas (@Mister_G_2), moderated by Bill Rosenau (@WilliamRosenau).
Rosenau: GPC often viewed on two fronts, as day-to-day competition on one hand and high-end competition on the other. Adversaries seek to use irregular warfare (IW) across both fronts
Look at questions of what modern IW looks like? How will adversaries employ IW in competition? And how they'd employ IW in armed conflict/conventional warfare?
Garlauskas: Its important to look at history of North Korea to understand their ideas for IW. Kim il-Sung used guerrilla warfare. IW is part of #NorthKorea's DNA
North Korea invasion of South Korea included conventional warfare along with attempts to create an uprising in more remote areas.
More recently, North Korea has shifted to trying to coerce cooperation instead of expecting popular uprising in South Korea
North Korea has well-developed doctrine to coordinate conventional and IW. A 'second-front' that would attack South Korea back lines and communication.
Any counter-offensive by SK and the US would give an advantage to NK's IW as commandos wouldn't need to infiltrate and could wait for forces to move past them before acting.
Pollpeter: Rich history in PRC for IW. Conducted civil war against Japanese-occupiers during 30's-40's. Mao wrote a book titled On Guerrilla Warfare.

Now, when it does appear in doctrine its looking at US lessons from #Afghanistan and #Iraq
Chinese are less concerned now with a ground invasion. When they talk about the next war, its to Western Pacific to keep U.S. Navy out.

The next war would also be one of C4ISR, information warfare is key.
Public Opinion Warfare: use of media to influence international public opinion

Psychological Warfare: more traditional media and influence campaigns

Legal Warfare: Use of law to advance China interests
China uses media to promote their image abroad. That they are committed to peace, their rise will benefit IC. Portray themselves as a gentle superpower compared to the US.

China is more nefarious in #Taiwan and #HongKong.
China has large special operations force of varying quality. More like Rangers, not Green Beret. They aren't out in regions to conduct counter-insurgency operations. They are more focused on raids and combat.
In wartime, China could flood the South China Sea with maritime vessels/militias to collect intelligence and even attack opposing forces.
Kofman: Russian military is not responsible for all action Russia takes, but is involved in coordination. Provide coercive backing to others in non-military spheres (economic, legal, etc.)
Russian has growing interest in non-military measures and confrontation in peacetime. Asymmetric measures to destabilize enemy
Asymmetric is not only for weak forces. Believes these measures are used by countries like the US as a preparatory phase to conventional conflict.
Indirect actions are a series of measures that contest without getting into direct conflict (ex. proxies).

Information-Technical and Information-Psychological are primary distinctions.
IW space is not all centrally run. Many different actors with entrepreneurs seeking favor with the Russian government by taking different measures to achieve goals.
Q: What is the role of mercenaries in high-end conflict?

MK: Russia has used them most extensively recently (Ukraine, Syria, Libya). They are a resource that takes time to develop. Officers don't want people not under control in combat space
Used to manage footprint in conflict and was resource that cheap but decisive when backed by state power.
Two branches of mercenaries: Tip of the spear or where Russia doesn't want to be involved and they take on a greater role.
KP: China has about 5,000 private security companies, and much fewer authorized to operate internationally. More designed to protect people and locations; private security more than mercenary force.
Debate on how many of these companies are meant to be aligned with Chinese military vs just being companies wanting to make money.

MG: NK uses advisors to develop tactics of foreign actors. Again, not really mercenary forces.
Q: What would China do regarding IW if there was a conflict in Korea?

KP: See more of a guerrilla warfare scenario. China could send officers to develop groups to coordinate attacks. Likely be a massive campaign to show China is in the right.
Q: How is Russian military modernization driven by US COIN operations?

MK: Looked at use of military power of primary adversary, the US. There was a steady decline in primacy of land-warfare with focus on air and long-range firepower.
US counterinsurgency operations hasn't played a defining part in Russia's military modernization efforts.
Q: Are Russia and China jointly working on 'new' methods of conflict?

KP: Not aware of any joint collaboration in IW environment. They both have learned similar lessons on what the next war could look like. Significant overlap but not working together.
MK: They are able to contest the US at the same time but separately because they have specific areas of operation.
Q: Why is North Korea getting involved in IW? Why take chance on provoking intervention?

MG: NK sees themselves confronted by proxy of US in SK that is bent on absorption. See themselves as constantly under assault and subversion.
Because they are in 'an ideological struggle,' they look for ways to coerce SK to dial back their anti-regime activity. Worth taking risks when in their minds, they are locked in life and death struggle. With nuclear deterrence, might take even more risk.
Q: What are the command and control arrangements of Russian mercenaries?

MK: Depends greatly on context. Wagner specifically acts in support with military and intelligence but also between operations works on other deals. Likely acts as arm of Russian state now.
Q: Are there opportunities to counter adversaries' use of IW?

MG: The best counter to NK IW is looking at how to deploy these measures in our own style against them. Regime might fear own people over any outside actor. Look how to leverage that fear and human rights abuses.
KP: We need to keep in mind that China is not Iraq or Afghanistan. They have prepared for war against US for decades. Need to think in terms of information superiority, information warfare, long-range precision strike
We do see elements of ideological confrontation between China and US. There will be debate on what is best political system for developing countries. Authoritarian gov with economic success could be strong message. Need to explain why liberal democracy is better.
MK: All wars and conflicts have some degree of regular and irregular components. Not everything an adversary does means its effective. US needs to focus and not chase adversaries all over the map. Isolate main theaters of conflict and figure out what tools are needed.
That's all for the coverage of this National Security Seminar Series event. Thanks to everyone able to join!

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