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The Center on the Study of Irregular Warfare (IW) and Armed Groups supports education and curriculum development including case studies that focus on developing counter-strategies and operating concepts for irregular warfare to include IW in the maritime environment. CIWAG achieves this by sustained collaboration that draws on expertise from a wide range of disciplines that includes practitioners, historians, anthropologists, criminologists, economists, psychologists, political scientists, and experts in strategic communication.

Representative activities conducted by members of the CIWAG include symposia and workshop to teach case studies, outreach and network building among the full range of researchers and practitioners in the U.S. and internationally who have expertise on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups. Part of its mission is to hold a series of conferences that bring civilian scholars together with military faculty and practitioners to analyze the national and international security challenges posed by armed groups and irregular warfare. The Center was created because it is critically important that education on irregular warfare and armed groups remains timely and easily accessible to military officers who will use this instruction when devising strategies to deal with armed groups in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.

The target audiences for CIWAG symposia, research programs, and educational outreach activities are civilian and military faculty and practitioners who teach at civilian universities, military professional institutions, and military academies. Funding for CIWAG represents a sustained commitment on the part of the U.S. Navy and the Naval War College to promote and support teaching and research on irregular warfare to future strategic leaders. Moreover, CIWAG also fosters interaction, collaboration and inter-agency coordination across professional military educational institutions throughout the country and with US allies.