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Thread: Pedagogy for the Long War: Teaching Irregular Warfare

  1. #1
    Council Member CSC2005's Avatar
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    Oct 2005

    Default Pedagogy for the Long War: Teaching Irregular Warfare

    Pedagogy for the Long War: Teaching Irregular Warfare

    A Joint Conference Sponsored by
    Marine Corps Training and Education Command
    and the
    United States Naval Academy

    Marine Corps University
    Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning
    Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, United States Naval Academy

    The Conference Steering Committee for Pedagogy for the Long War: Teaching Irregular Warfare invites participants and paper submissions for a conference to be held 29 October through 2 November 2007 at the General Alfred M. Gray Research Center, in Quantico Virginia.


    Since the end of the Cold War, the nature of military operations conducted by conventional forces has evolved: they have become longer in duration and more diverse in location and scope; they also require general purpose forces to perform more specialized tasks, and to distribute these tasks across all ranks and billets. This new mission profile is now understood as the “Long War.”

    To define unique components of the “Long War” and develop them operationally, the US Department of Defense has gravitated to the concept of “Irregular Warfare.” Though there exist several definitions of “Irregular Warfare,” they all include certain elements: Irregular Warfare “has as its objective maintaining or undermining” “the credibility and/or legitimacy” “of a political authority by the application of indirect approaches and non-conventional means to defeat an enemy by subversion, attrition, or exhaustion rather than [through] direct military confrontation,” “though it may employ the full range of military and other capabilities to seek asymmetric advantages, in order to erode an adversary’s power, influence, and will.”

    Likewise, several related tasks, activities, and lines of operation have been associated with the Long War and Irregular Warfare:

    • Civil-Military and Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction Operations

    • Information Operations

    • Integrated Intelligence Operations conducted by conventional forces and the joint/interagency community

    • Unconventional Warfare and Counter-Insurgency

    • Joint, Inter-Agency, and Coalition operations

    • Foreign Internal Defense and Building Partnership Capacity

    • Culture, Language And Region-Focused Skills

    • Military Psychology

    In prosecuting the “Long War” and grasping its Irregular Warfare aspects, therefore, the United States military’s training and education system now seeks to prepare officers and enlisted to use new skills in ever-diversifying operational environments, while ensuring that they also retain traditional capabilities.

    The Conference

    Building upon recent lessons of the US and international community of military educators, Pedagogy for the Long War: Teaching Irregular Warfare focuses on shifting the concepts, curricula, and methods of military training and education for general purpose forces, in order to better prepare service people at every stage in their career for the diverse tasks unique to current and projected operating environments over the next twenty years. It is a conference which focuses on pedagogy both as a topic for deliberation and as an activity animating participation.

    Paper Submission and Conference Architecture

    The Conference Steering Committee invites paper submissions from uniformed and civilian educators in American and allied foreign military educational systems at all levels, as well as from civilian academicians whose research and teaching in broader American/international academia is concerned with these matters. The Steering Committee will accept up to thirty-six papers for presentation.

    Successful paper submissions will address the following major issues of concern in educating and training for the Long War, as they relate to the Irregular Warfare skills and lines of operation enumerated above:

    • Definitional debates and conceptual developments: Irregular Warfare, the Long War, Terrorism, Insurgency, Culture, etc.

    • Epistemological and theoretical debates focused on military education and the intellectual constructs manifested within military education

    • Pedagogy and Educational Methodologies

    • Cognitive, learning, and skills linkages across the continuum of military education

    • Promoting Irregular Warfare and Long War skills through training the Operating Forces

    • Relationships between civilian academia/research and military learning and knowledge growth: the operationalization and militarization of academic learning

    • Militaries as organizations, cultures, and ethnographic subjects

    • The role of Islamist and other ideologies in contemporary conflict: military constructions of them, and implications for strategic communications and information operations

    • Pre-enlistment/pre-accession education and its Long War utility

    • The cultivation of subject matter expertise among professionals teaching knowledge and skills associated with success in the “Long War”

    • Knowledge-management, learning processes, and operational impacts

    • Common needs and specific learning requirements in the joint and inter-agency context

    • Addressing new military educational needs while preserving traditional capabilities

    • International Military experiences and educational approaches

    Highest quality presentations will form the basis for an edited volume to be used in military educational systems and larger academia.

    Paper proposals must include

    1) The enclosed “Panelist” form

    2) A 500-to-600-word descriptive abstract indicating the topic of the presentation, its relationship to pedagogy for the Long War, and, if appropriate, your research sources. Please ensure that your name only appear at the top right corner of the abstract page.

    3) A short bio

    4) A curriculum vitae

    Please send these materials to

    Long War Pedagogy Steering Committee
    Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning
    1019 Elliott Road
    Quantico, VA 22134

    Paper proposals may also be submitted through the following webpage of the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning:

    Paper submissions will be reviewed in a double blind fashion, with notifications of acceptance within one month of submission. Conference attendees whose paper proposals are accepted will be required to send a full presentation draft to the Conference Steering Committee by 1 October 2007.

    Accepted papers will be organized into panels including a coordinator and three presenters. Presenters will have roughly 30 minutes each, with a 30-minute question-and-answer session to follow.

    Panelists, coordinators, and attendees will subsequently participate in a 2-hour break-out session, permitting more in-depth and programmatic discussion of panel topics, to result in a final short presentation to conference plenum and compilation into a conference after-action review for Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command; Commanding General, Training and Education Command; Superintendent, US Naval Academy; President, Marine Corps University and tenant activities aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.

    Panel Coordination

    In addition to paper presenters, Pedagogy for the Long War invites active attendance from civilian and military pedagogues; academic researchers; representatives from the joint and inter-agency arena; foreign guests; and mid-to-senior-level PME students in the National Capitol Region.

    The Steering Committee also invites self-nominations for panel coordinators, who will moderate panels and subsequent break-out sessions, and mentor panel rapporteurs in developing recommendations for report to the conference plenum and after action review.

    Self-Nominations for panel coordination must include

    1) The enclosed “Coordinator” form

    2) A short bio

    Please send these materials to

    Long War Pedagogy Steering Committee
    Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning
    1019 Elliott Road
    Quantico, VA 22134

    You may also self-nominate for panel coordination at

    Administrative Point of Contact

    For any further administrative or logistical matters, please contact Ms Elizabeth Mazzarella, Conference Coordinator, at 703-432-1725 (

    On behalf of the Pedagogy for the Long War conference steering committee. I enthusiastically invite your participation and attendance at this jointly sponsored conference, which will set the agenda for an educational approach preparing our service-personnel for success over the next several decades.

    Dr. Paula Holmes-Eber
    Professor of Operational Culture
    Marine Corps University and
    Room 065
    Bldg. 711 6th St.
    Quantico VA 22134
    Phone: 703-784-2349
    Phone CAOCL: 703-432-1504
    Cell: 206-412-0255

  2. #2
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Belly of the beast


    Somehow I wish pedagogy when dealing with Marines would be turned into andragogy.

    Are there past conferences we can look at proceedings from? What happens to the papers and what are the copyright assignment rights to the papers after the conference?

    Befuddled academic.
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
    Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

  3. #3
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005


    I thought Congress banned the use of the phrase "Long War?"

    Orwell is laughing in his grave.

  4. #4
    Council Member CSC2005's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Default conference

    Please contact the POC in the first E-mail. I simply re-posted the E-mail that I got from the Center for Advanced Operational Cultural Learning (CAOCL) at Quantico


    The CAOCL is being expanded and is changing its name to something like the "USMC Center for Irregular Warfare". Their goal is to be the center of all USMC activities for IW for the Marine Corps. Big shoes to fill

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Pedagogy in the Long war Conference


    The USMC sponsored a conference in Nov-Dec on the aforementioned subject. Any proceedings available from the conference? Any conference like it on the horizon in the future?

  6. #6
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default Pedagogy in the Long war Conference

    I believe the plan is to pull together the various papers that were presented and publish them in an edited volume. I have no idea, however, whether the volume will include any summaries of the breakout discussions.


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