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Navy steps up to irregular warfare

Aug. 12, 2008 - 05:12PM   |   Last Updated: Aug. 12, 2008 - 05:12PM  |  
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NORFOLK, Va. Now defined as the current and future challenge for the U.S. military, the Navy has set up an office within the Navy staff to address "irregular warfare."

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NORFOLK, Va. Now defined as the current and future challenge for the U.S. military, the Navy has set up an office within the Navy staff to address "irregular warfare."

In a July message, the Navy Irregular Warfare Office was established to report to the deputy chief of naval operations for information, plans and strategy. It's directed by Rear Adm. Mark Kenny, a submariner, who currently commands the Navy's center for submarine counterterrorism.

At a recent meeting of the U.S. Naval Institute in Virginia Beach, "irregular warfare" was discussed as the newest evolution of the wars on terror and the "the long war."

"Irregular warfare, from my perspective, is [the] key problem we face today," said, Marine Gen. Jim Mattis, commander of U.S. Joint Forces at the June 19 event. "Welcome to the future it's not going to go away."

Under the newest Defense Department definition, "irregular warfare" considers any "indirect and asymmetric" tactics as well as conventional military and "other capacities" intended to "erode an adversary's power, influence and will."

Among other direction, the new office is tasked with institutionalizing ongoing counterinsurgency and counterterrorism missions into "Navy strategic planning, analysis, and future capability and concept development."

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