Download Full Text (440 KB)


In the words of Sun Tsu, arguably the father of irregular warfare, war is like water, and water has no constant form, and there are no constant conditions in war.i Nowhere in the history of U.S. military doctrine has conflict been described in this theoretical and inclusive way. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the U.S.’s preference for technological solutions, increased firepower, and lethality on the battlefield neglects to account for leveraging irregular and asymmetric forms of conflict to advance its interests and counter its adversaries. The Consortium to Study Irregular Warfare Act of 2021 addressed the gap in irregular warfare doctrine with the requirement to professionalize irreg- ular warfare education in the Department of Defense (DoD).ii Currently, such education mostly comprises electives at Service Colleges, which already have far too many Congressional and Service-mandated requirements to implement irregular warfare education to the degree required to create a modern-day Sun Tsu. Instead, the DoD should institute a master’s degree in irregular warfare to fill critical billets in the Joint Force.

Publication Date



GNSI Decision Brief: Creating Sun Tsu: Instituting a Master’s Degree in Irregular Warfare