Special Operations & Irregular Warfare Symposium

Advancing SOF Capabilities in Support of Multi-Domain Operations

The 2017 Special Operations and Irregular Warfare Symposium allows members within the Special Operations community, regional combatant commands, Department of State, Intelligence Community, academia, and other critical partners to come together in a town-hall forum to discuss the operational, strategic, and tactical needs required to conduct missions involving unconventional warfare. This program will incite discussion surrounding the role of Special Operations Forces in our country’s defense force, and the impact USSOCOM has on achieving global military advantage, most notably through grey-zone conflicts.

Topics Include:

  • Overview of current and future requirements needed to support SOF missions


  • Enabling unconventional warfare to address grey zone conflicts


  • Efforts to counter violent extremists and preventing and countering groups from becoming radicalized


  • Providing training and assistance to foreign government to aid their national security and secure US interests


  • Developing and enhancing a hybrid of irregular and regular capabilities to challenge stability of regions


  • Policy and oversight of strategic capabilities and resources for Special Operations


  • Objectives towards multilateral, regional, and bilateral defense relations with all foreign governments assigned

Why Attend: 

  • This educational summit will bring together members of the Special Operations community, regional combatant commands, Department of State, Intelligence Community and academia to discuss the current and future direction of SOF missions as well as the strategic significance of conducting Irregular Warfare missions.


  • The main objective of this year’s symposium is to emphasize the unique and crucial role Special Operations Forces has in attaining and achieving national and international security while protecting US interests. Given the rising political tensions, it is crucial to keep military aggression at a minimum in order to effectively win and continue to strategize and prepare for future threats. This symposium will deliberate on effective methods to equip and train the most prepared and strategically ready warfighters to accomplish these ambiguous and unique missions.


  • This symposium will feature Senior Level discussions surrounding updates and new developments ranging from strategic capabilities required for Irregular Warfare to the methodologies of countering the proliferation of WMD amongst opposing nations. This program will also highlight the resources needed to have a ready and winning SOF, the significant benefits Unconventional Warfare has in achieving victory over adversaries, and lastly, how to effectively conduct and win in grey-zone conflicts.

At our Summit you will

  • Gain Education & Insight:  Walk away with knowledge gained from our senior level speakers on some of the complex challenges facing intelligence officers and analysts.
  • Build Partnerships: The agenda is designed to allow for ample networking opportunities and the ability to engage in constructive dialogue among all in attendance.
  • Influence:  Help foster ideas! Share your own insight and knowledge during our interactive sessions. All attendees are encouraged to address our speaker faculty and each other with their questions, comments or ideas.

Speaker and Presenter Information

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Bob Schmidt, Acting Director, Office of Civilian-Military Cooperation, USAID
  • Dr. Jonathan Schroden, Director, Special Operations Program, Center for Naval Analyses
  • Dr. Andrea Dew, Co-Director, Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups, Naval War College
  • Dr. Rick Fisher, Senior Fellow, Asian Military Affairs, International Assessment and Strategy Center Advisor, Global Taiwan Institute
  • Dr. Stephen Watts, Associate Program Director, Arroyo Center, Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program, Rand Corp.

Panelists Include:

  • Christopher P. Costa, Senior Director for Counterterrorism, National Security Council 
  • AMB James Jeffrey, Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow, The Washington Institute
  • Col David Maxwell, USA (Ret), Associate Director, Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University



Expected Number of Attendees


Relevant Government Agencies

Air Force, Army, Navy & Marine Corps, DOD & Military, NASA

View Exhibitor/Sponsorship Details

Tue-Wed, Dec 5-6, 2017, 9:00am - 5:00pm

Exhibit Dates
Tue-Wed, Dec 5-6, 2017


Active Military & Government:  $0.00
Non-Profit & Acedemia:  $450.00
Industry/Contractor Standard:  $925.00

Mary M. Gates Learning Center
701 N Fairfax St
Alexandria, VA 22314
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Defense Strategies Institute

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