How Civil Resistance Works (And Why It Matters to SOF)

Authored by:
Will Irwin, Charles Cleveland
Published on 10/15/2019

Mr. Will Irwin reminds us in this extremely timely and well-written monograph, as John F. Kennedy observed more than a half century ago, that those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. Million man protest marches in Hong Kong, riots and rebellion in Caracas, continued rumors of widespread discontent in Tehran, sabotage in the face of unspeakable brutality in North Korea, sectarian civil war in Syria, and the unrelenting assault on liberal democracy by the dictatorial regime in Moscow—the headlines of today have their seeds in the inherent fear of tyrants. It is that fear on which America must capitalize and be prepared to use to our advantage. These disturbances reveal the critical role that America’s special warfare units play in the contemporary era of nation state competition and conflict, for it’s their own people that our enemies fear most. Will Irwin’s monograph is a timely and important contribution to what will eventually become canon for the American Way of Irregular War and the basis for the professional military education of its uniformed and civilian irregular warfare practitioners.