Unconventional Warfare as a Strategic Force Multiplier: Task Force Viking in Northern Iraq, 2003

Authored by:
Timothy Brown
Published on 9/1/2017
Digital Only

In this paper, retired Air Force Colonel Timothy Brown describes the necessity to prepare for both conventional and irregular warfare (IW). Preparing for one or the other does not have to be exclusionary—competence in both can be complementary and symbiotic. Proficiency in one, backed by proper theory, doctrine, training, planning, and preparedness, can bolster proficiency in the other. Through a historical account of the unconventional warfare (UW) campaign in northern Iraq in 2003, the author provides an example of how UW, an activity of IW, is valuable to the nation and can, when properly applied in conjunction with a thoughtful plan, be a significant force multiplier. The historical example shows that despite considerable and nearly crippling geographic and political obstacles, the UW campaign in northern Iraq successfully aided the coalition advance to Baghdad.