Small Wars Journal

The Global Fragility Act and the Irregular Warfare Center: A Path for Diplomacy, Defense, and Development

Sat, 01/28/2023 - 10:27am

Access the article at the Irregular Warfare Center HERE.


January 27, 2023

The Global Fragility Act and the Irregular Warfare Center: A Path for Diplomacy, Defense, and Development

Kevin D. Stringer, PH.D. – Colonel, U.S. Army, Retired
Madison Urban – IWC Analyst


Wicked problems litter the security environment. They are opaque challenges, caused by multiple factors, and constantly evolving. These problems can be conceptualized through a myriad of lenses, each of which produces different possible solutions, and any intervention to address the range of solutions becomes part of the ecosystem itself and any negative impact cannot be undone, only mitigated. Such problems can take years to understand and take decades of effort to bring about progress. In an effort to undermine the United States and the current international order, strategic competitors are leveraging statecraft and irregular conflict methods to capitalize on the wicked problems of state fragility and increase their influence, resource access, and bargaining power.

Seeing the enormity of the diverse challenges posed by state fragility and the structural barriers that exist within the U.S. government that can inhibit progress, Congress passed the Global Fragility Act (GFA). The stated strategic priorities of the GFA and the intent to increase coordination with interagency, international, and non-governmental partners intersect directly with the Irregular Warfare Center’s (IWC) mandate to build the Department of Defense’s (DoD) capacity to counter irregular threats in collaboration with key allies and partners. With the recent announcement of Haiti, Libya, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, and Coastal West Africa (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Togo) as the pilot countries/region, the opportunity to begin developing creative solutions to wicked problems has arrived.


Continued at the IWC website.



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