We noticed this in the 2021 NDAA.
SEC. 1299L. FUNCTIONAL CENTER FOR SECURITY STUDIES IN IRREGULAR WARFARE. Access the 2021 NDAA HERE
Congress is taking Irregular Warfare seriously and this appears to be a "forcing function" to make sure DOD does as well.
A few editorial comments:
Irregular Warfare is the military contribution to the national level requirement for Political Warfare
It is good for Congress to direct DOD to establish this center and take Irregular Warfare seriously. But what about Political Warfare? What is Congress going to do about ensuring there is a national level interagency focus on Political Warfare? (Our recommendation for an American War of Political Warfare HERE )
We face threats from political warfare strategies supported by hybrid military approaches.
Competition in great Power Competition equals Political Warfare. While State on State or major theater war is the most danger threat in Great Power Competition, Political Warfare is the ongoing condition in which we must learn to compete.
With absolutely no apologies to Leon Trotsky: "America may not be interested in irregular, unconventional, and political warfare but IW/UW/PW are being practiced around the world by those who are interested in them – namely the revisionist, rogue, and revolutionary powers and violent extremist organizations."
We have heard this center will be established in Arizona and as noted in the text below it will be treated as a Regional Center along the lines of APCSS in Hawaii and the Marshall Center in Germany
We may be hearing a lot about SEC 1299L.
WARFARE. (a) Report Required.-- (1) In general.--Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report that assesses the merits and feasibility of establishing and administering a Department of Defense Functional Center for Security Studies in Irregular Warfare. (2) Elements.--The report required by paragraph (1) shall include the following: (A) A description of the benefits to the United States, and the allies and partners of the United States, of establishing such a functional center, including the manner in which the establishment of such a functional center would enhance and sustain focus on, and advance knowledge and understanding of, matters of irregular warfare, including cybersecurity, nonstate actors, information operations, counterterrorism, stability operations, and the hybridization of such matters. (B) A detailed description of the mission and purpose of such a functional center, including applicable policy guidance from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. (C) An analysis of appropriate reporting and liaison relationships between such a functional center and-- (i) the geographic and functional combatant commands; (ii) other Department of Defense stakeholders; and (iii) other government and nongovernment entities and organizations. (D) An enumeration and valuation of criteria applicable to the determination of a suitable location for such a functional center. (E) A description of the establishment and operational costs of such a functional center, including for-- (i) military construction for required facilities; (ii) facility renovation; (iii) personnel costs for faculty and staff; and (iv) other costs the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate. (F) An evaluation of the existing infrastructure, resources, and personnel available at military installations, existing regional centers, interagency facilities, and universities and other academic and research institutions that could reduce the costs described in subparagraph (E). (G) An examination of partnership opportunities with United States allies and partners for potential collaboration and burden sharing. (H) A description of potential courses and programs that such a functional center could carry out, including-- (i) core, specialized, and advanced courses; (ii) planning workshops and structured after-action reviews or debriefs; (iii) seminars; (iv) initiatives on executive development, relationship building, partnership outreach, and any other matter the Secretary of Defense considers appropriate; and (v) focused academic research and studies in support of Department priorities. (I) A description of any modification to title 10, United States Code, or any other provision of law, necessary for the effective establishment and administration of such a functional center. (3) Form.--The report required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex. (b) Establishment.-- (1) In general.--Not earlier than 30 days after the submittal of the report required by subsection (a), and subject to the availability of appropriated funds, the Secretary of Defense may establish and administer a Department of Defense Functional Center for Security Studies in Irregular Warfare. (2) Treatment as a regional center for security studies.--A Department of Defense Functional Center for Security Studies in Irregular Warfare established under paragraph (1) shall be operated and administered in the same manner as the Department of Defense Regional Centers for Security Studies under section 342 of title 10, United States Code, and in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary of Defense may prescribe. (3) Limitation.--No other institution or element of the Department may be designated as a Department of Defense functional center, except by an Act of Congress. (4) Location.--The location of a Department of Defense Functional Center for Security Studies in Irregular Warfare established under paragraph (1) shall be selected based on an objective, criteria-driven administrative or competitive award process.