Definition/Scope: (JP 3-24) Unconventional warfare (UW) is a special operations mission. UW is a broad spectrum of military and paramilitary operations normally of long duration and conducted by, with, and through indigenous or surrogate forces. These surrogate forces are organized, trained, equipped, supported, and directed in varying degrees by an external source. UW activities include, but are not limited to, insurgency, guerrilla warfare, subversion, sabotage, intelligence, PSYOP, and unconventional assisted recovery. UW most frequently refers to the military and paramilitary aspects of an insurgency designed to resist, overthrow, or gain political autonomy from an established government or used to resist or expel a foreign occupying power. However, UW can also refer to military and paramilitary support to an armed group seeking increased power and influence relative to its political rivals without overthrowing the central government and in the absence of a foreign occupying power. NOTE:FM 3-0 has been superceded by ADP 3-0. (FM 3-0) Unconventional warfare is a broad spectrum of military and paramilitary operations, normally of long duration, predominantly conducted through, with, or by indigenous or surrogate forces who are organized, trained, equipped, supported, and directed in varying degrees by an external source. It includes, but is not limited to, guerilla warfare, subversion, sabatoge, intelligence activities, and unconventional assisted recovery. See JP 3-05 for more information. Unconventional warfare is generall conducted by the Special Forces. OLD VERSION A broad spectrum of military and paramilitary operations conducted in enemy-held, enemy-controlled, or politically sensitive territory.
Used For:nontraditional tactics
Broader Terms:Irregular Warfare
Narrower Terms:biological warfare
Related Terms:asymmetric threat