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Special Operations & Irregular Warfare Symposium

5 December, 2017 - 6 December, 2017, Alexandria, VA, United States

The 2017 Special Operations and Irregular Warfare Symposium allows members of the Special Operations Community, regional combatant commands, Department of State, Intelligence Community, industry, academia, and other critical partners to come together in a town-hall forum to discuss the operational, strategic, and tactical needs required to conduct missions involving SOF and irregular warfare. This program will incite discussion surrounding the role of Special Operations Forces in our country's defense force, and the impact USSOCOM and its partners have in achieving a global military advantage.

Topics to be covered at the 2017 Symposium:

  • Overview of current and future requirements needed to support SOF missions
  • Enabling unconventional warfare to address grey zone conflicts
  • Efforts to counter violent extremists and preventing and countering groups from becoming radicalized
  • Providing training and assistance to foreign government to aid their national security and secure US interests
  • Developing and enhancing a hybrid of irregular and regular capabilities to challenge stability of regions
  • Policy and oversight of strategic capabilities and resources for Special Operations
  • Objectives towards multilateral, regional, and bilateral defense relations with all foreign governments assigned

Why you should attend this year's Symposium:

This educational symposium will bring together members of the Special Operations community, regional combatant commands, Department of State, Intelligence Community, industry and academia to discuss the current and future direction of SOF missions as well as the strategic significance of conducting Irregular Warfare missions.

The objective of this year's symposium is to emphasize the unique and crucial role Special Operations Forces have in attaining and achieving national and international security while protecting US interests. Given rising political tensions, it is crucial to prevent military aggression and prepare for future threats. This symposium will deliberate on effective methods to equip and train the most prepared and strategically ready warfighters to accomplish these unconventional and unique missions.

This symposium will feature senior level discussions surrounding updates and new developments ranging from strategic capabilities required for Irregular Warfare to the methodologies of countering the proliferation of WMD. This program will also highlight the resources needed to have a ready and winning SOF, the significant benefits Unconventional Warfare has in achieving victory over adversaries, and lastly, how to effectively conduct and win in grey-zone conflicts.

At our Symposium you will have the ability to:

  • Gain Education & Insight:  Walk away with knowledge gained from our senior level speakers on some of the complex challenges facing special operations forces.
  • Build Partnerships: The agenda is designed to allow for ample networking opportunities and the ability to engage in constructive dialogue among all in attendance.
  • Influence:  Help foster ideas! Share your own insight and knowledge during our interactive sessions. All attendees are encouraged to address our speaker faculty and each other with their questions, comments or ideas.


Mary M. Gates Learning Center/United Way
701 N. Fairfax St.
Alexandria, VA

Hotel Rooms are available at a discounted rate at:
801 North St. Asaph Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Hotel Discount Reservation Link

(two walking blocks from the mary m. gates learning center)
* Please use the link above to receive your discount.

There is parking available at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Enter at lobby level and request a day parking ticket.
(There is no parking at the Learning Center for delegates, and street parking is limited to 2 hours.)The agenda is available as PDF under downloads at the right side of the page.

This year's confirmed speakers:

  • Mark Mitchell, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC)
  • LTG Michael Nagata, USA, Director, Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning, National Counterterrorism Center
  • MG James Kraft, USA, Deputy Commanding General, USASOC
  • Garry Reid, Director for Defense Intelligence (Intelligence and Security), Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence
  • AMB James Franklin Jeffrey, Philip Solondz Distinguished Fellow, The Washington Institute


Event details

Defense Strategies Institute
5 December, 2017
6 December, 2017
Mary M. Gates Learning Center
United States


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