Report – Support to Resistance: Strategic Purpose and Effectiveness (JSOU, 2019)

Support to Resistance

Will Irwin, a senior fellow at the Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), has provided a detailed study of U.S. government (and military) support to resistance movements since World War II. The report – Support to Resistance: Strategic Purpose and Effectivness, JSOU Report 19-2, – was published in April 2019.

This publication is organized into four chapters as well as having an introduction, appendix, listing of acronyms, and numerous endnotes. Lieutenant General (R) John F. Mulholland provides a foreword to this report.


  • Support to Resistance as a Tool of Disruption
  • Support to Resistance as a Tool of Coercion
  • Support to Resistance to Enable Regime Change
  • Conclusion

The author provides “. . . case studies focused on the United States Government’s support to resistance movements. For each of his case studies the author summarizes in a clear, concise manner the duration of U.S. support, the political environments or conditions, the type of operation, the purpose or objective of U.S. support, and the ultimate outcome: success, partial success, failure, or an inconclusive outcome.” (1)

This report by Will Irwin “. . . brings real and meaningful value most immediately to those whose professional interest touches on the various dimensions of political conflict, political warfare, insurgency and counterinsurgency . . .” (2)


Support to Resistance: Strategic Purpose and Effectiveness, by Will Irwin, JSOU, April 2019.


(1) Page vii, “From the Dean”.

(2) Page xi, “Foreword”

About the author: Will Irwin is a Resident Senior Fellow at the Joint Special Operations University. Since his retirement as a U.S. Army Special Forces officer he has worked as a defense analyst, researcher, historian, instructor, and writer.

About John Friberg 201 Articles
John Friberg is the Editor and Publisher of SOF News. He is a retired Command Chief Warrant Officer (CW5 180A) with 40 years service in the U.S. Army Special Forces with active duty and reserve components.