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What Are We Doing Here?

Welcome to the blog for the Institute For The Study of Insurgent Warfare. We will be using this space to provide more consistent analysis than an annual journal will allow. We will focus on analysis of terrains of conflict around the globe, independent of the conceptual politics involved, on a material and tactical level. With analysis ranging from the security implications of international trade agreements to the dynamics of conflict in virtual networks, from police tactics to the movements of insurgencies globally, we aim to provide regular analysis, release reports and provide overviews of conflicts that are present in the news, mainstream or otherwise.


As we have mentioned in other documents, we feel that a material analysis of the dynamics of insurgency is essential to begin to plot a way out of the current tactical impasse that radicals, specifically in the United States, are currently mired in. This requires breaking the question of insurgency down to its material dynamics, these moments where conflict becomes apparent and acute, and separating this question from the question of why we may, on a particular level, decide to enter into conflict with the state, or enter into the insurgent.


There is no single answer to this impasse and the questions that it poses. Rather, we have to begin at an earlier point; rather than beginning with the attempt to answer the question What Is To Be Done, we have to begin by constructing a different plane of analysis. To discuss doing is to discuss action, and to discuss action is to discuss something that occurs within the particular dynamics of particular moments, fully embedded within these dynamics and the terrains that they structure. As such, to the degree that these terrains of conflict are particular and singular, no unitary, true, universal response is possible. In even attempting to develop a single response to this question we come to obscure the dynamics of conflict that exist in the ground, here and now, where we live and where we fight.  Without focusing on this plane of doing, this plane of actually fighting, we cannot even begin to discuss what fighting looks like, or what the planes of engagement will be. The best we can do here is to provide ways of making sense of the dynamics of phenomena of conflict, what is done with this analysis is up to you.