SpyCast 4.18.23
Ep 583 | 4.18.23

“Irregular Warfare & Intelligence” - with IWC Director Dennis Walters

Show Notes


Dr. Dennis Walters (LinkedIn; Website) joins Andrew (TwitterLinkedIn) to discuss the Irregular Warfare Center and its ties to intelligence. Dennis is the current Acting Director of the IWC. 

What You’ll Learn


  • The need for an Irregular Warfare Center
  • The Irregular Warfare Center’s mission 
  • What role intelligence plays in irregular war
  • Creating unique solutions for unique situations 
  • How do intelligence and Special Operations blend together?  


  • Education as a strategic tool
  • Creative problem solving

And much, much more …

Episode Notes

This week on SpyCast, the IWC’s Acting Director Dr. Dennis Walters joins Andrew in a conversation about all thing's irregular warfare. What is irregular warfare, and how does it differ from conventional warfare? What is the mission of the IW Center, and what tools and tactics do they employ to accomplish this? Tune in to find out. 


Want to keep your enemies at bay, try an irregular approach – throw a “Scorpion Bomb” at them: yes, it is literally a glass jar filled with scorpions. The tactic was resurrected by ISIS

Guest Bio 

Dr. Dennis Walters is the acting Director of the Irregular Warfare Center. He served in the United States Army for 26 years, with time spent in the Army Intelligence Corps and in command of a Special Forces Operations Detachment in the Balkans. Upon his retirement from the Army, Dennis worked to build a network of irregular warfare experts that would culminate in the Department of Defense Regional Defense Fellowship Program. He has also instructed college courses on irregular warfare at the National Defense University and Regent University. He speaks fluent Russian.

Quotes of the Week

It varies based on region, based on country, based on culture. And that's the part that we have not done well on the U.S. side, really factoring in all of those social implications of how you structure programs to make a country more stable, more resilient, more leaning towards the ideals that support a global community. That's the part that I think that we were missing in some cases.




*Beginner Resources*



  • Non-State Warfare, S. Biddle (Princeton University Press, 2021)
  • The New Rules of War, S. McFate (HarperCollins, 2019)
  • Rediscovering Irregular Warfare, A.R.B. Linderman (University of Oklahoma Press, 2016)
  • The Sling and The Stone, T.X. Hammes (Zenith Press, 2006)



Primary Sources 

*Wildcard Resource*

  • You’ve heard of irregular warfare, trench warfare, guerrilla warfare, and even psychological warfare, but have you heard of hydraulic warfare? History’s best example is perhaps the 1938 Yellow River Flood, when Chinese forces purposefully destroyed the river’s dikes to impede the Japanese advance during the Second Sino-Japanese War