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MILS570 - Seminar in Asymmetrical Warfare

Course Details

Course Code: MILS570 Course ID: 3239 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course is an in-depth seminar in asymmetrical warfare in relation to the U.S. military history and operational experience. Students explore the changing nature of asymmetrical warfare in terms of current theory, conjecture, and definition. Key issues of asymmetry and adaptation are assessed in relation to insurgency, counterinsurgency force doctrine, and action-reaction-counteraction cycle. Special emphasis is on the value of approaches that employ innovative tactics, weapons, or technologies across the spectrum of military operations.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/25/20 - 10/30/20 11/02/20 - 12/27/20 Fall 2020 Session I 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

CO-1: Differentiate asymmetric warfare from conventional warfare and situation the concept within the broader concept of Irregular Warfare.

CO-2: Analyze two different types and four different methods of asymmetric warfare that have developed in the post-9/11 period

CO-3: Evaluate the effectiveness of the four different types of asymmetric warfare using several analytical frameworks to gain a deeper understanding of each

CO-4: Assess the claims of some asymmetric warfare scholars that it represented a new form of war because it has changed the nature of war itself.

CO-5: Apply both Ivan Arreguin-Toft's Theory of Asymmetric Conflict and our course analytical framework to an asymmetric conflict of your choosing to determine the type of asymmetric warfare it best represents, its expected outcome, and the main reasons for its success or failure.

The course grade is based on the following assessments:

Discussion Forums – 20 percent

Each week, a discussion question is provided and posts should reflect an assimilation of the readings. Students are required to provide a substantive initial post by Thursday at 11:59 pm ET and respond to 2 or more classmates by Sunday 11:59 pm ET. Forum posts are graded on timeliness, relevance, knowledge of the weekly readings, and the quality of original ideas.

Research Proposal – 15 percent

Research Paper – 35 percent

Final Assignment – 30 percent

NameGrade %
Forums 20.00 %
Week 1 Forum 2.50 %
Week 2 Forum 2.50 %
Week 3 Forum 2.50 %
Week 4 Forum 2.50 %
Week 5 Forum 2.50 %
Week 6 Forum 2.50 %
Week 7 Forum 2.50 %
Week 8 Forum 2.50 %
Research Question 15.00 %
Research Question 15.00 %
Research Paper 35.00 %
Research Paper 35.00 %
Final Assignment 30.00 %
Final Assignment 30.00 %
Book Title: Insurgents, Raiders and Bandits - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Author: Arquilla, John
Publication Info: Ivan R. Dee Publisher
ISBN: 9781566638326
Book Title: Uncomfortable Wars Revisited - e-book available in the APUS Online Library
Author: Fishel
Publication Info: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 9780806139883
Book Title: Course materials will change for August & beyond start dates. Please email for an updated booklist.
Publication Info: Open Web Sources

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.