Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished ManuscriptAbstract: The inability of states to counter U.S. technological and strategic power on the conventional battlefield requires that states employ an insurgent-style of warfare against U.S. forces. More then any state, Iran has utilized the strategic employment of asymmetry to achieve multiple objectives. Through a combination of militias, insurgencies, terror groups, and organized crime organizations, Iran has built an effective counter to the United States' conventional supremacy. Consequently, Iran's use of non-state armed groups has enormous implications on the future of international security.
This paper examines Irans use of non-state armed groups to achieve its political and security objectives. It recognizes the use of non-state armed groups as being a critical component to an Iranian security doctrine that is guided by strategic asymmetry. Specifically, it examines: the political and strategic cultures that contribute to the use of non-state armed groups; the structural components that facilitate their use; the operational particulars of the groups which Iran utilizes; the broader implications of their strategic employment.
To achieve this qualitative study, this paper uses an architecture for the study of non-state armed groups. This architecture was developed by Professors Richard Shultz, Douglas Farrah, and Itamara Lochard in the US Air Force INSS Occasional Paper (57), entitled Armed Groups: A Tier-One Security Policy. This framework provides four categories of non-state armed groups, and it utilizes six variables for the analysis of individual groups.
Analysis leads this study to conclude the following: Irans senior leadership sees the exportation of jihadi insurgencies as paramount to achieving its long-term ideological goals.