On March 31, 2011, Professor John Tierney moderated a panel discussion on "Historical Perspectives of Irregular Warfare" at the request of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict and Interdependent Capabilities (SO/LIC&IC).
Panel participants included Colonel Andrew Finlayson, USMC (Ret.); Dr. Wayne Hsieh, a professor of military history at the U.S. Naval Academy; Dr. Meredith Lair, a professor in the History Department of George Mason University; Dr. Martin van Creveld, a world-renowned military historian and theorist; and Colonel Gian Gentile, U.S. Army, who is currently assigned to the U.S. Military Academy as a history professor.
At the panel, Dr. Tierney summarized many of the points he makes in his book Chasing Ghosts: Unconventional Warfare in American History. He explained that, "while the subject of irregular warfare is supposed to be the wave of the future, it certainly has a place in American history."
The panel was part of the Irregular Warfare in the 21st Century Symposium, which was held March 30-31, 2011 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center Building in Washington, D.C. The symposium's goal was to discuss the critical issues surrounding the implementation of Secretary of Defense Gates' directive to institutionalize Irregular Warfare in the Department of Defense. There were many notable attendees at the conference, including senior military and civilian officials.