Working Group 1 War Studies

Military strategy, operational art and tactics, contemporary operations, conflict, future warfare, asymmetrical warfare, psychological operations, peace support ops, COIN, military support for civil authority, doctrine development, military theory and practice, lessons learned and identified, terrorism and counter-terrorism, organized crime, intelligence, military policing, international police operations, regional approaches, privatization of security, special forces.



Cholpon Abdyraeva, "Drone Swarms - A Future Threat to Armed Forces?" Finabel - European Army Interoperability Centre (photograph - Andy Dean)


photo, Andy Dean

Current Chair and Contact for Working group 

Marzena Zakowska, PhD

Director of Global Affairs and Diplomacy Studies, National Security Faculty, War Studies University, 
al. gen. A. Chruściela 103, 00-910 Warsaw, Poland            Facebook          LinkedIn


Marzena Zakowska

Marzena Zakowska is an Assistant Professor at the War Studies University, Warsaw, Poland. She completed a Master's Degree in Political Science and holds a PhD in Security Science, graduating from the National Defence University in Warsaw, Poland. She has completed the following courses at the Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC: Foundations of Conflict Resolution: Governance and Democratic Practices in War to peace Transitions; and Preventing Deadly Conflict. She has researched in the areas of war and armed conflict, conflict resolution, Balkan region security, and Euro-Atlantic security. In researching the areas of hybrid threats in 2018, she initiated cooperation with the Interdisciplinary Center "Sciences for Peace" at the University of Pisa, Italy, and the Caucasus International University's Department of international Relations and Security Studies in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Past Chairs:

  • David Last                 2008-2009 (Amsterdam)
  • John David Young     2009-2012 (Stockholm, Tartu, Kingston)
  • John David Young     2012-2013 (Copenhagen) 
  • John David Young     2013-2017 (Vienna, Helsinki, Warsaw, Oslo)
  • Edward Lucas           2017-2018 (Oslo, Warsaw)
  • Marzena Zakowska   2018 (Warsaw) 


Scope: the aim and purpose of the Working Group

The War Studies Working Group addresses war and violent conflict in all its aspects as the central business of the profession of arms. Traditionally, many of the papers focus at the operational and tactical level, combining contemporary experience with the broadening knowledge required by mid-career officers.  

Questions of policy and grand strategy may also be addressed in working group 6, Security and Defence Policy and working group 10, Strategy. 

Keyword descriptors

War, strategy, military campaigning, military tactics, military operations, naval operations, air operations, air force, 

Topics addressed in previous conferences

Intelligence Engineering; Military Cross-cultural Competence; Russian Special Services; Comparative Strategy; Integrating Various Forms of Power in Conflict; NATO military scenarios; Multinational Capability Development Campaign; Psychotronic Weapons for Military Purposes; Mediation in Modern Armed Conflicts; Response to low-tech home-grown extremism; Innovation Theory and Military Operations Planning Process; Deterrence and Escalation Control as Components of Conflict Management; Integrated Multiplatform Approach to Joint Operations for Fighting Terrorism and Other International Threats; Amphibious Response as a Force Multiplier in the Nordic-Baltic Theatre; Assessing the Strategic Effect of Offensive Air Operations

Current Working Group Activities

The working group is looking for contributors to prepare an annual digest of new and influential materials, including books, journal articles, and research projects, for the benefit of participants and institutional members.

Dr. Marzena Zakowska is leading a book project on the nature of modern war - see blog entry, 5 March 2021 for call for papers. 

History of the Working Group

This is one of the original eight working groups of the ISMS established at Amsterdam in 2008.

Related Contact information

Working Group 6 Security and Defence Policy, Laurenz Furst

Working Group 10 Strategy, Dirk Heinzmann