State adversaries and their proxies increasingly seek to prevail through their own use of irregular warfare, pursuing national objectives in the competitive space deliberately below the threshold likely to provoke a U.S. conventional response. China, Russia, and Iran are willing practitioners of campaigns of disinformation, deception, sabotage, and economic coercion, as well as Proxy, guerrilla, and covert operations. The Irregular Warfare Annex to the National Defense Strategy clarifies?
a) Irregular warfare is to be institutionalized as a core competency with sufficient, enduring capabilities to advance national security objectives across the spectrum of competition and conflict, in alignment with the NDS
b) The importance of conventional warfare over irregular warfare
c) The need to avoid engaging in irregular warfare altogether
d) The limitations of irregular warfare in achieving national security objectives