Small Wars Journal
  • “Look! We're not worried about the German army, we've got enough troubles of our own. To the right General Patton, to the left the British Army, to the rear our own goddamn artillery, and besides all that it's raining. And the only good thing to say about the weather is it keeps our air corps from blowing us all to Hell because it’s too lousy to fly.”
    -- Big Joe – ‘Kelly’s Heroes’
  • "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
    -- Napoleon Bonaparte
  • "Before a war, military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war, it seems more like astrology."
    -- Rebecca West
  • “Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.”
    -- Douglas MacArthur
  • "When I lost my rifle, the Army charged me 85 dollars. That is why in the Navy the Captain goes down with the ship."
    -- Dick Gregory

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Pacific Seahawk - Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric Smith rides in an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter while participating in a composite training unit exercise in the Pacific Ocean, on 11 June 2018. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew Freeman.

"Small wars are operations undertaken under executive authority, wherein military force is combined with diplomatic pressure in the internal or external affairs of another state whose government is unstable, inadequate, or unsatisfactory for the preservation of life and of such interests as are determined by the foreign policy of our Nation."

-- Small Wars Manual, 1940

Welcome. Small Wars Journal publishes original works from authentic voices across the spectrum of stakeholders in small wars. We also link you to relevant goings on elsewhere.  Login with your SWJ Username to comment, or Register, it's free. You can start your own threads in the Small Wars Council discussion board, but note that the board requires a separate Council Username. Follow SWJ on Twitter @smallwars.

Journal

by Daniel H. Heinke | Tue, 06/19/2018 - 12:07am | 0 comments
This sketch intends to highlight the need for an expanded systematic cooperation between those state actors tasked with ‘external’ security and those responsible for homeland security. It expands on the role of law enforcement in counter-terrorism brief the author delivered in a multi-national environment of both military and law enforcement practitioners.
by Margaret Loper | Mon, 06/18/2018 - 6:22pm | 0 comments
Cities may be the first to benefit from the IoT, but reliance on these machines to make decisions has profound implications for trust. This article is the latest addition to the U.S. Army TRADOC G2 Mad Scientist Initiative’s Future of Warfare 2030-2050 project at Small Wars Journal.
by AT&T Global Public Sector | Mon, 06/18/2018 - 6:21am | 0 comments
This article is the latest addition to the U.S. Army TRADOC G2 Mad Scientist Initiative’s Future of Warfare 2030-2050 project at Small Wars Journal. By AT&T Global Public Sector: Roger Wong, Usha Mohan, Michael Canty, Tina Chester, Richard Chung and Terry White.
by Gary Anderson | Sun, 06/17/2018 - 12:14am | 0 comments
If I were a commander in Afghanistan today, my first question on visiting an Afghan air base would be; “what is your aircraft readiness rate”? If it is less than 70%, I’d want to talk to the mechanics. That would say volumes.
by Donald E. Vandergriff | Sat, 06/16/2018 - 8:17am | 0 comments
The U.S. Army spills the words "Mission Command" everywhere from its literature, PowerPoint briefings, doctrine manuals, and professional journals that now seem to include an article on "Mission Command" in every issue. The U.S. Army culture, while it aspires to adopt a concept originating in German military thought, has in reality cultivated a culture that more closely emulates the French Army culture during the interwar period (1918-1939).
by Andrew Schoka | Fri, 06/15/2018 - 6:59am | 0 comments
Maneuver theory has now evolved to consider the first man-and-machine-made domain, in which cyberspace, as an artificial information domain, overlaps, intersects, and engages with the four other warfighting domains. The unique nature of the cyberspace warfighting domain presents a host of distinct challenges and considerations to maneuver thinking, requiring a change to the approach of training maneuver warfare principles for military cyberspace leaders.
by Matthew A. Cronin | Fri, 06/15/2018 - 5:40am | 0 comments
A policy decision in 2015 requires the integration of women into all military occupational specialties (MOS), including combat MOS if they meet the appropriate standards. Human history shows that women participated in war in supporting roles, but did not fight as combatants. The risks associated with changing this fundamental characteristic of human society should be assessed considering science.
by Leon Young, by Timothy Keeffe | Thu, 06/14/2018 - 12:37am | 0 comments
There is a clear requirement for the development of strategic thinking in modern militaries that is not being addressed by the JPME continuum. This short article proposes a generalised model that frames the development of strategic thinking through a deliberate pedagogy and a suggested set of activities is provided.
by Donald C. Bolduc | Wed, 06/13/2018 - 1:00am | 0 comments
There are 12 critical areas that must be addressed to ensure the Army is successful in the future. None of what appears here has to do with technology, but rather people, our most important asset.
by Douglas A. Livermore | Tue, 06/12/2018 - 12:13am | 2 comments
Lebanese Hezbollah, in the face of dwindling external financial support from the Iranian government between 2006 and 2012, diversified its funding streams by establishing lucrative and expansive narcotics smuggling and sales networks around the world. This narcotics trade is now arguably Hezbollah’s largest consistent source of revenue, enabling it to conduct terrorist activities, fund its charitable projects in Lebanon, and portray itself as a legitimate political and resistance movement.

Blog Posts

by The Washington Post | Tue, 06/19/2018 - 9:23am | 0 comments
"And then they come, bus after bus, wheelchair after wheelchair, battalions of his bent brothers, stooped with years but steeped in pride, veterans coming to see their country’s monument to their sacrifice and to be welcomed by of one of their country’s icons."
by The New York Times | Tue, 06/19/2018 - 12:05am | 0 comments
"Raiding among cattle-herding tribes is a traditional part of life in South Sudan, but in the past five years, the skirmishes have become more violent and unrestrained. Small armed bands that traditionally guarded their communities’ livestock have been drawn into bitter proxy battles."
by Association of the United States Army | Mon, 06/18/2018 - 9:05pm | 0 comments
John Nagl and Paul Yingling - "We are old men who spent the better part of two decades fighting on the battlefields of the Middle East and in the halls of the Pentagon. In the Middle East, our enemies were insurgents. In the Pentagon, we were the insurgents: pushing the Army to adapt to the challenges of irregular warfare. Our goal here is not to refight those old battles. Instead, in the great tradition of Kenny Rogers, we’d like to offer some advice to young leaders who are considering fighting the battle for defense reform."
by The Washington Post | Sun, 06/17/2018 - 4:21pm | 0 comments
“After two days of rising hopes across the country, Taliban leaders Sunday brusquely rejected the government’s proposal to extend a three-day ceasefire and said they were ordering all insurgent fighters to resume operations against ‘the foreign invaders and their internal supporters.’”
by SWJ Editors | Sun, 06/17/2018 - 2:01pm | 0 comments
Via the United Nations University's Centre for Policy Research - "There is a clear case to be made that the sustainable development fight may be won or lost in cities. Urban areas, especially in conflict-affected contexts, are emerging as epicentres of multi-layered violence and extreme vulnerability."
by Voice of America | Sun, 06/17/2018 - 12:25pm | 0 comments
"A suicide bomb attack has killed at least 19 people and wounded more than 50 others in eastern Afghanistan, a day after a deadly attack in the same area targeted government soldiers and Taliban insurgents celebrating a temporary cease-fire during the Muslim festival Eid al-Fitr."
by Associated Press | Sun, 06/17/2018 - 12:51am | 0 comments
"In 2016, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, signed a peace deal that ended five decades of conflict. The peace accord was praised around the world but its implementation has been slow going and ridden with obstacles."
by The Washington Post | Sat, 06/16/2018 - 8:04pm | 0 comments
"President Ashraf Ghani ordered the extension Saturday of a first-time cease-fire with Taliban insurgents, offered to provide medical treatment to injured Taliban fighters and announced that 46 Taliban prisoners had been released Friday as a sign of official goodwill."
by The Hill | Sat, 06/16/2018 - 11:58am | 0 comments
"The Government of Afghanistan on June 7 offered a unilateral, week-long cease-fire to the Taliban beginning June 12, in observance of the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Of course, a cease-fire is not a peace agreement, but it can lead to one."
by Stars & Stripes | Sat, 06/16/2018 - 7:14am | 0 comments
"The first day of the Eid holiday in eastern Afghanistan brought a strange sight - presumed Taliban fighters walking up to Afghan soldiers at checkpoints and taking selfies with them."