Small Wars Journal
  • The truth is starting to emerge about a recent Russian attack on U.S. forces in eastern Syria, and it deserves more public attention. The assault looks increasingly like a botched attempt to bloody the U.S. and intimidate President Trump into withdrawing from Syria once Islamic State is defeated. The U.S. military won this round, but Vladimir Putin’s forces will surely look for a chance at revenge.
    Wall Street Journal
  • It has to be an awfully good meeting to beat having no meeting at all.
    Boyd K. Packer
  • In our effort to learn from Iraq and Afghanistan, we continuously ran into issues where lessons encountered in Vietnam were ignored, or inadequately learned, or not passed on to subsequent cohorts. If we had done a better job at it, we surely would have avoided many mistakes in the current long war.
    Joseph J. Collins
  • The war in Vietnam was not lost in the field, nor was it lost on the front pages of the New York Times or the college campuses. It was lost in Washington, D.C.
    H.R. McMaster – Dereliction of Duty

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"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

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by Kyle Amonson | Sat, 03/17/2018 - 8:51pm | 0 comments
This essay defines war in the international and historical sense, then analyzes human nature’s role in conflict, followed by human nature’s projection on the nation state and finally concludes with the most frequent manifestations of conflict and conclusion.
by Sidharth Kaushal | Sat, 03/17/2018 - 6:23am | 0 comments
The successful application of prospect theory to insurgent behavior demonstrates that the selection of a strategy by an insurgent is not exogenously given, as much counterinsurgency presumes as a starting point, but is open to being shaped by the counterinsurgent state.
by Mark T. Peters | Thu, 03/15/2018 - 7:21pm | 0 comments
Suffering from triple digit inflation, rampaging price increases, severe medicine and food shortages, a 50% drop in national petroleum revenues as well as an authoritarian, corrupt government focused on regime survival guiding the ship, Venezuela requires significant course corrections.
by Bradley L. Rees | Thu, 03/15/2018 - 2:12am | 1 comment
This article explores the progression of Western, and specifically United States, military thinking and warfighting philosophies. It centers on the utility of information, information warfare, and information in war; the operational framework and battlefield geometry by which military forces are employed; and posits that a new conceptual construct is required to better frame contemporary and more importantly future warfare.
by Robert Bunker | Tue, 03/13/2018 - 12:55pm | 1 comment
This research guide has been created for Small Wars Journal readers to aid in their understanding of the plutocratic insurgency construct and explain how it is related to the earlier criminal insurgency construct which has been the focus of numerous El Centro works over the last decade.
by Mallory H. Walton | Mon, 03/12/2018 - 12:30am | 0 comments
For girls, and women in particular, education can be a source of empowerment and they can serve as a catalyst for societies emerging after decades of civil unrest.
by Robert Zager, by John Zager | Sun, 03/11/2018 - 3:42pm | 0 comments
In this paper the authors review the Cyber Threat Framework and propose an extension to the Cyber Threat Framework which integrates cyber threats with cyber defenses.
by Doyle Quiggle | Sat, 03/10/2018 - 7:44pm | 0 comments
The first Small Wars Journal review of seven on this classic of the war in Vietnam.
by Alan M. Hammons | Fri, 03/09/2018 - 12:44am | 0 comments
If JPG leaders follow the general rules for fact and assumption development, they are likely to create valuable and relevant facts and assumptions faster and with less wasted effort.
by Greg Kleponis | Thu, 03/08/2018 - 12:30am | 3 comments

Temporareality is a strange military internal sub-culture that I have personally observed for over 16 years in 4 post 9-11 deployments.

Blog Posts

by Foreign Affairs | Sat, 03/17/2018 - 9:38pm | 0 comments
"The intention behind such a strategy is easy to understand, but the logic is backward. The United States does have an incentive to challenge Moscow where it can, but it has a losing hand in Syria."
| Sat, 03/17/2018 - 8:20am | 0 comments
"Pakistan is doing the 'bare minimum' needed to address U.S. demands that it stop the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network from operating within its borders, a senior U.S. official has said."
by Breaking Defense | Sat, 03/17/2018 - 7:55am | 0 comments
“The catch, of course, is that the Army's tried to field all these things before -- and failed. Why would things go any better this time around? Brig. Gen. Christopher Donahue has an answer for that.”
by Army Times | Fri, 03/16/2018 - 5:36pm | 0 comments
The Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade left for Afghanistan last week, the first deployment in a new train-advise-assist model that the service hopes to build on with larger organizational units, the Army staff’s director of force management said Friday.
by The Washington Post | Fri, 03/16/2018 - 5:02am | 0 comments
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday that he doesn’t want the months-long investigation into how four U.S. soldiers were killed last year in Niger held up, and he expects to soon receive a memorandum about it from the Pentagon’s top general.
by The Washington Post | Thu, 03/15/2018 - 9:11pm | 0 comments
President Trump has decided to remove H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser and is actively discussing potential replacements, according to five people with knowledge of the plans, preparing to deliver yet another jolt to the senior ranks of his administration.
by The Wall Street Journal | Wed, 03/14/2018 - 11:03pm | 0 comments
“Army General John Nicholson strikes upbeat note on reconciliation even as some question whether U.S. is in a position to help negotiate a solution.”
by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty | Wed, 03/14/2018 - 8:20pm | 0 comments
The Russian mercenaries fighting in Syria say they are not in the country for the money or to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
by DoD News | Wed, 03/14/2018 - 6:42pm | 0 comments
The United States already has the best infantry soldiers, Marines and special operators on the face of the Earth, but Defense Secretary James N. Mattis wants them to completely overmatch any potential foes.
by The Washington Post | Wed, 03/14/2018 - 5:43pm | 0 comments
"The United States is bolstering its efforts to help the Afghan government squash a rash of deadly high-profile attacks in its capital city through Special Operations raids, intelligence to map out residents and additional military advising."