“Our efforts to rebalance the force center on ensuring that our military can be truly versatile across the full range of possible conflicts. For far too long we assumed that, for example, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, building security capacity and stability operations were “lesser included” cases—subsets of the canonical contingencies that dominated our defense planning. As long as we planned for conventional warfare, so the argument went, we could succeed in these other operations. We all know where that approach got us.  So today we are elevating the most plausible series of challenges as the basis for our force planning. These challenges include counterinsurgency and capacity-building operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also preparing for new threats to the primary means that the United States utilizes to project power—our military bases, sea and air assets, and the networks that support them.”

-- Michele Flournoy

"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 still uses a separate Council Username.


Iran is destined to remain a “victim” because its leaders have determined it is in their best interest to do so. 

One must ask why Civil Affairs specialists, the purported experts of the civilian domain are so ill-trained and equipped to reconnoiter the civil space?

Continue on for all the details.

Many political analysts and historians referred to the war as one for independence or as a civil war. This characterization is incomplete and contributes to numerous misconceptions about the conflict.

Hacking for Defense is a battle-tested problem-solving methodology that runs at Silicon Valley speed. We just held our first Hacking for Defense Educators Class with 75 attendees.

swj blog

Most American military personnel are deeply skeptical of nation-building missions overseas and would prefer to see leaders focus the country's resources on less ambiguous missions.

Continue on for the video.

The Silver Wings perform more parachute demonstrations in a year than the ubiquitous Golden Knights with a fraction of the budget and with primarily part-time team members.

"Although Pyongyang appears to be stable now, such stability is like nuclear deterrence: it works right up to the day when it does not."

"Trying to secure North Korea after a chaotic collapse or overthrow of the Kim regime would be a nightmare."