Small Wars Journal is our professional e-journal.  It is distributed free of charge, subject to our terms of use. Journal Articles are typically longer works with more more analysis than the news and commentary we publish in the SWJ Blog. We accept contributed content from serious voices across the small wars community, and present it here as quickly as we can per our Editorial Policy to help fuel timely, thoughtful, and unvarnished discussion of the diverse and complex issues inherent in small wars.

What is important for the Joint force to understand is that social structures are not the stable, highly integrated, and harmonious systems as presented on a map.

Despite the scope of the threat to Mexico’s security, violent drug-trafficking organizations are not well understood, and optimal strategies to combat them have not...

As potentially the ‘first counterinsurgency victory of the twenty-first century’, the Sri Lankan experience turns much of this conventional wisdom on its head.

The emergence of autodefensas (self-defense} or vigilante groups in Mexico has far-reaching international implications that may not be readily visible.

Fighting Fire with Fire: Texas Rangers and Counterinsurgency in the 1847 Mexico City Campaign

Given the exponential growth and popularity of digital fabrication, also known colloquially as 3D printing, it is timely to question the implications that it holds for...

Malcolm Gladwell uses high pressure defense as a metaphor for insurgency in his newest book, David and Goliath. The lesson he draws is that the weaker party should...

Coordination Failures Among Mexican Security Forces: How the Mexican Government Botched the War on Drugs

Afghan sovereignty and future prosperity requires a more effective security force that is locally trained and fielded, and solely funded by Afghanistan.

A key question going unanswered is whether “The Clash of Civilizations” is still a driving force in current and future operational environments.

How the US Army thinks about strategy, thinking which is unavoidably  influenced by how the word strategy is defined, bears on how institutions will imagine,...

The new COIN manual retains a section on “Legal Considerations,” upgrading it from an appendix to its own chapter.

Continue on for three loosely related articles meant to inspire novel thought on military operations in the growing urban landscapes of the future.

The seventh anniversary of the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah conflict provides a critical opportunity to evaluate the global effect in a number of dimensions.

Committing months and years at a time to mentoring individuals and organizations takes a specific set of personality and character traits.

In this article, I undertake an analysis of the military-to-military components of the United States’ security assistance program in Morocco. 

Echoes of past tensions between the U.S. and Russia are again playing out on the international stage as we are bombarded by an increase in Cold War, anti-American type...

U.S. Policymakers have generally accepted as essential and uncontested fact that poverty and terrorism are directly and causally linked.

Thinking About Thinking About the Army’s Future: Paradigms and the Wicked Problem of “Landpower”

The February 2014 take-down of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, the notorious over-lord of the Sinaloa Cartel, has had a rippling effect on the drug...

Few historical comparisons have proven to be as useful for military officers today as that of the war that the French government fought against the Front de Libé...

America’s profession of arms is an institution grounded on the nature of ethics and propriety dating back to its inception.

Community Ecosystem Analysis: Using Data to Apply Military Counterinsurgency Principles to Community Policing

In his review of the updated FM 3-24, Bing West has some harsh words about the manual’s academic tint,  Charles J. Dunlap is also unimpressed.

Still Shortchanged: Some Observations About the New Army/Marine Corps COIN Doctrine

The Normandy invasion is usually depicted with great crashes, bangs and volcanic energy combined with broad scenes of masses of material and manpower.

If doctrine collapses in practice, do not repeat it. We tried COIN as nation-building twice, and twice it failed.

USSOCOM and USAID came together in 2013 in order to develop a capability that would increase inter- and intra-governmental information sharing and collaboration.

This article examines how the lay-out of Westgate Mall shaped the Westgate Mall attack and the response to it.

The Zero Dark Six Sigma Learning Organization Black Belt: What Should Businesses Learn From McChrystal and The Military Post 9/11?