Small Wars Journal


Journal Articles are typically longer works with more more analysis than the news and short commentary in the SWJ Blog.

We accept contributed content from serious voices across the small wars community, then publish 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.

by Sam Bocetta | Mon, 09/04/2017 - 2:33pm | 2 comments

War, what is it good for? Well, as it turns out, weapons development.

by Juan Ricardo Gómez Hecht | Mon, 09/04/2017 - 11:19am | 0 comments

La investigación sostiene que las principales pandillas en El Salvador (MS-13 y Barrio 18) han evolucionado hasta constituirse en un nuevo tipo de insurgencia.

by Imran Sharih | Sun, 09/03/2017 - 8:16am | 2 comments

U.S. policymakers must finally and honestly acknowledge that the only clear answer is to directly engage in addressing the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.

by Thomas R. McCabe | Sat, 09/02/2017 - 2:42pm | 1 comment

A merger between ISIS and AQC looks unlikely at this point. Al Qaeda may well just be positioning itself to pick up as many ISIS assets as possible when convenient.

by Andrew Byers, by Tara Mooney | Sat, 09/02/2017 - 12:52pm | 1 comment

ISIS will fade significantly in the next year. But once ISIS is gone, there are countless groups waiting in the wings to take over.

by Gary Anderson | Fri, 09/01/2017 - 10:37am | 0 comments

The military needs to know when it is time to hand over specific functions to the proper civilian agencies.

by Keith Nightingale | Thu, 08/31/2017 - 10:47am | 0 comments

In the darker recesses of the night, I see things that have been seen I wish not to see again. But they come, and they go.

by Jerry Drew | Wed, 08/30/2017 - 5:47pm | 0 comments

The space and cyber domains have changed the traditional notions of what constitutes war by expanding war into a global and continuous enterprise.

by John Bolton | Tue, 08/29/2017 - 2:11pm | 1 comment

Fully implementing Mission Command requires more than a veneer of leader training and superficial emphasis on decentralization.

by Vivian S. Walker | Mon, 08/28/2017 - 9:31am | 0 comments

This essay offers a close reading of Sparta’s diplomatic engagement with Athens following its stunning defeat at Pylos.

by Kevin Merrill | Mon, 08/28/2017 - 7:53am | 0 comments

Identifying and influencing the local population favorably enables time and space to conduct military operations.

by Edward P. Donnelly | Sun, 08/27/2017 - 10:06am | 1 comment

Beyond tactical capabilities, there exists a critical requirement to advise foreign nations’ forces at the strategic and institutional levels.

by Matthew Hutchison, by Erick Waage | Sat, 08/26/2017 - 4:43pm | 0 comments

Tools such as FireChat, though impressive in their own right, are representative of emerging disruptive technologies that can be used to either enable or inhibit military operations.

by Zachary L. Morris | Fri, 08/25/2017 - 2:17am | 0 comments

Modern British doctrine, while espousing many successful principles, neglects some critical lessons from actual British practice.

by Jason Thomas | Thu, 08/24/2017 - 11:05pm | 0 comments

This paper argues that while conventional military tensions are building with North Korea, Western allies should prepare for a dramatic increase in conflict against non-state actors.

by Stefan J. Banach | Thu, 08/24/2017 - 2:57pm | 0 comments

The U.S. government, corporate America, academia and the U.S. Joint Armed Forces must design a policy, strategy and doctrine for a “Whole of Nation” approach for the conduct of warfare.

by George Galdorisi | Wed, 08/23/2017 - 8:24am | 0 comments

Submitted in collaboration with TRADOC's Mad Scientist Continuum: Visualizing Multi-Domain Battle - 2030-2050.

by Sam Bocetta | Wed, 08/23/2017 - 6:44am | 0 comments

The techniques of sniping have developed alongside technological advances in sniper rifles, so the sniper rifle is actually best regarded as an extension of the sniper’s body.

by Marcel Plichta | Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:27pm | 0 comments

As long as states like the Central African Republic are unable to protect their citizens and development workers, the situation will not improve.

by Mohammad Naved Ferdaus Iqbal | Sun, 08/13/2017 - 6:04am | 0 comments

The paper evaluates the magnitude of threat posed by Violent Non-State Actors as opposed to hostile states actors with a national intelligence apparatus.

by Noah B. Cooper | Sat, 08/12/2017 - 8:31am | 1 comment

Adversaries of the United States have recognized the susceptibility of its military to irregular warfare threats and will certainly exploit it in future conflicts.

by Nathan A. Jennings | Fri, 08/11/2017 - 9:39am | 1 comment

Should the Army prepare to fight other modern militaries like those of Russia and China, or orient on stabilizing war-torn states like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan?

by Scott S. Haraburda | Wed, 08/09/2017 - 3:54am | 0 comments

In the year 2044, an artificial intelligence programmed character conducts platoon-level noncombatant evacuation operations simulation in a crumbling chaotic megacity.

by Jim Kane | Tue, 08/08/2017 - 3:23pm | 2 comments

The conflict between a need to maintain domestic political support for the government while also modernizing military leadership is not unique to Afghanistan.

by Antonio Garcia | Tue, 08/08/2017 - 1:33pm | 1 comment

This essay explores the themes of UN peacekeeping offensive operations and Unexploded Ordinance, Explosive Remnants of War and Improvised Explosive Devices.

by Martin Dawson | Mon, 08/07/2017 - 4:50pm | 2 comments

This strategy should be considered alongside others to wage a non-traditional war against a non-traditional enemy.

by Jacob Kim | Mon, 08/07/2017 - 8:22am | 1 comment

Cartels are born from greed but they are also byproducts of Mexico’s flawed policies.

by Kenneth Mok | Mon, 08/07/2017 - 7:37am | 0 comments

There are two competing arguments regarding the gravity of the threat that cyber-attacks pose to the nation’s security.

by Dale F. Spurlin | Sun, 08/06/2017 - 5:53am | 0 comments

Army doctrine requires problem identification in all problem solving processes but that doctrine is silent on the format and design of a problem statement.

by James B. Linder, by Spencer B. Meredith III, by Jason D. Johnson | Sun, 08/06/2017 - 4:31am | 3 comments

The biggest changes to the character of war seem to be ahead of us as the 21st century opens what looks like Pandora’s Box.

by Dale C. Eikmeier | Sat, 08/05/2017 - 12:54pm | 6 comments

On doctrine - a fictional conversation that occurs routinely in Professional Military Education classrooms and hallways.

by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Sat, 08/05/2017 - 4:40am | 0 comments

This situation removes public spaces from the commons and places this territory in the hands of corporate or plutocratic elite rather than under state control.

by Franklin C. Annis | Fri, 08/04/2017 - 4:36pm | 0 comments

The author makes several distinctions on how reading for the purposes of military self-development differs from reading practices in academia.

by Harold R. Schyberg III | Fri, 08/04/2017 - 3:35pm | 0 comments

Failure in training is vital in unconventional and conventional warfare environments. Battalion and higher staff must fail in training and then correct their mistakes.

by SWJ Editors | Fri, 08/04/2017 - 1:11am | 2 comments

Continue on for the SWJ / MWG Writing Contest top three entries.

by Karam Singh, by Awad Mustafa | Wed, 08/02/2017 - 8:48pm | 1 comment

With increasing scrutiny on Qatar to ease their foreign policy initiatives, more allegations are digging into Qatar’s already controversial track record.

by U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command | Wed, 08/02/2017 - 10:12am | 0 comments

Continue on for the U.S. Army TRADOC Mad Scientist Sci-Fi Stories - Executive Summary and a link to the full document.

by U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command | Fri, 07/28/2017 - 11:22am | 4 comments

"The Operational Environment and the Changing Character of Future Warfare" - Continue on for the full TRADOC G-2 assessment / estimate.

by David Del Signore, by John G. Wildt | Thu, 07/27/2017 - 11:27am | 0 comments

As intelligence professionals, we must provide timely intelligence support to maneuver commanders if we are to remain relevant.

by Joan Johnson-Freese | Wed, 07/26/2017 - 11:03am | 1 comment

Only by including perspectives from both genders is a comprehensive picture of the security environment possible.

by Andrew Loftesnes | Wed, 07/26/2017 - 10:30am | 0 comments

Good ideas should not have rank, they should have influence.

by J. David Stoffey | Tue, 07/25/2017 - 3:15pm | 0 comments

As one of the oldest civilizations in human history, China maintains a level of subconscious devotion to its history and culture. This paper explores one of these devotions—the steppe.

by David Murphy | Tue, 07/25/2017 - 7:58am | 1 comment

The events surrounding the “siege of Sidney Street” raised a series of issues that echo many current concerns regarding terrorism and migrants.

by Brian M. Dempsey, by Radhika R. Roy | Mon, 07/24/2017 - 11:47am | 0 comments

TRADOC Mad Scientist Project: The rise of super-intelligent information technologies fueled with robotics, smart munitions, ubiquitous sensing, and extreme networking.

by Andrew Byers, by Tara Mooney | Mon, 07/24/2017 - 4:32am | 0 comments

Despite targeting AQ for the past sixteen years and killing bin Laden, the U.S. and its allies have been unable to destroy what was once considered the most dangerous terrorist group in the world.

by Jeff Becker | Mon, 07/24/2017 - 3:47am | 0 comments

TRADOC Mad Scientist Project: Exploring the art of the possible in future infantry combat.

by Gopika Shinghal | Sun, 07/23/2017 - 7:56pm | 0 comments

History falls under the realms of highly contested narratives and the Sino-Indian border war is no exception.

by David Booth | Sun, 07/23/2017 - 11:37am | 0 comments

The political context of future conflicts will have a far greater impact on the conduct of war than current U.S. military modernization efforts reflect.

by Jüri Toomepuu | Sat, 07/22/2017 - 10:05pm | 0 comments

NATO member Estonia has become; along with Latvia, Lithuania and Poland; NATO`s eastern bulwark against Putin´s increasing aggressiveness.

by Gary R. Gilbert, by Nathan T. Fisher | Sat, 07/22/2017 - 6:32pm | 0 comments

TRADOC Mad Scientist Project: Leveraging robotics and autonomous systems to penetrate high-risk areas and to provide support in contested environments.