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 J. Overton | Sun, 02/25/2018 - 8:01pm | 0 comments

I pulled out "Cold Cash War" again recently, as it reached its 40th birthday this year, and to my surprise found elements of it held up well enough that I thought they deserved to be shared.

by Michael H. Hoffman | Sun, 02/25/2018 - 6:52pm | 0 comments

Article one of three in the latest Mad Scientist at Small Wars Journal series.

by Ronald W. Sprang | Sat, 02/24/2018 - 2:08pm | 0 comments

Operational art and deep-operations theory in Russia traces its theoretical beginning to Napoleon’s six-month campaign in 1812.

by Robert Bunker, by José de Arimatéia da Cruz, by John P. Sullivan | Sat, 02/24/2018 - 12:18am | 0 comments

The military oversight is the first federal intervention where federal forces took command in a Brazilian state since the return to democracy in 1988.

by Eric Hovey | Fri, 02/23/2018 - 1:40pm | 0 comments

Article five of five in the latest Mad Scientist at Small Wars Journal series.

by Tyler Sweatt | Fri, 02/23/2018 - 1:23pm | 0 comments

Article four of five in the latest Mad Scientist at Small Wars Journal series.

by Joseph Davis | Fri, 02/23/2018 - 1:07am | 0 comments

Psychological Warfare, the most potent weapon leveraged by both sides in the 1947 to present Arab-Israeli conflict, finally gets the attention it deserves.

by Gregg Campbell | Fri, 02/23/2018 - 12:26am | 0 comments

Article three of five in the latest Mad Scientist at Small Wars Journal series.

by Brett Sylvia, by Aaron Childers, by Ryan Wylie | Thu, 02/22/2018 - 11:41am | 0 comments

There is no perfect way to reorganize for advising, but the lessons utilized by TF Strike are undeniably pertinent as the Army considers the organization and employment of SFABs.

by Chuck Heard | Thu, 02/22/2018 - 9:23am | 0 comments

Article two of five in the latest Mad Scientist at Small Wars Journal series.

by Amber S. Linde, by David M. Thompson | Wed, 02/21/2018 - 4:21pm | 0 comments

Article one of five in the latest Mad Scientist at Small Wars Journal series.

by Robert Bunker, by John P. Sullivan | Wed, 02/21/2018 - 3:14pm | 0 comments

Two anti-personnel mines (minas antipersonales) were recovered from suspected members of the Cartel del Golfo (Gulf Cartel) in Reynosa, Tamaulipas.

by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Wed, 02/21/2018 - 8:14am | 0 comments

This incident has the potential to raise the stakes in the contest between the CJNG and the Mexican state following what is essentially tantamount to a CJNG declaration of war.

by Keith Nightingale | Tue, 02/20/2018 - 5:22pm | 2 comments

Edited by Richard Kolb, this book is the VFWs’ contribution to the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

by Kiril Avramov | Tue, 02/20/2018 - 1:28am | 1 comment

The “Grozny model” promises security and prosperity to the loyal Syrian enclaves, if they accept the distinct features of “Chechenization”.

by Asim Yousafzai | Fri, 02/09/2018 - 3:16pm | 4 comments

Voices of resentment and marginalization are loud and clear, the participants seem determined to have their voices heard. Can this protest prove be an eye-opener for the Pakistani elite?

by Jens Flinch Jørgensen, by Melanie Sofia Hartvigsen | Fri, 02/09/2018 - 12:08am | 0 comments

While western hostages around the world easily make headlines, the local prisoners in conflicts are less reported on and even less often identified.

by Donald C. Bolduc | Wed, 02/07/2018 - 5:06am | 23 comments

Africa matters because an unstable Africa is not in the world’s best interest.  To keep Africa stable will require a long-term international effort.

by John Bolton | Wed, 02/07/2018 - 4:59am | 3 comments

America lacks both serious consideration about the ends America seeks in deploying its sons and daughters across the globe and the way it is achieving our stated ends.

by Antonio Garcia | Tue, 02/06/2018 - 5:34am | 1 comment

This article is a continuation of the research published in the author's previous paper, ‘United Nations Peacekeeping Offensive Operations: Theory and Doctrine’.

by Njdeh Asisian | Tue, 02/06/2018 - 4:05am | 0 comments

There are many competing factors involved in this crisis which could create challenges to regional security should diplomatic tools fail to solve their differences.

by T. Casey Fleming, by Eric L. Qualkenbush, by Anthony M. Chapa | Mon, 02/05/2018 - 11:38am | 2 comments

Top Threat to Business, National Security and the American Dream: Detailing the New Global Competitive Model Based on Cyber and Asymmetrical Hybrid Warfare

by Joe Evans, by Akriti Rana | Sun, 02/04/2018 - 2:52pm | 0 comments

Military planning can incorporate gender related factors to promote peacebuilding and mitigate the effects of conflict and can be applied to ongoing operations or in post-conflict situations.

by J.R. Bullington | Sat, 02/03/2018 - 11:30am | 2 comments

This essay provides the perspective of a Foreign Service Officer who was involved in Vietnam in several capacities, including Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support.

by Alex Calvo | Fri, 02/02/2018 - 5:20pm | 0 comments

The problem can be summarized as follows: allied troops are better trained and equipped, while local forces enjoy a greater familiarity with the terrain, including above all the population.

by Stefan J. Banach | Fri, 02/02/2018 - 12:14am | 0 comments

War, of any kind, is the ultimate failure of mankind.  Yet, in the course of human endeavors, we have found another way in which to wage global war.

by Dean Shumate | Thu, 02/01/2018 - 1:01am | 47 comments

Our leaders do not seem to understand insurgencies. Most of our approaches are ineffective, if not counterproductive. Too many lives have been lost due to ignorance and carelessness.

by Kevin Sites | Wed, 01/31/2018 - 5:12pm | 0 comments

From wine swilling Greek hoplites to tweaked out NAZI’s on speed, drugs and alcohol have been the most essential psychological weapons in the history of human warfare.

by Bing West | Wed, 01/31/2018 - 4:57am | 0 comments

The Marines had the fastest rifles in the village of Binh Nghia. It wasn't long until the second fastest belonged to their comrades-in-arms, the Popular Forces.

by Gavin Wilde | Tue, 01/30/2018 - 3:11am | 7 comments

Washington ought to study the re-emergence of Russian “active measures” less as a manifestation of newfound strength, more as a long-fostered sense vulnerability on full display.

by W. Hunsecker | Tue, 01/30/2018 - 2:58am | 3 comments

The policy of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has facilitated political warfare, against the United States, by foreign interests.

by Moe Gyo | Mon, 01/29/2018 - 1:15am | 0 comments

The “Bamarization” and militarization of the Burmese government gave rise to a proliferation of insurgent ethnic armed organizations and continuous conflicts.

by Zachary L. Morris | Mon, 01/29/2018 - 12:25am | 0 comments

The constraints and weaknesses imposed on China by the conscription policy likely restricts China’s options in the event of a crisis.

by Peter Polack | Sun, 01/28/2018 - 3:45pm | 0 comments

The Casemate Short History series. "Guerrilla Warfare: Kings of Revolution" is a compendium of prominent guerilla leaders including George Washington, Simon Bolivar, Mao Zedong and King Ibn Saud.

by Luke Calhoun | Sun, 01/28/2018 - 12:21am | 0 comments

There is a fleeting opportunity to build upon the stability created by a defeated ISIS, stable Iraq, recovering Syria, strengthened ties with Lebanon and Jordan, and cooperative regional partners.

by U.S. Army TRADOC G2 | Fri, 01/26/2018 - 12:52pm | 3 comments

This paper argues that fast-moving trends across the DIME spheres are rapidly changing all aspects of society and human life, including the very character of warfare.

by Jeff Dougherty | Fri, 01/26/2018 - 9:16am | 0 comments

Although hacking has been part of espionage since at least 1989 nation-state sponsored attacks have grown dramatically throughout the past decade.

by Bryan Baker | Fri, 01/26/2018 - 1:19am | 1 comment

The social contract has been breached in many Mexican states. Instead of rule of law, impunity reigns. Crimes go unreported, uninvestigated, and unpunished.

by David M. Wren | Thu, 01/25/2018 - 6:51pm | 0 comments

Due to political volatility, economic uncertainty, and social norms, the Republic of Yemen's current supply of fresh water is not sustainable.

by Robert Bunker, by José de Arimatéia da Cruz, by John P. Sullivan | Thu, 01/25/2018 - 9:54am | 0 comments

Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 9: Concerns About Potential Gang (PCC-Primeiro Comando da Capital & CV-Comando Vermelho) Influence on Upcoming Brazilian Elections

by Benjamin A. Budde | Wed, 01/24/2018 - 4:41am | 1 comment

What we fail to understand is that it is the mode of conveyance, its ubiquity and simultaneity, that legitimates the extremism ideology and community.

by George C. Kraehe | Wed, 01/24/2018 - 4:15am | 0 comments

The nature of narcotics trafficking in North Africa and the Sahel has changed in recent years in significant ways.

by Julie Sagram | Tue, 01/23/2018 - 1:20am | 6 comments

An understanding of society is integral to the human enterprise of armed conflict. This is why the US military has synthesized its tactics with social science research in post-9/11 operations.

by Faith Stewart, by Andrew Byers | Tue, 01/23/2018 - 12:23am | 0 comments

A national catastrophe embroiling Yemen’s neighbors and a microcosm of the problems existing throughout the greater Middle East.

by Christian Vianna de Azevedo | Mon, 01/22/2018 - 6:14am | 0 comments

The Case of Rio de Janeiro: Context, Confrontation Issues and Implications for Brazilian Public Security.

by Andris Banka | Sun, 01/21/2018 - 7:42pm | 0 comments

Are we witnessing a time when the US is regretting bringing the Baltics into the transatlantic community?     

by Bryan Leese | Sun, 01/21/2018 - 5:04pm | 0 comments

Culture analysis may be the key that wins wars, not just terminate fighting. This analysis is complex, time consuming, and often not conducted.

by Penny Watson | Sun, 01/21/2018 - 2:26pm | 0 comments

What is a protest by the Iranian people against the oppressive fundamentalist regime, has a much more diversified group of world actors.

by Keith Nightingale | Sat, 01/20/2018 - 6:46am | 0 comments

The recent acclaimed Burns-Novik documentary on Vietnam is great cinematic art but poor history.  Unfortunately, it will be generally judged as THE history.

by Robert Bunker, by John P. Sullivan | Fri, 01/19/2018 - 2:44am | 0 comments

Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 8: Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) Links to Occult Rituals and Santa Muerte Veneration or Worship