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 James D. Scrogin, by Jason M. Bender | Fri, 01/19/2018 - 12:37am | 0 comments

An intimate insight into the operating environment of the Army’s largest commissioning source.

by Keith Nightingale | Fri, 01/19/2018 - 12:10am | 0 comments

The decision by the Navy to place these men on trial will open a Pandora’s Box of the law of unintended consequences. History indicates the outcome will be virtually all bad.

by Abdul Rahman Rahmani, by Jack McCain | Thu, 01/18/2018 - 12:49am | 0 comments

With new aircraft, at-home training, maintenance practices, and a new generation of eager pilots and aircrew, it will be possible to begin to turn the tide at all levels of the Afghan war.

by Greg Simons | Thu, 01/18/2018 - 12:24am | 4 comments

Common sense and cool heads are required to bring the current new Cold War atmosphere back into a safer zone of dialogue and engagement.

by Christopher Flaherty | Wed, 01/17/2018 - 12:28am | 0 comments

The purpose of this short review is to present a different concept of deception - that it should be viewed as a pervasive and elemental force in operations.

by Oliver B. Gagne | Wed, 01/17/2018 - 12:13am | 0 comments

The purpose of this essay is to generate discussion regarding a new way to incorporate near-peer Electronic Warfare threats into the operations planning process.

by Joseph J. Collins | Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:41am | 2 comments

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s epic, 18-hour television series on the war in Vietnam left me feeling the same way that the war did: sad, depressed, disillusioned, and ready for it to end.

by Chris Telley | Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:25am | 0 comments

The evolving power of cryptocurrency, the threat behaviors enabled by the technology, and some ways to counter threat activity while preserving the possibilities for healthy innovation.

by Noah B. Cooper | Mon, 01/15/2018 - 12:34am | 1 comment

Organizational survival is an intrinsic goal of ISIS and thus as the caliphate shrinks, the group will seek to intensify its operations in other portions of the globe to remain relevant.

by Michael J. Mooney | Mon, 01/15/2018 - 12:21am | 9 comments

This essay examines the military campaign plan designed to destroy the Islamic State caliphate through the lens of the Clausewitz’s center of gravity.

by Chiara De Cuia | Sun, 01/14/2018 - 2:27pm | 0 comments

ISAF may provide a new model of counterinsurgency – de facto multilateral – based on classical doctrines and tenets, yet organizationally and operationally different.

by Daniel E. Ward | Sat, 01/13/2018 - 2:46pm | 1 comment

The U.S. military needs to maintain a global presence; dominate locally; be able to sustain stability operations; and be able to concentrate forces to meet more robust threats.

by James K. Wither | Sat, 01/13/2018 - 1:33pm | 1 comment

Given a Russian invasion scenario, the Baltic States would have no choice to preserve their independence but to fight a guerrilla war against occupying forces.

by Douglas A. Livermore | Fri, 01/12/2018 - 10:34pm | 1 comment

“Political warfare” is a form of strategy that leverages diplomatic, informational, military, and economic capabilities to achieve strategic objectives.

by Aden Magee | Fri, 01/12/2018 - 8:49pm | 0 comments

The suicide bomber -- be it man borne, vehicle borne, aircraft borne, or otherwise – has steadily evolved as a key capability within the Islamic State’s military apparatus.

by Ian Kippen | Thu, 01/11/2018 - 1:41am | 1 comment

NATO rarely, if ever, exercises the deployment to and operation of the force in an environment that is under “hybrid” attack.

by Pamela Ligouri Bunker, by John P. Sullivan, by Nils Gilman, by Robert Bunker | Thu, 01/11/2018 - 1:16am | 0 comments

The vast majority of the US populace—the proverbial 99%—just witnessed the blatant crossing of a class warfare ‘red line’ to the benefit of the American plutocracy.

by Amir Perk | Wed, 01/10/2018 - 4:51am | 0 comments

It is becoming increasingly crucial to understand Iran’s grand strategy. To help reach this end, this essay studies the origin and impact of Iran’s feelings of victimization.

by Robert Bunker, by John P. Sullivan | Tue, 01/09/2018 - 6:38pm | 0 comments

Police in the Washington, DC suburb of Montgomery County, MD have arrested a suspect in the brutal gang murder of a still unidentified man whose body was found in a pre-dug grave.

by Michael Anderson | Tue, 01/09/2018 - 4:45am | 11 comments

We face an enemy ideology that crafted and shaped an enduring, effective message, near perfecting dissemination and application to relevant target audiences.

by Pamela Ligouri Bunker, by Robert Bunker | Sun, 01/07/2018 - 6:57pm | 0 comments

Artificial intelligence algorithms built into business applications software is increasingly changing how multinational corporations interface with their customer base.

by Patrick Blannin | Sun, 01/07/2018 - 8:17am | 0 comments

Despite regional territorial loses, one pocket of ISIS controlled territory remains intact, increasing its presence along the borders of Israel and Jordan.

by Thomas Neely | Sat, 01/06/2018 - 3:46pm | 0 comments

The war will not only continue but will expand, that we will keep at it on a larger scale with new and sweeping objectives. Our troops and the country will have a high price to pay.

by Victor R. Morris | Fri, 01/05/2018 - 11:40am | 0 comments

The character of war, strategy development and operational dilemmas change over time, therefore operational approaches must do the same.

by Benjamin Brown | Fri, 01/05/2018 - 10:37am | 1 comment

The United States military should develop cyber special operations capabilities to expand the menu of policy options for addressing threats to U.S. interests and national security.

by Octavian Manea | Thu, 01/04/2018 - 1:12am | 18 comments

SWJ interview with Robert O. Work, the 31st Deputy Secretary of Defense.

by Pamela Ligouri Bunker, by Robert Bunker | Wed, 01/03/2018 - 4:48am | 0 comments

Like “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde", Apple Incorporated is a beloved ‘American’ company by day and a ‘stateless’ behemoth after hours when it is time to pay taxes.

by Masoud Kazemzadeh | Wed, 01/03/2018 - 4:20am | 0 comments

The protests that began on Thursday December 28, are the largest such protests since 2009.  By Saturday, they had spread to about 40 cities and are very different than those in 2009.

by Kendall Bianchi | Tue, 01/02/2018 - 9:45am | 0 comments

The change highlights an interesting trend with respect to where--and possibly how--Hezbollah recruits fighters for the war in Syria.

by Caroline Bechtel | Sun, 11/19/2017 - 12:19am | 2 comments

The Iraqi MoD’s presence on social media--and Facebook in particular--has been a crucial element of its military learning process since 2014.

by Douglas Hurst, by Bill Mandrick, by John McElligott | Sat, 11/18/2017 - 2:30pm | 10 comments

Responding to the crisis of ineffective governance will require governance advising during all phases of military operations.  We describe here the potential role of the SFAB in such a response.

by Christine Balling | Fri, 11/17/2017 - 6:21am | 1 comment

Recently, I spoke with four individuals about the ongoing and evolving crisis concerning Post-Independence Referendum Iraqi Kurdistan.

by Fredrick Vincenzo | Wed, 11/15/2017 - 3:15pm | 19 comments

The growing lethality of N. Korea’s military increasingly undercuts America’s ability to use diplomatic pressure, economic sanctions or military force to counter its provocative behavior.

by Robert Bunker, by John P. Sullivan, by José de Arimatéia da Cruz | Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:17pm | 1 comment

A battle for spiritual dominance and power is taking place in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

by Penny Watson, by Masoud Kazemzadeh | Mon, 11/13/2017 - 2:33am | 0 comments

The fundamentalist rulers of Iran are confident that their goal of establishing a coalition of Shia countries and regions under their control is nearing fruition.

by Tom Davis | Sun, 11/12/2017 - 5:36pm | 4 comments

Most people pay attention to the heavy hitters, but a group that needs more extensive study is the Haqqani Network in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other Central Asian countries.

by B. Z. Khasru | Sat, 11/11/2017 - 2:53pm | 0 comments

President Trump has signaled his intention to further fuel the escalating arms race in Asia and profit from it.

by Justin Metz | Fri, 11/10/2017 - 10:06pm | 1 comment

Congress is right to try and take back their war powers before they are eroded by yet another administration. War Powers Resolution section 8(c) represents one excellent opportunity.

by Christopher Flaherty | Thu, 11/09/2017 - 2:19pm | 2 comments

Recent analysis of the practice of decapitation by Islamist terrorists raises questions about the effectiveness of these horrific tactics in a modern world.

by Robert Bunker, by John P. Sullivan | Thu, 11/09/2017 - 1:35pm | 1 comment

SWJ/El Centro - Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 5: Brazilian Military Stability and Support Operations (SASO) in Rio de Janeiro’s Favelas

by Douglas A. Livermore | Wed, 11/08/2017 - 1:40am | 1 comment

To date, the United States and its allies have failed to fully integrate their capabilities to counter Iran’s actions which threaten global stability.

by Kyle Borne | Wed, 11/08/2017 - 1:13am | 0 comments

Multi-domain battle has a nexus in the Operational Support Area of cyberspace. Often taken for granted, freedom of maneuver in the cyber domain is not guaranteed.

by Robert C. Hodges | Mon, 11/06/2017 - 9:40am | 0 comments

The expanding terrorist footprint in Bangladesh may result in the small nation becoming an Islamic militant sanctuary and a launching pad for future transnational terrorist attacks.

by Davis Narwold | Mon, 11/06/2017 - 7:56am | 5 comments

Private military companies can provide comparatively cheap and rapid solutions in warzones, while side-stepping messy political and international ties.

by Clement W. Rittenhouse, by Jason Feuring, by David S. Chadsey | Sun, 11/05/2017 - 2:49am | 0 comments

In future conflicts against near-peer enemies, hybrid 4th and 5th generation threats will challenge allied air superiority and limit the ability for CAS aircraft to loiter and provide on-call fires.

by Octavian Manea | Sat, 11/04/2017 - 9:21pm | 0 comments

A Small Wars Journal interview with General David Petraeus by Octavian Manea.

by Cristina de Esperanza Picardo | Fri, 11/03/2017 - 2:30am | 0 comments

The case study of ETA offers a unique opportunity to assess the strategy and ideology of both the state and the terrorist organization in the context of dictatorship and democracy.

by Keith Nightingale | Tue, 10/31/2017 - 8:25pm | 3 comments

The battle of the beret has been a long and never-ending campaign for a multitude of Army Chiefs of Staff.

by Allyson Christy | Tue, 10/31/2017 - 2:59pm | 0 comments

Diversionary war theory generally denotes attention to troubled leadership that may juxtapose domestic quandaries with instigation or enjoining forces to external crises.

by Sajid Farid Shapoo | Tue, 10/31/2017 - 11:00am | 1 comment

The success of Russian hybrid war is predicated on its espionage, technical intelligence collection, influence operations, and intelligence activities.