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 Troy E. Mitchell | Thu, 06/15/2017 - 12:09pm | 17 comments

A Small Wars Journal and Military Writers Guild Writing Contest Finalist Article

by W. R. Baker | Wed, 06/14/2017 - 8:12pm | 0 comments

Continue on for a SWJ book review of “Dog Company: A True Story of American Soldiers Abandoned by Their High Command”.

by Ian M. Sullivan, by John C. Bauer, by Eric L. Berry, by Luke Shabro | Wed, 06/14/2017 - 10:06am | 5 comments

The OEs of today and the future will be marked by instability.  This instability will manifest itself in evolving geopolitics, resurgent nationalism, changing demographics, and unease.

by Victor R. Morris | Tue, 06/13/2017 - 9:51am | 30 comments

This article conducts COG analysis on the Taliban sub-system and Pashtun tribal system using revised joint doctrine and non-linear dynamical systems analysis.

by Brian C. Darling | Mon, 06/12/2017 - 4:25pm | 0 comments

This book is not an academic, historical, or scholarly work, although it does contain his personal accounts of his involvement in the 2012 attacks on the US Special Mission in Benghazi.

by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Mon, 06/12/2017 - 2:46pm | 0 comments

Mexican Cartel Strategic Note No. 22: Spiritual Appropriation of San Judas Tadeo and Santo Niño de Atocha—Criminal Petitions and Santo Niño Huachicolero.

by Tony Rivera, by Robert Schafer | Mon, 06/12/2017 - 1:25am | 1 comment

It is necessary to develop and deliver strategic design education, in order to bridge the gap between operational and strategic design and between SOF and civilian partners.

by Stefan J. Banach | Sun, 06/11/2017 - 11:16pm | 11 comments

The ability to generate global influence by maneuvering one civilian population against another to produce catastrophic physical effects is a significant transformational change for warfare.

by Samuel J. Ellison | Sun, 06/04/2017 - 1:48pm | 2 comments

An insurgency concerns itself with legitimacy as the opposing sides are not only competing for domination of terrain, but for the support of the populace as well.

by Morgan G. Keay | Sat, 06/03/2017 - 4:30am | 1 comment

This paper demonstrates some of the proven and potential options to optimize interagency and multi-sector collaboration in support of U.S. policy.

by Martin Wetterauer III, by Timothy Payment, by Brian Greata, by Christopher Goodyear | Fri, 06/02/2017 - 9:25am | 3 comments

Organizing elements of national power along the Threat Network Function lines of effort will best serve a joint force commander searching for an effective approach to counter threat networks.

by Allyson Christy | Fri, 06/02/2017 - 9:18am | 11 comments

One and the other, leftist ploys and rising Islamism, make use of each side for their intended manipulations, exploitations, and decisive similarities.

by Adam D.M. Svendsen | Thu, 06/01/2017 - 8:14am | 0 comments

‘Hybrid defence’ frequently can mean almost anything, and even everything-to-nothing (nothing still being something), to different participants and observers.

by Guillaume Corneau-Tremblay | Thu, 06/01/2017 - 7:59am | 0 comments

The threat coming from Western militants in Kurdish groups fighting the Islamic State has been overlooked.

by Thomas Doherty | Wed, 05/31/2017 - 10:34am | 13 comments

A continuation of SWJ article “Treating Islamic Violent Extremism as a Pandemic Super-infection”.

by Robert Murphy | Tue, 05/30/2017 - 11:36am | 14 comments

One of the most essential, neglected elements of our national power remains untouched.

by Volney F. Warner | Tue, 05/30/2017 - 8:10am | 0 comments

8 May 1986 address by General Volney F. Warner at Saint Anselm College, New Hampshire. Posted here with the kind permission of General Warner.

by Randall Kaailau, by Richard V. Puglisi, by Donald C. Bolduc | Mon, 05/29/2017 - 11:30am | 0 comments

SOCAFRICA must understand and operate in the space between war and peace in a complex, volatile, uncertain and ambiguous environment - an environment of adversarial competition.

by Scott Porter | Sun, 05/28/2017 - 8:35am | 0 comments

The US must be capable of operating within an irregular war against hybrid forces, including in support of large-scale humanitarian operations to relieve suffering and prevent more refugee crises.

by Ehsan M. Ahrari | Fri, 05/26/2017 - 8:20pm | 7 comments

Perhaps after hard-hitting briefings from Mattis and McMaster, Trump finally realized Obama’s decision to remain in Afghanistan was both realistic and necessary.

by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Fri, 05/26/2017 - 6:34pm | 0 comments

Third Generation Gangs Strategic Note No. 4: Brigands, Bank Robbery, and Brazilian Gang Evolution at Ciudad del Este and the Triple Frontier

by Geoffrey Demarest | Fri, 05/26/2017 - 2:28pm | 0 comments

This paper updates and expands upon an essay published in Small Wars Journal in 2014. Some of the text from the 2014 essay has been left intact as still operative.

by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Fri, 05/26/2017 - 2:09am | 0 comments

Mexican Cartel Strategic Note No. 21: Quantifying Conflict in Mexico - Armed Conflict, Hyper-Violent Criminality or Both?

by Keith Nightingale | Wed, 05/24/2017 - 1:11pm | 0 comments

The invasion began with subtle sounds and vibrations on cat’s paws growing to crescendo.  We remember and depict the crescendos but forget the subtlety of sounds that brought it all together.

by Charles Barham, by David Jennen | Tue, 05/23/2017 - 7:08am | 2 comments

Combating Corruption: Improving Department of Defense Support in Attacking the Corruption, Transnational Organized Crime, and Transregional Terror Organization Nexus

by Darren E. Tromblay | Mon, 05/22/2017 - 7:08am | 0 comments

China’s inroads to the U.S. entertainment industry merit closer examination given their implications for information warfare.

by Amos C. Fox | Sun, 05/21/2017 - 1:11pm | 0 comments

In understanding dominance, leaders will be better suited to develop feasible, acceptable, and suitable operational approaches and tactical plans for the multi-domain environment.

by G. Murphy Donovan | Sun, 05/21/2017 - 12:23pm | 13 comments

The principal recommendation for NATO reform here, is to expel Turkey, recognize Kurdistan, and end Ankara’s pipe dream of accession to the European Union.

by Keith Nightingale | Sun, 05/21/2017 - 9:22am | 0 comments

Wait.  Wait.  GO.  Slam.  Knees hitting the deck.  Recover.  Move back. Don’t get in the way.  Pack it in.  Jam it up. Repeat.

by Marius Kristiansen | Wed, 05/17/2017 - 8:45am | 5 comments

Half the world’s population is women - in combination with some cultural aspects that are present in the world - SOF will not be relevant without the the integration of women.

by Robert Bunker, by John P. Sullivan | Tue, 05/16/2017 - 12:38pm | 0 comments

Attacks on journalist and media outlets are mechanisms of intimidation used to dampen or influence reportage in favor of the criminal enterprise and/or corrupt state organs.

by Robert Bunker, by John P. Sullivan | Tue, 05/16/2017 - 8:38am | 0 comments

The aftermath of Colombia’s long FARC insurgency has left a criminal power vacuum.

by Mohammad Naved Ferdaus Iqbal | Mon, 05/15/2017 - 1:29am | 0 comments

This paper's intent is to evaluate Israel’s performance in the second Lebanon war by identifying key failures, the causes of those failures, and to draw out lessons learned.

by Keith Humbard | Sun, 05/14/2017 - 1:36pm | 1 comment

It is incumbent on all leaders of this generation to gain a better understanding of what makes up a subordinate’s background and subsequently, how to best lead them.

by Cameron Reed | Sun, 05/14/2017 - 1:20am | 0 comments

Evidence from recent truck attacks suggests an objective that cuts deep into the fabric of society: an erosion of the trust-based system of social rules that allow a city to thrive.

by Evan Salbego | Sat, 05/13/2017 - 2:00pm | 0 comments

By employing a more information-centric approach as a cornerstone of our operations, we can ultimately win faster and more efficiently.

by Masoud Kazemzadeh | Sat, 05/13/2017 - 8:17am | 0 comments

What makes these elections interesting is that Iran is not a one-man dictatorship.  The fundamentalist regime that rules Iran is an oligarchy.

by Daniel Fisher | Sat, 05/13/2017 - 7:35am | 43 comments

A critical component of turning the tide must be economic development.

by James Howcroft | Fri, 05/12/2017 - 1:40pm | 0 comments

As one CT practitioner at a recent George C. Marshall Center event noted, “Counter Terrorism in the absence of women is doomed to fail.”

by Dan Maurer | Fri, 05/12/2017 - 5:38am | 0 comments

If a robot “covered your six” in a firefight, would you show it gratitude?

by Victor R. Morris | Thu, 05/11/2017 - 6:42pm | 6 comments

A Small Wars Journal and Military Writers Guild Writing Contest Finalist Article

by Robert Bunker, by John P. Sullivan | Thu, 05/11/2017 - 8:22am | 0 comments

This appears to be the first known incident in the Mexican criminal insurgency in which the TTP of utilizing women and children as human shields has taken place.

by Oren Hammerquist | Thu, 05/11/2017 - 8:12am | 0 comments

One of the top 8 submissions from the first-ever U.S. Army TRADOC Science Fiction Writing Contest.

by Darren Carter | Tue, 05/09/2017 - 5:24am | 0 comments

One of the top 8 submissions from the first-ever U.S. Army TRADOC Science Fiction Writing Contest.

by Diane DiEuliis, by Peter A. Emanuel | Tue, 05/09/2017 - 3:01am | 0 comments

Today’s emerging biotechnology is simultaneously the most exciting and concerning evolution of biology in the modern era.

by Karl Klicker | Mon, 05/08/2017 - 9:19am | 0 comments

One of the top 8 submissions from the first-ever U.S. Army TRADOC Science Fiction Writing Contest.

by W. R. Baker | Mon, 05/08/2017 - 9:12am | 2 comments

A Small Wars Journal and Military Writers Guild Writing Contest Finalist Article

by Robert R. Greene Sands | Sun, 05/07/2017 - 2:32pm | 0 comments

Why a label and its use obfuscates the most critical variable of social and cultural reality necessary for mission success.

by Nathan W. Toronto | Sun, 05/07/2017 - 9:42am | 0 comments

One of the top 8 submissions from the first-ever U.S. Army TRADOC Science Fiction Writing Contest.

by Mike Barretta | Sat, 05/06/2017 - 3:36pm | 0 comments

One of the top 8 submissions from the first-ever U.S. Army TRADOC Science Fiction Writing Contest.