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 Jonathan Zartman | Mon, 10/30/2017 - 12:53am | 5 comments

Bloom has written an extraordinarily thorough and richly descriptive argument, with a variety of supporting themes.

by Keith Nightingale | Sun, 10/29/2017 - 8:03pm | 3 comments

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

by Jeffrey Hasler | Sun, 10/29/2017 - 4:11pm | 9 comments

Words matter. Symbols matter. Does the Army see no meaningful difference between SF and SFAB?

by Alyssa Blair | Sat, 10/28/2017 - 4:07pm | 0 comments

With the role of sports encompassing a wide range of components of American culture, how does this role impact the development of foreign and security policies?

by Robert Zager | Sat, 10/28/2017 - 12:31am | 0 comments

While DMARC is a good step to enhance some aspects of email security, it does not solve the phishing problem and adversaries routinely overcome the protections afforded.

by Philip Zager | Fri, 10/27/2017 - 4:52pm | 1 comment

This book shows that the Maginot Line is more than a metaphor for poor planning. It remains a physical series of structures that can still be visited.

by Sara Blake | Fri, 10/27/2017 - 1:24am | 0 comments

This paper discusses the tactics the Shining Path employed to spread their influence from the southern Andean highlands throughout the majority of Peru.

by Christopher Keith Johnson | Thu, 10/26/2017 - 2:06am | 3 comments

It is necessary to explore the role development, broadly defined and applied, plays in fuelling a crisis such as his been witnessed through the emergence of Boko Haram.

by SWJ Editors | Thu, 10/26/2017 - 12:11am | 11 comments

An interview with Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster – The 26th National Security Advisor on recent developments in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Qatar.

by Keith Nightingale | Wed, 10/25/2017 - 4:55pm | 7 comments

34 years ago the U.S. invaded Grenada, rescued some medical students, and rounded-up a gang of thugs and criminals, along with their Cuban communist backers.

by Felix S. Johnfinn, by Raymond H. Chester, by John D. Johnson | Wed, 10/25/2017 - 3:46pm | 0 comments

This paper aims to examine the issues of mass migration to Europe, its impact on European security and provide practical policy recommendations.

by Oded Berkowitz | Tue, 10/24/2017 - 2:29am | 0 comments

The ambush exposed Egypt’s main security weakness - its inability to effectively police the country and its long borders.

by U.S. Army TRADOC G2 Mad Scientist Initiative | Tue, 10/24/2017 - 12:23am | 0 comments

Advances in sensing, precision attack, and decision-making will fundamentally alter the character of future conflict engagements.  This premise warrants closer examination.

by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Mon, 10/23/2017 - 2:10am | 0 comments

Mexican Cartel Tactical Note #35:  Weaponized Drone/UAV/UAS Seized in Valtierrilla, Guanajuato with Remote Detonation IED (‘Papa Bomba’) Payload

by Jonathan Dworkin | Mon, 10/23/2017 - 12:39am | 0 comments

As the Peshmerga retreats in northern Iraq, two American foreign policy experts answer questions about America’s relationship with the Kurds.

by James Torrence | Mon, 10/23/2017 - 12:09am | 0 comments

Studying military history affords military professionals the opportunity to identify lessons that apply to operational environments and develop a deeper understanding of their profession.

by Shane Hasbrouck | Sun, 10/22/2017 - 5:28am | 0 comments

The interconnectivity of global economic markets and the dichotomy between the East and West directly led to a new type of conflict, coined “economic warfare”.

by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Sat, 10/21/2017 - 8:17pm | 0 comments

The provision of such aid—usually a symbolic effort—should be considered a component of ongoing cartel ‘information operations’

by Alma Keshavarz | Sat, 10/21/2017 - 7:45pm | 0 comments

"A Military History of the Modern Middle East" represents a new offering by James Brian McNabb.

by Robert Zager, by John Zager | Sat, 10/21/2017 - 1:33am | 0 comments

In this article we combine Colonel John Boyd’s Observe/Orient/Decide/Act Loop with the NSA Methodology for Adversary Obstruction to create a new cyber‑defense model.

by Christopher Keith Johnson | Fri, 10/20/2017 - 3:13am | 0 comments

Nigeria remains a fragile state fighting what many believe is a misguided war on terror to hold itself together as a republic.

by John Bolton | Thu, 10/19/2017 - 11:39am | 0 comments

In Afghanistan Americans seemed determined to validate F. Scott Fitzgerald's aphorism that American lives have no second act.

by J. Overton | Thu, 10/19/2017 - 7:52am | 0 comments

While the concept and terminology of the Gray Zone is new, the geo-political situation it described is not, and the US military does have experience operating within them.

by U.S. Army TRADOC G2 Mad Scientist Initiative | Thu, 10/19/2017 - 5:03am | 0 comments

1 December deadline - continue on for information on the latest Mad Scientist call for ideas.

by Spyridon Plakoudas | Wed, 10/18/2017 - 4:58am | 0 comments

Hanna Bohman and Joanna Palani. What do a former model from Canada and a politics student from Denmark have in common?

by Christopher Elliott | Wed, 10/18/2017 - 12:18am | 0 comments

Despite the attempts of many to simulate the future using game theory et al, one less-considered variable is missing from the equation. Primatology.

by Michael Clyne | Tue, 10/17/2017 - 12:15am | 0 comments

Opportunity might reside in the administration’s focus on security, where non-traditional strategy could still address foreign extremism.

by Casey W. Wilander | Mon, 10/16/2017 - 10:20am | 0 comments

Cocaine and illicit-timber trade are linked by their profitability, industrial proximity, and smuggling convenience.

by Robert E. Smith | Sun, 10/15/2017 - 2:50pm | 1 comment

Here is the latest from the US Army TRADOC G2 Mad Scientist Project - "Serious sport is war minus the shooting".

by Sam Bocetta | Sun, 10/15/2017 - 2:54am | 0 comments

I recently wrote a short history of body armor article for Small Wars Journal. Here, I deal with the other side of the story and take you through the history of ammunition for small arms.

by Albert Palazzo | Sat, 10/14/2017 - 12:25pm | 4 comments

The U.S. needs something that can do more than just fight and win battles.  MDB is a start, but something far more ambitious is needed.

by Andrew D. McNaughton | Sat, 10/14/2017 - 2:12am | 1 comment

For many years after the withdrawal, it appeared that the so-called ‘Reagan Offensive’ in its political pressure and provision of arms to Afghan rebels was the overwhelming factor.

by David Zelaya | Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:02pm | 0 comments

Fighting the urge for unnecessary control is a difficult addiction to break. It requires trust not commonly seen, especially when outcomes are unknown.

by Assad Raza | Thu, 10/12/2017 - 9:13pm | 0 comments

In the age of accelerated globalization and its toll exacted on conflict, USSOCOM should prioritize conflict prevention activities to achieve US national security objectives.

by Edgardo Buscaglia | Thu, 10/12/2017 - 5:33pm | 0 comments

SWJ-El Centro - An Economic-Jurimetric Analysis of Asset Forfeitures and Human Rights

by James King | Wed, 10/04/2017 - 1:30pm | 0 comments

This reading list is comprised of recommendations from members of the INTELST forum, a group of almost 4000 current and former Military Intelligence professionals.

by David S. Maxwell | Tue, 10/03/2017 - 1:43pm | 39 comments

A cyber underground, organized around special operations principles can create a nationwide and global network that will seek out, identify, understand, and expose active measures and propaganda.

by David S. Maxwell | Tue, 10/03/2017 - 7:11am | 1 comment

23 years of halfhearted efforts to prevent north Korea from developing nuclear weapons has resulted in six nuclear tests and an intercontinental ballistic missile capability.

by Sam Bocetta | Mon, 10/02/2017 - 6:14am | 0 comments

Today, I’m going to look at an untold story, tracing the development of body armor and some other types of protective gear from the early 20th Century to today.

by Ken Segelhorst | Mon, 10/02/2017 - 2:56am | 0 comments

The US Air Force requires an inexpensive, light air support aircraft as a practical and cost-effective means of providing air support for IW in low air threat environments.

by Grant M. Martin | Sat, 09/30/2017 - 1:20am | 0 comments

This is a synopsis of a chapter I wrote in the newly released book, "Mission Command: The Who, What, Where, When and Why: An Anthology".

by Hamzeh Hadad, by Brandon L. Wallace | Fri, 09/29/2017 - 10:15pm | 0 comments

As a non-state partner of the U.S., it is important to recognize the fragility and divisions within the KRG defense structure and to recognize the growing risk for intra-state conflict within the Kurdish Region.

by Antonio Garcia | Thu, 09/28/2017 - 11:42am | 0 comments

The point of departure of this paper is that the UN has not defined offensive operations, and specified what this means in practice.

by Keith Nightingale | Wed, 09/27/2017 - 7:47pm | 0 comments

Walls are physical and mental.  Grunts know them both. Walls can be reduced by time or the physics of destruction. It depends upon the nature of the wall and the person behind it.

by Juan Ricardo Gómez Hecht | Wed, 09/27/2017 - 8:51am | 0 comments

This article was originally published in Spanish as 'Las Pandillas en El Salvador: ¿Un Nuevo Tipo de Insurgencia?' at 'Small Wars Journal'-El Centro on 4 September 2017.

by Ian Kippen | Tue, 09/26/2017 - 8:48am | 0 comments

If we have our decisive conditions wrong, we will construct the wrong effects and wrong measurements.  It doesn’t matter how good our actions may be.

by Andreas Hedenstrom, by Marius Kristiansen | Mon, 09/25/2017 - 8:35am | 0 comments

This article presents potential Military Assistance concepts of operations in support of specific security policy objectives, and proposes feasible new concepts in MA operations.

by Marta Kepe, by Jan Osburg | Sun, 09/24/2017 - 9:51am | 8 comments

As small countries with little strategic depth and limited human and economic resources, the Baltic states are increasingly adopting a “total defense” approach to national security.

by Christopher Keith Johnson | Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:55pm | 0 comments

On Carl von Clausewitz: What is less spoken of is his study of small wars and people’s war.

by Robert Bunker, by Marisa Mendoza | Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:21pm | 0 comments

The sniper rifle has become a preferred weapon for cartels since a round can penetrate walls, steel, and the sides of unarmored and even moderately armored vehicles.