Small Wars Journal is our professional e-journal.  It is distributed free of charge, subject to our terms of use. Journal Articles are typically longer works with more more analysis than the news and commentary we publish in the SWJ Blog. We accept contributed content from serious voices across the small wars community, and present 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.

If only I could speak personally with the old master I would ask him in the first person to give me his opinion as to whether his theory could explain today’s...

Since the inception of the intelligence discipline, there have always been problems associated with the collection and analysis of information.  Several of these...

This article examines Hezbollah's strategy and the evolution of their tactical performance during their insurgency in the security zone in Southern Lebanon between 1985...

This essay examines several COIN case studies to detail lessons and provide recommendations for both policy-makers and warfighters engaged in future conflicts of these and...

A lot of people focus on the annual budget figures of DOD.  Not many realize DOD spends just south of $1T annually because of previous year appropriations. This is like...

Few nations have sought to take a more comprehensive and non-violent approach to tackling violent extremism.  Authorities label these programs as countering violent...

The United States Special Operations Command is currently reorganizing itself as it shifts from conducting kinetic warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq to conducting population-...

Avoid the Charlie Wilson complex: guilt over the cries of ‘abandoning Afghanistan’ and deciding not to spend billions more of taxpayer’s money on...

The traditional military decision making process with its locked, vertical communication processes will be too slow to be completely effective in the face of the fast pace of...

Because we love Carl von Clausewitz and the center of gravity concept, we need to grant them a divorce- for our sake.

As Iraq appears to unravel, it is only right to continue the debate about counterinsurgency, the appropriate application of landpower, and  the expanding role of Special...

Danish philosopher Kierkegaard noted almost 200 years ago, “There are only two ways to be fooled.  One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse...

Part One of this series examined conflicts in Asia while Part Two explored Middle East conflicts. Part Three focuses on conflicts closer to home in the Western...

The potential for this cyber war in the underworld to expand or to spill out into real world violence is high.

If there is one thing the United States military has come to value over the last decade of war – perhaps the only thing – it is having interoperable coalition...

Do you improve your organization, or detract from its success?

While we pay lip service to ‘partnership’, the US military is still used to being the dominant player. This  ‘reality’ is changing. 

This essay seeks to de-literalize the word strategy—theorizing that its meaning has been morphologically displaced from an ancient Greek wartime phenomenon. 

Despite the media hype, the Druze and Alawi communities are not likely to seek rule of minority cantons in the south or west of the country, while the Kurds are likely to...

At present, for every US Soldier there is at least one 20-foot container of equipment in Afghanistan; a quantity that cannot be overemphasized as our military begins to face...

Part One of this series covered conflicts in Asia that the U.S. military must consider as it turns its focus toward the future. Part Two will investigate two conflicts...

While impressive on paper, in practice the NSR is a hollow concept that will not translate into any substantial economic benefits for Central Asians, Afghans, or Pakistanis...

Conventional and cyber conflict diffusion diverge on two points:  third-party intervention (escalation) and collateral damage (pathogen).  The...

Beware the lure of "credibility."

Counterinsurgency is often a small-unit battle, with company-sized elements requiring organic intelligence capabilities to leverage information into tactical success.

Building a culture that accepts risk requires frank discussion about what words mean and how they translate into action. The Battle of Bunker Hill provides excellent...

Today SOF are being asked to do more than ever before and with increasingly vague and hubristic-sounding missions and concepts. New paradigms are needed.

A lesson for today’s Army and the next twenty years.

If critical issues are not dealt with prior to 2014, they most likely will result in Afghanistan’s returning to a state of civil war or a highly dysfunctional...

For the U.S. military to restructure and prepare for the future it must look at large formal armies that are currently using proxies to engage in small conflicts that...