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 Thomas R. McCabe | Thu, 09/21/2017 - 4:38am | 0 comments

ISIS has ambitious plans for continuing to stage attacks around the world. As part of this, we must consider the danger of ISIS organizing a terrorist underground in the West.


by Ian M. Sullivan, by Russell W. Glenn | Wed, 09/20/2017 - 6:37am | 0 comments

One of the authors of this article previously proposed an alternative definition that recognizes the need to consider more than fires and movement alone.

by Patricia DeGennaro | Tue, 09/19/2017 - 10:34am | 2 comments

If I have learned anything in my long career of service to my country, it is that there are many fights that can be better fought non-lethally than lethally.

by Peter Popella, by Daniel Koehler | Tue, 09/19/2017 - 8:22am | 0 comments

CBRN based terror attacks by the far-right have become a serious threat scenario. One of the key counter-measures is early detection of plots during the phase of preparation.

by PRISM - Center for Complex Operations | Mon, 09/18/2017 - 12:54pm | 0 comments

General David Petraeus - Interview by Dr. Joseph Collins and Mr. Nathan White - CCO PRISM

by Stuart Murray, by Patrick Blannin | Mon, 09/18/2017 - 7:57am | 1 comment

It’s an appropriate time to reflect upon the role of diplomacy in the War on Terror through the years of the Bush and Obama administrations.

by Morgan Smiley | Sat, 09/16/2017 - 3:00pm | 4 comments

A reduced U.S. military footprint around the world coupled with an increase in state and non-state threats has forced us to reconsider our strategy and posture.

by Thomas Petersen, by Randy Hughes, by Darrel Choat, by Christina Bembenek | Sat, 09/16/2017 - 12:07pm | 0 comments

The current military-focused strategy is insufficient. ISAF advisers’ efforts alone cannot overcome the powerful dynamics ready to tear the proud Iraqi force apart.

by David Murphy | Fri, 09/15/2017 - 12:37pm | 2 comments

NATO needs to deploy more SF units specifically trained to counter the deployment of Russian airborne, Spetsnaz and “little green men” as part of its potential countermeasures.

by Brian J. Hancock | Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:37pm | 1 comment

When employed correctly Military Information Support Operations  as a force multiplier enjoys unparalleled capability to shape, and ultimately win, the hearts and minds of the populace.

by Jonathan K. Zartman | Wed, 09/13/2017 - 10:12am | 0 comments

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

by Real Clear Defense | Wed, 09/13/2017 - 9:57am | 0 comments

“Pakistan is the source of the stalemate, not the scapegoat for it.”

by Haley Allen, by James Sisco | Tue, 09/12/2017 - 7:50pm | 0 comments

The removal of presidents, prime ministers, and top executives is the result of rapidly evolving demographics, shifting cultural attitudes, and social media

by Peter David | Tue, 09/12/2017 - 9:27am | 0 comments

This article describes the results of a statistical analysis of the entire corpus of Mad Scientist SciFi stories to identify common themes that emerge when all stories are considered together.

by Carlton G. Haelig | Sat, 09/09/2017 - 1:10pm | 0 comments

The LTTE’s focus on conventional military operations proved to be their ultimate downfall.

by Paul W. Taylor | Sat, 09/09/2017 - 1:52am | 1 comment

A complex proxy war between Iran and the US/Saudi coalition. Iran directly supports the Houthis and via its proxy Hezbollah. The US provides support to Saudi Arabia in its operations in Yemen.

by Pikria Saliashvili | Fri, 09/08/2017 - 11:02am | 1 comment

Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk" mimics Eric Maria Remarque’s "All Quiet on the Western Front" matter-of-fact depiction of war, down to a boot.

by Steven Maguire | Thu, 09/07/2017 - 6:37pm | 2 comments

Overt Russian aggression and uncertainty in the Middle East has left many questioning the role NATO plays in securing peace and deterring aggression.

by James Torrence | Thu, 09/07/2017 - 12:50pm | 0 comments

The internet is the best “espionage tool ever invented by man”.

by Conrad E. Orr | Wed, 09/06/2017 - 8:30am | 0 comments

In what is being referred to by some experts as the ‘terrorist diaspora’, fighters are already fleeing to other conflict zones to continue jihad.

by Michael J. Mooney | Tue, 09/05/2017 - 8:07pm | 0 comments

An unsolicited letter to the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider Al-Abadi.

by James Torrence | Tue, 09/05/2017 - 11:23am | 0 comments

In his book, "Chinese Intelligence Operations", Nicholas Eftimiades states that the “lucrative field of espionage…is highly suited to the People’s Republic of China".

by Sam Bocetta | Mon, 09/04/2017 - 2:33pm | 2 comments

War, what is it good for? Well, as it turns out, weapons development.

by Juan Ricardo Gómez Hecht | Mon, 09/04/2017 - 11:19am | 0 comments

La investigación sostiene que las principales pandillas en El Salvador (MS-13 y Barrio 18) han evolucionado hasta constituirse en un nuevo tipo de insurgencia.

by Imran Sharih | Sun, 09/03/2017 - 8:16am | 2 comments

U.S. policymakers must finally and honestly acknowledge that the only clear answer is to directly engage in addressing the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.

by Thomas R. McCabe | Sat, 09/02/2017 - 2:42pm | 1 comment

A merger between ISIS and AQC looks unlikely at this point. Al Qaeda may well just be positioning itself to pick up as many ISIS assets as possible when convenient.

by Andrew Byers, by Tara Mooney | Sat, 09/02/2017 - 12:52pm | 1 comment

ISIS will fade significantly in the next year. But once ISIS is gone, there are countless groups waiting in the wings to take over.

by Gary Anderson | Fri, 09/01/2017 - 10:37am | 0 comments

The military needs to know when it is time to hand over specific functions to the proper civilian agencies.

by Keith Nightingale | Thu, 08/31/2017 - 10:47am | 0 comments

In the darker recesses of the night, I see things that have been seen I wish not to see again. But they come, and they go.

by Jerry Drew | Wed, 08/30/2017 - 5:47pm | 0 comments

The space and cyber domains have changed the traditional notions of what constitutes war by expanding war into a global and continuous enterprise.

by John Bolton | Tue, 08/29/2017 - 2:11pm | 1 comment

Fully implementing Mission Command requires more than a veneer of leader training and superficial emphasis on decentralization.

by Vivian S. Walker | Mon, 08/28/2017 - 9:31am | 0 comments

This essay offers a close reading of Sparta’s diplomatic engagement with Athens following its stunning defeat at Pylos.

by Kevin Merrill | Mon, 08/28/2017 - 7:53am | 0 comments

Identifying and influencing the local population favorably enables time and space to conduct military operations.

by Edward P. Donnelly | Sun, 08/27/2017 - 10:06am | 1 comment

Beyond tactical capabilities, there exists a critical requirement to advise foreign nations’ forces at the strategic and institutional levels.

by Matthew Hutchison, by Erick Waage | Sat, 08/26/2017 - 4:43pm | 0 comments

Tools such as FireChat, though impressive in their own right, are representative of emerging disruptive technologies that can be used to either enable or inhibit military operations.

by Zachary L. Morris | Fri, 08/25/2017 - 2:17am | 0 comments

Modern British doctrine, while espousing many successful principles, neglects some critical lessons from actual British practice.

by Jason Thomas | Thu, 08/24/2017 - 11:05pm | 0 comments

This paper argues that while conventional military tensions are building with North Korea, Western allies should prepare for a dramatic increase in conflict against non-state actors.

by Stefan J. Banach | Thu, 08/24/2017 - 2:57pm | 0 comments

The U.S. government, corporate America, academia and the U.S. Joint Armed Forces must design a policy, strategy and doctrine for a “Whole of Nation” approach for the conduct of warfare.

by George Galdorisi | Wed, 08/23/2017 - 8:24am | 0 comments

Submitted in collaboration with TRADOC's Mad Scientist Continuum: Visualizing Multi-Domain Battle - 2030-2050.

by Sam Bocetta | Wed, 08/23/2017 - 6:44am | 0 comments

The techniques of sniping have developed alongside technological advances in sniper rifles, so the sniper rifle is actually best regarded as an extension of the sniper’s body.

by Marcel Plichta | Tue, 08/22/2017 - 2:27pm | 0 comments

As long as states like the Central African Republic are unable to protect their citizens and development workers, the situation will not improve.

by Mohammad Naved Ferdaus Iqbal | Sun, 08/13/2017 - 6:04am | 0 comments

The paper evaluates the magnitude of threat posed by Violent Non-State Actors as opposed to hostile states actors with a national intelligence apparatus.

by Noah B. Cooper | Sat, 08/12/2017 - 8:31am | 1 comment

Adversaries of the United States have recognized the susceptibility of its military to irregular warfare threats and will certainly exploit it in future conflicts.

by Nathan A. Jennings | Fri, 08/11/2017 - 9:39am | 1 comment

Should the Army prepare to fight other modern militaries like those of Russia and China, or orient on stabilizing war-torn states like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan?

by Scott S. Haraburda | Wed, 08/09/2017 - 3:54am | 0 comments

In the year 2044, an artificial intelligence programmed character conducts platoon-level noncombatant evacuation operations simulation in a crumbling chaotic megacity.

by Jim Kane | Tue, 08/08/2017 - 3:23pm | 2 comments

The conflict between a need to maintain domestic political support for the government while also modernizing military leadership is not unique to Afghanistan.

by Antonio Garcia | Tue, 08/08/2017 - 1:33pm | 1 comment

This essay explores the themes of UN peacekeeping offensive operations and Unexploded Ordinance, Explosive Remnants of War and Improvised Explosive Devices.

by Martin Dawson | Mon, 08/07/2017 - 4:50pm | 2 comments

This strategy should be considered alongside others to wage a non-traditional war against a non-traditional enemy.

by Jacob Kim | Mon, 08/07/2017 - 8:22am | 1 comment

Cartels are born from greed but they are also byproducts of Mexico’s flawed policies.

by Kenneth Mok | Mon, 08/07/2017 - 7:37am | 0 comments

There are two competing arguments regarding the gravity of the threat that cyber-attacks pose to the nation’s security.