Small Wars Journal
  • "In 1991 the Gulf War showed everyone how not to fight us, but the 2003 invasion of Iraq showed everybody how to fight us."
    -- David Kilcullen
  • “It takes a brave man to be a coward in the Red Army.”
    -- Joseph Stalin
  • “With no other security forces on hand, U.S. military was left to confront, almost alone, an Iraqi insurgency and a crime rate that grew worse throughout the year, waged in part by soldiers of the disbanded army and in part by criminals who were released from prison.”
    -- John Spratt
  • "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast."
    -- Old MOUT Adage
  • “For Dave Dilegge and Bill Nagle, founders and editors of Small Wars Journal. They gave the counterguerrilla underground a home, at a time when misguided leaders banned even the word ‘insurgency,’ though busily losing to one. Scholars, warriors, and agitators, Dave and Bill laid the foundation for battlefield success: our generation owes them a debt of gratitude.”
    -- David Kilcullen ('Counterinsugency' Dedication)

Home, Above Feeds, Annoucement

"Small wars are operations undertaken under executive authority, wherein military force is combined with diplomatic pressure in the internal or external affairs of another state whose government is unstable, inadequate, or unsatisfactory for the preservation of life and of such interests as are determined by the foreign policy of our Nation."

-- Small Wars Manual, 1940

Small Wars Journal publishes original works from authentic voices across the spectrum of stakeholders in small wars. We also link you to relevant goings on elsewhere.  Login with your SWJ Username to comment, or Register, it's free. You can start your own threads in the Small Wars Council discussion board, but note that the board requires a separate Council Username. Follow SWJ on Twitter @smallwars.


by Daniel Weisz | Tue, 06/15/2021 - 1:53pm | 0 comments
This review essay is a long-form review and commentary on Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán and Luis Jorge Garay-Salamanca, "Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela: Kleptocracy, Human Rights Violation." Tampa: Vortex, 2021. The text provides a detailed social network analysis of the complex corruption situation in Venezuela.
by Keith Nightingale | Mon, 06/14/2021 - 1:03pm | 0 comments
In honor of the Army's 246th Birthday
by Barnett S. Koven | Mon, 06/07/2021 - 1:38pm | 0 comments
U.S. defense planning is hampered by a binary conception of peace and war. An effective response will require a more nuanced approach. Specifically, it will require the U.S. and its allies and partners to better equip Ukrainian forces for both kinetic and non-kinetic operations. The latter must focus on denying the opposition force, in this case Russia, the ability to remain in the Gray Zone.
by Philip Schrooten, by Jolan Silkens | Sat, 06/05/2021 - 3:11pm | 0 comments
As leaders of the Sahel convened in Chad’s capital N'djamena to discuss flaring jihadist violence, Chadian President Déby announced on 15 February 2021 the deployment of an additional 1,200 soldiers to the border zone between Niger, Mali and Burkino Faso.[i][ii] French President Macron also ruled out a withdrawal of forces despite dwindling domestic support for French operations in the region.[iii] Crisis Group expert Hannah Armstrong says one year after France stepped up its military presence in the region, it is as clear as ever that conventional military engagement has failed to deliver a knockout blow to armed jihadist groups.[iv]
by César Pintado | Sat, 06/05/2021 - 3:03pm | 1 comment
Chinese investments in Africa have multiplied in recent years, especially since the 2013 launch of the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI). But China has realized that it is a mistake to entrust security and development to trade alone. A new generation of Chinese private security companies sees the BRI as an opportunity for lucrative contracts and international expansion, but its shortcomings are evident on the ground. Currently, the few properly certified Chinese private security companies in Africa appear to be operating semi-autonomously, oriented towards niche markets. And so far not as an extension of the state, but these companies may be the tool Beijing needs to prevent the defense of its citizens and assets from forcing it into military interventions that, for the time being, remain beyond its reach.
by Octavian Manea | Thu, 06/03/2021 - 7:27am | 0 comments
SWJ Q&A with Admiral (Ret.) James Foggo, a distinguished Fellow with the Transatlantic Defense and Security Program at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Over the last decade in Naples, Italy, he served in multiple major commands as Commander, Naval Forces Europe/Africa; Commander Allied Joint Force Command, Naples; Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet; Commander, Submarine Group 8; and Commander, Submarines, Allied Naval Forces South. 
by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Tue, 06/01/2021 - 4:19pm | 0 comments
Paramedics in Cape Town (Western Cape), South Africa are allegedly victims of extortion gangs that seek ‘protection’ money to allow them to provide emergency medical care.  This incidence of extortion is exacerbated by a recent upswing in violent attacks against Emergency Medical Service (EMS) staff and the influence of Covid-19 lockdowns on public [in]security.  
by Miron Lakomy | Sun, 05/30/2021 - 12:58am | 2 comments
The emergence of the dark web at the beginning of the 21st century is considered to be one of the most significant developments in the history of the digital revolution. What was initially perceived as an experimental and legitimate response to the increased government control over the Internet in time has become a source of a broad spectrum of computer-related crimes. This was mostly caused by the fact that the Onion Router (TOR), Invisible Internet Project (I2P), Freenet or—more recently—ZeroNet provide users with a set of tools enabling anonymous and safe communication. Cybercriminal underground quickly realized that these technologies substantially facilitate the exchange of illicit goods, services, and content. Effectively, the dark web has become an online communication layer known not for the freedom of speech but rather for popular drug markets, firearm vendors, leaked databases, or illegal pornography.
by Pierre Jean Dehaene | Sat, 05/29/2021 - 11:53am | 0 comments
The Localization Strategy: Local Logic and Energy in Belgium’s Advising Mission to Niger
by John P. Sullivan, by José de Arimatéia da Cruz, by Robert Bunker | Fri, 05/28/2021 - 1:07pm | 0 comments
Criminal Factions (Facções criminosas) in Rio de Janeiro (RJ) are extorting telecommunications and utility operators and attacking telecommunications infrastructure to bolster criminal protection rackets. The rackets obstruct free access to telephone, internet, cable, television, natural gas, and electricity. The criminal exploitation extends beyond the favelas throughout the region. Theft, vandalism, and sabotage, as well as threats to infrastructure personnel, impede service provision.

Blog Posts

by Dave Maxwell | Wed, 06/16/2021 - 9:00am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Wed, 06/16/2021 - 8:32am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by SWJ Editors | Tue, 06/15/2021 - 8:58pm | 0 comments
Super Network of Corruption in Venezuela / Súper red de corrupción en Venezuela is a case study of corruption in Venezuela by Small Wars Journal-El Centro Fellows Eduardo Salcedo-Albarán and Luis Jorge Garay-Salamanca. The case study uses social network analysis (SNA) derived from official and media open source materials. The study compares and contrasts Venezuela's corruption networks with the Brazilian Lava Jato (Car Wash) case.
by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 06/15/2021 - 9:49am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 06/15/2021 - 9:31am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by SWJ Editors | Mon, 06/14/2021 - 9:13pm | 0 comments
The 40 page monograph can be downloaded HERE.    
by SWJ Editors | Mon, 06/14/2021 - 1:45pm | 0 comments
Special News Item
by SWJ Editors | Mon, 06/14/2021 - 12:45pm | 0 comments

Access the FDD Foreign Policy Tracker HERE.

by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 06/14/2021 - 9:42am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 06/14/2021 - 9:19am | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by SWJ Editors | Mon, 06/14/2021 - 6:12am | 0 comments

You can access SOF News HERE. 

by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 06/13/2021 - 12:32pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 06/13/2021 - 12:14pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Sat, 06/12/2021 - 2:40pm | 0 comments
A roundup of the day’s news.
by Dave Maxwell | Sat, 06/12/2021 - 2:19pm | 1 comment
A roundup of the day’s news.