Small Wars Journal
  • “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)
  • “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
  • "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

Home, Above Feeds, Annoucement

 

Ukraine

"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.

Journal

by John P. Sullivan | Sat, 05/18/2024 - 7:36pm | 0 comments
Review of Chris Dalby's "CJNG: A Quick Guide to Mexico's Deadliest Cartel" by SWJ−El Centro Senior Fellow John P. Sullivan.
by Jonathan D. Rosen | Thu, 05/16/2024 - 2:42pm | 0 comments
This article examines the role that the Mexican military has played in combating drug trafficking, organized crime, and violence. It highlights the security policies and utilization of the military during the Felipe Calderón and Peña Nieto administrations. While President Andrés Manuel López Obrador criticized the militarization of the drug war, he created a national guard, which consist primarily of the military, and deployed them to strategic locations. The article then examines the public opinion data, which shows the high levels of trust in the military. It then turns to regression analysis based to analyze factors that may influence trust in the military. Ultimately, this article concludes that the military remains better trusted than other institutions, but the armed forces have been overutilized in recent decades for a litany of internal security issues.
by Jorge Mantilla, by Renato Rivera | Thu, 05/16/2024 - 1:00am | 0 comments
What is the influence of Colombian organized crime in Ecuador’s Armed Conflict? Building on the concepts of post-insurgencies and border effect, this paper assesses the security crisis in Ecuador by studying criminal learning and subcultures among Criminal Armed Groups (CAGs). While analysts and pundits often highlight the impact of Colombia’s criminal world in the Ecuadorian context, few fathom it. Focusing on the trajectories of CAGs, the paper gathers different lessons resulting from Colombian counterinsurgency over the years and what they mean to Ecuador. The paper zooms in on the criminal learning between CAGs in borderland regions of Nariño (Colombia) and Esmeraldas (Ecuador). It argues that criminal learning is fundamental in how Ecuadorian CAGs, particularly Tiguerones, understand and engage in criminal wars. Furthermore, Tiguerones’ case shows how subculture and symbolic power remain important in post-insurgencies and criminal learning. The authors use official data from law enforcement and secondary information from Colombia and Ecuador.
by Elizabeth Turnage | Tue, 05/14/2024 - 8:05pm | 0 comments
On January 17th, 2024, the United States redesignated the Houthis as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). In the weeks that have followed, the United States has become increasingly active in the Gulf, shooting down Houthi drones and striking Houthi targets in Yemen. Given the United States’ increasing involvement with the Houthis, this paper seeks to review the conflict to evaluate both the insurgent and counterinsurgent performance to date. In this evaluation, I argue that not only does the insurgency possess key indicators of success, but the counterinsurgency’s weaknesses debilitate the possibility for success.
by David M. Luna | Tue, 05/14/2024 - 1:36pm | 0 comments
This commentary summarizes the author’s keynote address to the United States Department of Defense (DoD) FY26-30 Program Objective Memorandum (POM) Counternarcotics and Stabilization Policy Review and Panel Discussions and Conference at the Pentagon, Washington, DC on 8 May 2024. The POM Review was chaired the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Counternarcotics and Stabilization Policy, in the Office for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, DoD. The author is Executive Director of the International Coalition Against Illicit Economies (ICAIE).
by J. “Lumpy” Lumbaca | Thu, 05/02/2024 - 6:12am | 0 comments
The shadow of Chinese military aggression looms large over Taiwan. While the island nation has invested in conventional military capabilities, the reality is that a conflict with China could be a classic David and Goliath scenario. To effectively deter an invasion and resist occupation, if necessary, Taiwan needs to move beyond its traditional military focus and embrace a multi-layered defense strategy that includes insurgency and resistance.
by Michael L. Burgoyne, by Albert J. Marckwardt | Mon, 04/29/2024 - 9:40pm | 0 comments
Last year, an authorization for the use of force against Mexican cartels was introduced in Congress. Several senior US politicians, including a presidential candidate, have advocated for military strikes against criminal actors involved in trafficking fentanyl. What if the United States engaged in unilateral military action in Mexico? In Blackjack, an American working covertly against criminal organizations finds himself trapped when US drones begin engaging cartel targets. He struggles to reach the US−Mexico border as the bilateral situation deteriorates and chaos erupts around him. Blackjack is a work of “useful fiction” as described by August Cole and PW Singer. It brings together an engaging story with research to provide a glimpse of a near future scenario.
by Scott Simeral | Sun, 04/28/2024 - 9:19am | 0 comments
In Building Militaries in Fragile States: Challenges for the United States, Dr. Mara Karlin presents a comparative case study of four United States Government (USG) attempts to strengthen partner militaries’ internal defense. Building Militaries opens with a summary of the Islamic State’s defeat of the Iraqi Army in 2014 after the USG trained the Iraqi Army for ten years and provided $20B in assistance. This scene-setter underscores Karlin’s assessment that the USG’s traditional approach of throwing resources and training at fragile states to shore up those states’ internal defense is not working.
by John P. Sullivan, by Robert Bunker | Thu, 04/25/2024 - 1:01pm | 0 comments
On Monday, 22 April 2024 two paramedics in Celaya, Guanajuato were killed when alleged members of a criminal armed group (CAG) attacked ambulances believed to be linked to their rivals. This attack included armed assault and arson. It occurred during a spike in violence between rival criminal cartels. The violent surge also included fatal attacks on police. 
by Robert Muggah, by Rajeev Gundur | Mon, 04/15/2024 - 5:42pm | 0 comments
This opinion piece by SWJ−El Centro Fellow Robert Muggah and transnational organized crime scholar Rajeev Gunnar looks at surging criminal violence and gang proliferation in the Caribbean.

Blog Posts

by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 05/21/2024 - 9:04am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 05/20/2024 - 10:17am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 05/19/2024 - 12:50pm | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Sat, 05/18/2024 - 1:29pm | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 05/17/2024 - 9:12am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Thu, 05/16/2024 - 9:23am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Wed, 05/15/2024 - 6:58am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 05/14/2024 - 6:29am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Mon, 05/13/2024 - 8:40am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Sun, 05/12/2024 - 12:12pm | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Sat, 05/11/2024 - 12:19pm | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Fri, 05/10/2024 - 7:34am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Thu, 05/09/2024 - 9:47am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Wed, 05/08/2024 - 9:51am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content:

by Dave Maxwell | Tue, 05/07/2024 - 8:33am | 0 comments

Access National Security News HERE.

Access Korean News HERE.

National Security News Content: